Critic Consensus: Further elevated by a strong central performance from Dirk Bogarde, Victim offers an eloquent and emotionally affecting argument against prejudice.
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as Melville Farr
as Lord Fullbrook
as Paul Mandrake
as Harold Doe
as Eddy Stone
as Sandy Youth
as Detective Inspector Harris
as Scott Hankin
as Scott Hankin
as Miss Benham
as William Patterson
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Critic Reviews for Victim
Victim may seem archaic. But even its compromises teach us something about the era that produced it.
[Victim] has a careful performance by Bogarde, and it pursues with eloquence and conviction the case against an antiquated statute.
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.
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.
Audience Reviews for Victim
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.
Will we ever stop trying to legislate morality? A brave role for Bogarde.
Groundbreaking in it's time and still a strong film today, excellent performances particularly Bogard's.
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