Victim

Victim

100%
  • Victim
    5 minutes 18 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008

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Victim Reviews

Page 1 of 5
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

May 28, 2011
Will we ever stop trying to legislate morality? A brave role for Bogarde.
jjnxn
jjnxn

Super Reviewer

September 23, 2009
Groundbreaking in it's time and still a strong film today, excellent performances particularly Bogard's.
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

September 11, 2009
A man risking his career to expose a blackmailer is the focus of this story. Interesting enough, and more so because the risk is a barrister being exposed as a homosexual when such exposure is grounds for arrest and prison. Intelligently done, with the gay men (there are several being blackmailed) not portrayed as fey mincing freaks as they are in so many films, but as regular men. The film shows both sides of the homosexual issue -- the men who beg to be understood that they can't help what they are, and the prejudices of others who don't and won't understand. I was surprised to see Dirk Bogarde -- or any well-known actor -- in a part like this. Even now there are sometimes issues with actors playing gays in films, especially if they are secretly gay themselves. I can imagine the problems in 1962. I don't know Bogarde's orientation, nore does it matter. I'm just impressed that he would take such a risky role. I guess life imitates art in this case.
Eric B

Super Reviewer

April 14, 2012
This brave, if somewhat dour, film dramatizes the persecution of homosexuals in '60s England. The Web tells me that homosexuality was not only frowned upon but officially illegal in England until the Sexual Offences Act was passed in 1967 (six years after this film was released).

Specifically, "Victim" depicts how closeted homosexuals with enviable careers and community standing were often blackmailed. Dirk Bogarde gives one of his marvelously controlled performances as Melville Farr, a prominent lawyer on the verge of a Queen's Counsel promotion. He has an attractive wife (Sylvia Sims) but also a history of homosexual affairs. When blackmailers drive a gay youth to suicide, Farr must choose whether to stay quiet and uphold his reputation, or follow his heart and risk everything to expose the culprits.

The script and actors deserve much credit for resisting stereotypes and showing that homosexuals can be "normal," refined, suit-wearing citizens. But this subtlety also can be a minus: The action is a bit sluggish, since most dialogue is so flattened with that well-known British reserve.

Quite controversial in its day, "Victim" works as both social commentary and as an effective whodunnit. Of course, it's also a must for Bogarde fans.
Audrey L

Super Reviewer

September 20, 2008
Released in 1961, this movie actually dealt with the taboo topic of homosexuality and is credited with influencing the 1969 repeal of the laws against "sodomy". It certainly was ahead of it's time and was a career move that took Bogarde out of the mainstream leading man category.

There were many messages in the film which were somewhat sympathetic to the plight of homosexual men who were routinely blackmailed for their private activities. They were indeed victims,and were portrayed with dignity for the most part.
littlecharmer1959
littlecharmer1959

Super Reviewer

February 6, 2008
An interesting film. At the time this film was seen as very risky due to the fact it deals with homosexuality. The main plot involves lawyer Melville Farr (played by Dirk Bogarde). Although married Farr is secretly a homosexual. Farr becomes involved in a blackmail investigation after one of his fri...(read more)ends kills himself after being blackmailed due to them also being a homosexual. Farr then faces the decision of turning the blackmailers in (therefore ruining his career) or order them to keep quite, therefore becoming a blackmailer himself. At the time of release (1961) homosexuality was still illegal so obviously the film was considered quite ground-breaking. These days the film does seem a little dated, yet there is still a solid crime story in it.
nanoqna
January 18, 2007
its about ablackmailing homosexuals. dirk bogarde is good u can tell hes sad. its good history and gooda rt.
August 3, 2012
Brave film about the law that criminalized homosexuality, which was only revoked a relatively short time ago in Britain. While the ruthlessness of the blackmail and the persecution is striking, the social attitudes of casual homophobia seem far more disturbing.
Eric B

Super Reviewer

April 14, 2012
This brave, if somewhat dour, film dramatizes the persecution of homosexuals in '60s England. The Web tells me that homosexuality was not only frowned upon but officially illegal in England until the Sexual Offences Act was passed in 1967 (six years after this film was released).

Specifically, "Victim" depicts how closeted homosexuals with enviable careers and community standing were often blackmailed. Dirk Bogarde gives one of his marvelously controlled performances as Melville Farr, a prominent lawyer on the verge of a Queen's Counsel promotion. He has an attractive wife (Sylvia Sims) but also a history of homosexual affairs. When blackmailers drive a gay youth to suicide, Farr must choose whether to stay quiet and uphold his reputation, or follow his heart and risk everything to expose the culprits.

The script and actors deserve much credit for resisting stereotypes and showing that homosexuals can be "normal," refined, suit-wearing citizens. But this subtlety also can be a minus: The action is a bit sluggish, since most dialogue is so flattened with that well-known British reserve.

Quite controversial in its day, "Victim" works as both social commentary and as an effective whodunnit. Of course, it's also a must for Bogarde fans.
lasttimeisaw
April 8, 2012
Half a century's age, this hidden curio from UK cinema revolves around a series of homosexual blackmailing cases (while men could be put in jail simply for being gay), an eminent married lawyer in the closet decides to expose the extortion on account of his "young admirer" commits suicide in order not to comprehend him into the dark corner, so as to prompt to unseat the discrimination inside UK's legislative system and which will inexorably end his prominent career.

The film counts in a flock of various characters, among which mostly are gay men (of divergent ranks), under the milieu of repression, some are diffident and dodging, some are well-off and laissez-faire, and depicts a vivid gay scene at then with a briskly unobtrusive measure (in spite of multiply exploiting unsettling close-ups of faces to attenuate the dramatic currents), deftly projects Dirk Bogarde's heroic lawyer as the knight in shining armor to rescue the gay sub-culture being bullied and threatened.

Bogarde is bold (off the screen) and instinctively mesmerizing (on the screen) in the film, even subconsciously one could dive into his dilemma and being shepherded until the exit of the maze, remarkably it is not a common whodunit trickery, no actions, no noir atmosphere, it is a moral lecture with a cogent victory of defending oneself's nature. Sylvia Syms is steadfast in her role as the wife, knowingly indulging her marriage and naively believes there is an alternative, the two-hander between her and Bogarde is the zenith of this film.

The film's laconic 90 minutes length does seep some coerced discontentment, but frankly speaking the story has no loose end, one could divine its subsequent development in his own aftertaste.
February 28, 2012
9 out of 10......another brilliant film by Basil Dearden. 60's London wasnt always swinging.
January 18, 2012
Revolutionary for its time, but today? Mmmmmm . . . .
March 4, 2011
Courageous and interesting "thriller." First English language film to use the word "homosexual." The use of lighting is magnificent - in glorious black and white.
filmistruth
November 16, 2010
***/****

Pro: The courage to make this film at the time. The direction. The faithful wife. The hints of homosexuality from many different characters. The fact that Bogarde was actually gay...a mixture of truth within the character.

Con: Not as big of an impact now as it was then. Too many people introduced early in the film.
jazza923
November 16, 2010
I just had a hard time getting into this film. Dirk Bogarde is really great, all the elements are there, but it was cold and uninvolving. It may be that I just wasn't in the mood for this type of film, don't know. It wasn't bad at all, just didn't wow me.
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