Victim

( 2 )

Overview

In its time, Victim was considered as a daring a film as had ever been made in England. Taken at face value, Janet Green and John McCormick's screenplay is nothing new: Dirk Bogarde plays a lawyer who agrees to defend an old friend (John McEnery) on a theft charge, only to be enmeshed in a blackmailing scheme. What set this one apart is the fact that the lawyer had once been the male lover of his client. At a time when homosexuality was a criminal offense in England, any film that depicted the gay scene in a ...
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Overview

In its time, Victim was considered as a daring a film as had ever been made in England. Taken at face value, Janet Green and John McCormick's screenplay is nothing new: Dirk Bogarde plays a lawyer who agrees to defend an old friend (John McEnery) on a theft charge, only to be enmeshed in a blackmailing scheme. What set this one apart is the fact that the lawyer had once been the male lover of his client. At a time when homosexuality was a criminal offense in England, any film that depicted the gay scene in a non-judgmental light was in for a rough time from the bluenose brigades. What really startled filmgoers of 1962 is that the homosexuals shown in Victim were seemingly normal, everyday blokes, a far cry from the stereotyped "nance" characters common to films. Denied the MPAA seal when it was released to the United States, Victim surprisingly ran into very little interference when it was released to television in the mid-1960s.
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Special Features

Digital transfer enhanced for 16x9 televisions; "Dirk Bogarde in conversation" A filmed interview; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Motion pictures were entering a new era of greater permissiveness in the 1960s. Victim, released in 1962, helped to push out the boundaries with regard to cinematic acknowledgement of homosexuality and is for that reason, something of a landmark in film history. At the same time, because many of the societal advances the film endorses have been achieved, Victim inevitably feels somewhat dated. However, it very powerfully presents the fear and persecution (both legal and inner) with which gay individuals lived at the time. Basil Dearden's on-the-mark direction often makes the viewer squirm in sympathetic discomfort. Dearden's best work is in the first 15 minutes, as we watch Peter McEnery desperately seeking help and finding that there is none to be had. Victim's biggest asset is star Dirk Bogarde, proving here that he was an actor of depth and substance rather than just a matinee idol. The character's inner torture is always present, though often subtly. The way in which Bogarde lets a brief smile flicker across his face when realizing that the other men with him share his secret is especially telling. He is matched by Sylvia Sims, whose conflicting love, anger, and hurt upon learning she has been deceived are wonderfully expressed. Bogarde would give another masterful performance a year later in The Servant.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/21/2003
  • UPC: 037429167021
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Homevision
  • Aspect Ratio: Vistavision (1.66:1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dirk Bogarde Melville Farr
Sylvia Syms Laura Farr
Dennis Price Calloway
Anthony Nicholls Lord Fullbrook
Peter Copley Paul Mandrake
Peter McEnery Jack Barrett
Norman Bird Harold Doe
Nigel Stock Phip
Donald Churchill Eddy Stone
Derren Nesbitt Sandy Youth
John Barrie Detective Inspector Harris
John Cairney Bridie
Alan MacNaughton Scott Hankin
Frank Pettitt Barman
Mavis Villiers Madge
Charles Lloyd Pack Henry
Hilton Edwards P.H.
David Evans Mickey
Noel Howlett William Patterson
Margaret Diamond Miss Benham
Alan Howard Frank
Dawn Beret Sylvie
Technical Credits
Basil Dearden Director
Philip Green Score Composer
Janet Green Screenwriter
John Guthridge Editor
Otto Heller Cinematographer
John McCormick Screenwriter
John McCormick Screenwriter
Michael Relph Producer
Alexander Vetchinsky Art Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Title Sequence [1:58]
2. The Parcel [4:24]
3. Horrid Imaginings [4:10]
4. Ride Out of Town [4:39]
5. Capture [5:59]
6. Into His Own Hands [7:57]
7. The Photograph [4:14]
8. Fateful Decision [3:50]
9. Bartender's Screed [4:40]
10. The Barber [7:10]
11. Puzzle Pieces [5:24]
12. Protecting Me [5:40]
13. The Group Gathers [5:38]
14. Back At the Bar [4:44]
15. Tightening the Screws [4:46]
16. Brother's Morality [7:59]
17. Red Herring [3:37]
18. Pay-Off [8:25]
19. What the Future Holds [4:36]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selection
   Theatrical Trailer
   Bogarde Interview
      Play Interview
      14 Years, 35 Films
      The Actor As the Artist/The Artist As the Star
      Victim Forward
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 23, 2012

    The fact that this movie portrayed gay men NOT as tippy toeing q

    The fact that this movie portrayed gay men NOT as tippy toeing queens, but as ordinary men living ordinary lives makes this movie a must for any collection. The fact that it was made in the early 1960's in England makes this movie unbelievably BRILLIANT! The acting is not over the top. The story is one that doubtless was happening for real as it was being made. Probably still is going on today, sadly. The black and white film lends character to the story as light was used elegantly to display the scenes. I love this movie even as my heart breaks each time I watch it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews