Victim (1961) - Rotten Tomatoes

Victim (1961)



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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Movie Info

In its time, this movie was considered as daring a film as had ever been made in England. Dirk Bogarde plays a lawyer who agrees to defend a friend on a theft charge. What set this film apart is that the lawyer had once been his client's gay lover.

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Dirk Bogarde
as Melville Farr
Dennis Price
as Calloway
Anthony Nicholls
as Lord Fullbrook
Peter Copley
as Paul Mandrake
Norman Bird
as Harold Doe
Donald Churchill
as Eddy Stone
Derren Nesbitt
as Sandy Youth
John Barrie
as Detective Inspector Harris
Alan MacNaughtan
as Scott Hankin
Alan MacNaughton
as Scott Hankin
Margaret Diamond
as Miss Benham
Noel Howlett
as William Patterson
Dawn Beret
as Sylvie
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News & Interviews for Victim

Critic Reviews for Victim

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (13)

Dirk Bogarde offers one of his best performances... He is homosexual only by inclination, never by act. Yet even such equivocation is a big step towards candour, and casting a star in such a part demands courage.

July 11, 2018 | Full Review…

Victim may seem archaic. But even its compromises teach us something about the era that produced it.

March 22, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The film's presentation of sexual oppression remains shockingly relevant to this day.

July 21, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

[Victim] is a snapshot of social history that has dated in the past 40 years. But it is well worth watching for Dirk Bogarde's superb performance.

March 13, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

What a gripping film -- melodramatic and self-conscious, yes, but forthright and bold.

February 6, 2013 | Full Review…

Impeccably liberal, weirdly restrained and, aside from anything else, a fascinating historical document.

February 6, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

Will we ever stop trying to legislate morality? A brave role for Bogarde.

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

Groundbreaking in it's time and still a strong film today, excellent performances particularly Bogard's.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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