Victim

1961, Mystery & thriller, 1h 40m

31 Reviews 1,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Further elevated by a strong central performance from Dirk Bogarde, Victim offers an eloquent and emotionally affecting argument against prejudice. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In early 1960s London, barrister Melville Farr (Dirk Bogarde) is on the path to success. With his practice winning cases and a loving marriage to his wife (Sylvia Syms), Farr's career and personal life are nearly idyllic. However, when blackmailers link Farr to a young gay man (Peter McEnery), everything Farr has worked for is threatened. As it turns out, Farr is a closeted homosexual -- which is problematic, due to Britain's anti-sodomy laws. But instead of giving in, Farr decides to fight.

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Critic Reviews for Victim

Audience Reviews for Victim

  • Dec 26, 2019
    An important film that anyone with a social conscious should make required viewing.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 31, 2016
    A powerful film about the incrimination of homosexuality in Britain, Bogarde plays a closeted attorney who tries to find out who is blackmailing the gay men in London. The acting and writing were both brilliant, except it was rather slow, could have been 20 minutes shorter.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Apr 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.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 10, 2011
    A daring film for its time, Early 60s britain, and a story about a lawyer rising fast in his standing getting involved in a conspiracy, when a young man whom he has a past(hes a gay man in a time when gay relationships were against law) tries contacting him and then commits suicide due to his arrest and evidence to suggest there is blackmail involved. the story soons shows how gays with evidence against them are indeed being blackmailed. a interesting story with a very topical subject for its time and at times very well handled.
    scott g Super Reviewer

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