Tyrannical, but ailing, tycoon Charles Richmond becomes very fond of his attractive Italian nurse, Maria. The nurse, in turn, falls in love with Charles' ne'er-do-well nephew Anthony, who plots ways to gain control of his uncle's fortune.
A homesick, no-nonsense, lounge singer decides to leave New York City to spend some time visiting her two sisters and brother on the West Coast, and eventually falling in love with down-and-out ex-jazz pianist.
A plea for reform of England's anti-sodomy statutes, Melville Farr (Sir Dirk Bogarde), a married lawyer, tries to locate a blackmailer who has photos of Farr and a crying young gay man (who is being blackmailed and later commits suicide) in Farr's car. After the suicide, Farr tracks down other gay men being extorted for money by the same blackmail scheme. Worldly Police Detective Inspector Harris (John Barrie) considers the anti-sodomy law nothing more than a license to blackmailers, and eventually is contacted by Farr to capture the malicious blackmailer. The movie, far ahead of its time, ends with Farr and his loving wife coming to terms with his homosexual tendencies in advance of the public exposure he will face in the team of blackmailers' trial.Written by
Mike Mills <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although by todays standards the way this film addresses and depicts homosexuality is incredibly indirect and obtuse, in 1961, it was quite ground-breaking. Despite only talking about men being in love with other men (while asiduously avoiding any depiction of such activity) it received an "X" rating from the British Board of Film Censors, requiring that no one under 16 be allowed to see it without adult accompaniment. See more »
When Melville is stood outside the Counsel & Clerks office, the shadow of the boom microphone is visible beside the sign, on the wall behind him. See more »
Set in 1950's Britain at a time when homosexuality is against the law, a top Barrister ( Dirk Bogarde) puts his career on the line to tackle the outrageous blackmail of London's homosexuals.
Impressive cast and outstanding performance by Dirk Bogarde as the troubled barrister whose anguish and pain one can see in his face throughout the film. Watching this now in the 21st century, it seems unbelievable to think that homosexuality was illegal here forty years ago. This is not to say that homophobia is not a concern now, because it still is, however there have been large strides forward for the acceptance and tolerance of homosexuals in mainstream society.
This film is an excellent historical snippet at a time of contentious laws as well as being a fine piece of art. Basil Dearden directs brilliantly and the script maintains a gripping interest throughout. In addition it was nice to see many parts of London as they were in the fifties before factories were knocked down and the hordes of yuppie apartments where built along the Thames.
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