HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
Us
mid90s
Holiday
Lovin' Molly
Manhunt in the City
Click: The Calendar Girl Killer
Teen Witch
Devil's Brigade, The
Luck & Logic
Duel of the Masters
   
 
Newest Articles
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
   
 
  Victim Make A Stand On The StandBuy this film here.
Year: 1961
Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms, Dennis Price, Nigel Stock, Peter McEnery, Donald Churchill, Anthony Nicholls, Hilton Edwards, Norman Bird, Derren Nesbitt, Alan McNaughton, Noel Howlett, Charles Lloyd Pack, John Barrie, John Cairney, David Evans, Peter Copley
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Barrett (Peter McEnery) is at work on a building site when he notices a police car draw up nearby and panics - he has been embezzling. He flees to the nearest telephone and calls his flatmate to get a package and bring it to him as soon as possible; there are police at his flat as well, but the friend manages to escape and the package is received by Barrett who then calls barrister Melville Farr (Dirk Bogarde), but he tells him never to contact him again. Desperate, Barrett knows he must flee the country, but the cops catch up with him in a motorway cafe and the whole blackmail plot begins to be exposed - yet lives are in the balance...

Victim may have taken the form of a blackmail mystery, but it had serious social issues on its mind. When it was made, homosexuality was still illegal in Britain and most of the world for that matter, and as the inspector says in the film, this was a blackmailer's charter. The same team who had made this had tackled another of society's troubles in Sapphire where racism was at the centre of the drama, but they found Victim would be far more problematic in that nobody wanted to be in it, and when it was finally made nobody wanted to see it, this despite the publicity it had generated.

Dirk Bogarde was that brave matinee idol stepping into the most controversial role of his career to that date, but not only did this free him from the Doctor in the House type of role he was growing sick of, but it led the way to more adventurous films in the proceeding decade. He brings integrity to Victim, and you believe him when he says he was involved with Barrett "Because I wanted him!", a daring scene in a film that really could have used more spark. In fact, the guilt that the homosexual characters feel seems to affect Janet Green and John McCormick's screenplay, as if they're uneasily making excuses in the face of national opprobrium.

Every so often there will be a conversation along the lines of "those poor people, they don't deserve such treatment, it's not their fault they are the way they are" and so on, to counter the more objectionable "bunch of perverts" vitriol other characters spout. Director Basil Dearden makes the point clearly in favour for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, but he does so by having Farr a happily married man at the outset - heterosexual viewers at the time might have been baffled that he would bother with another man when he was married to a woman who looked like Sylvia Syms.

Farr's wife is horrified but supportive when she finds out that he had recently broken off a relationship with Barrett, and now Barrett has killed himself in police custody the powerful barrister is the victim of blackmail himself. But he is not going to give in without a fight, and the whodunnit narrative sets in where Farr hunts down the criminals alone. One thing about the film is the way it portrays its homosexuals not as freaks but deeply ordinary folks, with only Dennis Price's actor displaying the slightest touch of flamboyance, but this doesn't make for an exciting thriller. It's heart may be in the right place, and it is rightly admired for assisting in the scrapping of the unjust laws a few years later, but Victim is a worthy and earnest period piece now. In a way, it's good that it is so dated compared to today. Music by Philip Green.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3147 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Basil Dearden  (1911 - 1971)

Dependable British director who began his film career working on Will Hay comedies like My Learned Friend, then moved onto a range of drama and comedy: a segment of classic horror Dead of Night, important crime film The Blue Lamp, The Smallest Show on Earth, excellent heist story The League of Gentlemen, social issues film Victim, action spectaculars Khartoum and The Assassination Bureau and quirky horror The Man Who Haunted Himself. Sadly, Dearden died in a car crash.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: