Victim - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Victim Reviews

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April 22, 2018
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.
½ January 19, 2018
Can be admired for its boldness and retracted for its naivety, but works because of Basil Dearden's confident direction and Dirk Bogarde's good performance.
March 31, 2017
Homosexuality was illegal in the UK until 1967. So, Basil Dearden's sympathetic thriller about the problem of blackmail was clearly designed to promote social change. Dirk Bogarde, until then a romantic leading man, took a big risk in tackling the complex role of a barrister who decides to fight the blackmailers (because he too is gay although possibly not acting on his desires). The fact that the Bogarde character frankly expresses his desires and that the filmmakers do not shame him, nor any of the other gay characters, made the film controversial --for this was too shocking for many at the time. And although the film soft-pedals the type of stigma that gay men still experience (no physical violence here, apart from a shop being smashed up), the impacts of the stigma on the men affected is painfully clear. Dearden wisely utilises the structure of the thriller (rather than the social problem film) to engage viewers that might otherwise turn away from more didactic fare - and the film is engaging, building suspense from the very start when we meet a character on the run for some unknown reason. Both the police and Bogarde realize that blackmail is underfoot but it takes some time to identify and capture the perpetrators. In the end, Bogarde must decide whether to risk his marriage, his successful career, and his very well-being in order to expose the blackmailers and the law as morally bankrupt. A brave and important film.
Super Reviewer
October 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.
April 2, 2016
Blackmail and its repercussions in Britain, not a bad film all around.
March 28, 2016
one of the first UK movies 2 deal with what was them illegal subject homosexuality when it was still illegal
January 17, 2016
A fascinating film more than a fully entertaining one. What is groundbreaking is that gays are shown from all walks of life, from barrister to bookshop owner to ticket-seller at the cinema. A real cross-section of society, though the barrister is never actually shown in court, only in his chambers. SPOILER ALERT. And not all are shown sympathetically, for the bar couple (one of whom is blind) are also extortionists. (Is one of the blackmailers - even both - gay, with the framed print of "David" on his living room wall?)
What struck me was the lack of real affection shown by anyone - emotions are repressed between the husband and wife and the gay men also. Of course this real lack of expressing any sort of intimate feeling was a result of the fear of being blackmailed and going to gaol. And I assume also the filmmakers' desire to censor any outward display of affection between the gay characters anyhow. The scenes in the pub relieved this atmosphere at times (but even here the landlord admits he just tolerates the gay drinkers for their business). Sad times that thankfully were not far off beginning to change. The streets of London in 1961 are gloriously photographed in b & w.
November 25, 2015
Great film, best line "i'm a policeman, i have no feeling"
January 20, 2015
Correcta producci├▓n brt├ nica que aborda el tema del homosexualismo, en una ├Ępoca donde era censurado.
½ November 2, 2014
The film piggy backs on its addressing of the treatment of homosexuality in 1960s UK. As a whole, Victim is clunky and plodding with a dash of sexist.
August 5, 2014
Great drama as Bogarde is defending an ex male lover at a time when homosexuality was banned in England. Must have been controversial ground breaking stuff back in the day. And given that fact the acting is of a very high quality
November 5, 2013
#IFCCENTER ROCKS with movies like this. It teaches me the recent history of intolerance, a brave role by Bogarde. Beautiful movie of the power of honesty. Wonderfully discussed by uber Queer #McDermott & McGough
April 10, 2013
Inglaterra, 1961. La homosexualidad es un crimen condenado con prision (ademas de un suicidio profesional) y 90% de los casos de extorsion involucran a victimas homosexuales desesperados por esconder su "sucio" secreto. "Victim" es una cinta revolucionaria para su tiempo (en Estados Unidos fue presa de la censura) ya que es muy honesta ante esta problematica y el da˝o que ha causado un tab˙ que de cierta medida continua en nuestra actualidad.
"Victim" es una pelicula muy provocativa y valiente con estupendas actuaciones. Muy recomendable.
No fue hasta 1968, 7 a˝os despues de su estreno, que la homosexualidad en Inglaterra dejo de ser un crimen.
½ August 24, 2012
A Striking, well shot and memorable film--Engrossing, intriguing drama!!
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.
July 31, 2012
A powerful movie...seems like it was well ahead of its time considering the subject. Dirk Bogarde is amazing in the role.Very well directed especially how it culminates so subtly.
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.
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.
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