Though a tad dated and tame by today's standards, this 1961 drama was not only ground-breaking in its depiction of homosexuality, but it also marked the occasion when Dirk Bogarde broke free from his popular matinée idol image.
| Original Score: 3/5
What a gripping film -- melodramatic and self-conscious, yes, but forthright and bold.
Impeccably liberal, weirdly restrained and, aside from anything else, a fascinating historical document.
| Original Score: 4/5
The intensity of Bogarde's performance, not least where he confesses to wife Sylvia Syms his homosexual desires, transcends the film's well-intentioned cautiousness.
Immensely significant in its plea for tolerance for gay men (interestingly, lesbianism is not discussed here), Victim works hard arguing that gays are part of the typical, healthy fabric of society.
| Original Score: 4/4
[Victim] has a careful performance by Bogarde, and it pursues with eloquence and conviction the case against an antiquated statute.
If it now appears quaintly old-fashioned in its attitudes and assumptions, it still impresses thanks to Dirk Bogarde's performance.
Moralistic thriller with a sincere plea for Great Britain to end its oppressive law that makes it a criminal offense to be a homosexual.
| Original Score: A-
... a startlingly handsome feature with a theatrical flair and a shadow of a crime thriller running through it.
Bogarde is subtle, sensitive and strong. Syms handles a difficult role with delicacy.
There are many pleasures to be found in the quirky supporting cast, expressive, noir-style lighting and an effectively suspenseful opening.
Still convincing as a thriller, if a little quaint now, in its approach to the themes surrounding homosexually.
| Original Score: 4/5
The very fact that homosexuality as a condition is presented honestly and unsensationally, with due regard for the dilemma and the pathos, makes this an extraordinary film.
Recent critics find Victim timid in its treatment of homosexuality, but viewed in the context of Great Britain in 1961, it's a film of courage.
Shot in widescreen black and white, Victim is an exceptionally well-produced film with bracing contrast in its dark shadows.
Groundbreaking, yes, but not as important as it should have been.
| Original Score: 71/100
One can only hope this re-release awakens people to the true power of Basil Dearden's film and the extraordinary bravery of Dirk Bogarde's performance.
The wealth of detail about gay life at the time and the often adverse public perception of homosexual behavior ensures Victim's lasting fascination as a social document.