7.8/10
4,232
57 user 47 critic

Victim (1961)

Not Rated | | Drama | 11 October 1961 (Denmark)
The death of a young man leads to the discovery of a blackmail plot against a number of gay men in 1960s London.

Director:

Basil Dearden

Writers:

Janet Green (by), John McCormick (by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Sapphire (1959)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The murder of a young woman in London exposes deep racial tensions and prejudices inherent in the area.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Nigel Patrick, Yvonne Mitchell, Michael Craig
The Servant (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An upper-class man hires a servant who turns out to have a hidden agenda.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sarah Miles, Wendy Craig
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Violent fugitive and mistreated small boy team up to flee from authority.

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Jon Whiteley, Elizabeth Sellars
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During World War I, an army private is accused of desertion during battle. The officer assigned to defend him at his court-martial finds out there is more to the case than meets the eye.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Tom Courtenay, Leo McKern
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A disgruntled veteran recruits a group of disgraced colleagues to perform a bank robbery with military precision.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Nigel Patrick, Roger Livesey
Accident (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At Oxford, Austrian student Anna is dating fellow student William whom she plans to marry but she ends up sleeping with two unhappily married Oxford professors instead.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Stanley Baker, Jacqueline Sassard
The Blue Lamp (1950)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The daily routine of two London policemen is interrupted by a killer.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Jack Warner, Dirk Bogarde, Jimmy Hanley
Sebastian (1968)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A British mathematician, working on code decryption, unexpectedly falls in love with another decrypter. This leads them to a complicated intrigue within the codebreakers.

Director: David Greene
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Susannah York, Lilli Palmer
Darling (1965)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A beautiful but amoral model sleeps her way to the top of the London fashion scene at the height of the Swinging Sixties.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens, Orton is befriended by the older, more reserved Kenneth Halliwell, and while ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina, Vanessa Redgrave
The Damned (1969)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The dramatic collapse of a wealthy, industrialist/Junker family during the reign of the Third Reich.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A dedicated British scientist tests the possibility of brainwashing. If the experiment succeeds, he will stop loving his wife.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Mary Ure, John Clements
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Melville Farr
Sylvia Syms ... Laura Farr
Dennis Price ... Calloway
Anthony Nicholls ... Lord Fullbrook
Peter Copley ... Paul Mandrake
Norman Bird ... Harold Doe
Peter McEnery ... Jack Barrett
Donald Churchill ... Eddy Stone
Derren Nesbitt ... Sandy Youth
John Barrie ... Det. Inspector Harris
John Cairney ... Bridie
Alan MacNaughtan ... Scott Hankin
Nigel Stock ... Phip
Frank Pettitt Frank Pettitt ... Barman (as Frank Pettit)
Mavis Villiers ... Madge
Edit

Storyline

A plea for reform of England's anti-sodomy statutes, Melville Farr, 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 considers the sodomy law nothing more than an 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 faces in the team of blackmailers' trial. Written by Mike Mills <mills@colorado.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Daring Picture About the World's Most Un-talked About Subject. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 1961 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Teufelskreis See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

£153,756 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Allied Film Makers (AFM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (pre-censored) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The comment about the rage of Caliban is a reference to the character from "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare. See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow moves onto Madge's coat as it pushes in closer from behind after Eddy leaves the bar. See more »

Quotes

Detective Inspector Harris: Someone once called this law against homosexuality the blackmailer's charter.
Melville Farr: Is that how you feel about it?
Detective Inspector Harris: I'm a policeman, sir. I don't have feelings.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Dirk Bogarde: By Myself (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet, Op.18
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Arranged by Philip Green
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
one of the greatest of gay movies
20 March 2006 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

During his lifetime Dirk Bogarde never admitted to being gay and before his death he destroyed many of his private papers. Nevertheless, his sexuality has long been an open secret and Bogarde's desire to keep his private life private had to be respected. It was, therefore, an astonishingly brave decision to take on the role of Melville Farr, the closeted gay barrister who is willing to 'come out' in order to break a blackmailing ring in Basil Dearden's pioneering thriller "Victim".

Bogarde says he chose the part because he wanted to break free of the matinée idol roles he had played up to that time but by doing so he risked alienating his fan-base. Of course, by playing Farr and subsequent roles in films like "The Servant" and "Death in Venice" it could be argued that he was vicariously acting out on screen what he was feeling in real life.

That "Victim" was made at all is as astonishing as Bogarde's decision to take the lead. This was 1961 and homosexuality was still illegal in Britain. "Victim" broke new ground by making it the central theme and by making the gay characters sympathetic, the victims of the title, and by making the law, (at least in the form of John Barrie's investigating copper), sympathetic to their plight. This was a crusading work and is today largely credited with bring about the change in the law that decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults in Great Britain.

Viewed today it is, of course, both melodramatic and didactic. At times it seems the characters aren't saying lines but making speeches. As a thriller it's reasonably exciting, (it's got sufficient red-herrings to keep us guessing), and Dearden admitted that without the thriller element the film might never have been made. (He did something similar with racism in the film "Sapphire").

"Victim" also featured a number of other gay actors in the cast, notably Dennis Price, superb as an ageing actor, and the actor/director Hilton Edwards. Whatever his motives for taking on the role, Bogarde is superb and he has at least one great scene when he finally admits his true nature to his wife, beautifully played by Sylvia Syms. There is certainly no doubt the film has dated and yet it remains one of the greatest of all gay movies.


28 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 57 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed