7.7/10
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Victim (1961)

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

Director:

Basil Dearden

Writers:

Janet Green (by), John McCormick (by) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
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Storyline

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 <mills@colorado.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Are You Adult Enough to See 'Victim"? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

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 Homo Promo (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
A Striking, well shot and memorable film
28 October 2004 | by tresdodgeSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 1961 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Victim See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP153,756 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,962
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (pre-censored) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »

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