Victim – 1961 | 90mins | Drama | B&W
Landmark thriller from a very British director (Basil Dearden) tackling a very British issue: the oppression of homosexuals in the times when being exposed would result in criminal charges. The result is decent, impassioned, and inevitably compromised by the public (dis)taste of the time.
Dirk Bogarde risked his superstar status to play gay barrister Melville Farr, who investigates the death of an old friend and ex-lover Jack Barrett (John McEnery), charged with embezzlement by the police. After his arrest by the police, they find Barret to be flat broke, and Detective Inspector Harris (John Barrie) believes his suspect is being extorted for money though Barret refuses to confess. After his old friend commits suicide while in custody, Farr decides to track down his blackmailers and in doing so puts his marriage, career and reputation on the line to confront the slimy blackmailer (Derren Nesbitt) preying on homosexual men. Sylvia Syms is his supportive wife who knew of his past relationship.