Victim (1961)

Dirk Bogarde’s trailblazing performance is at the centre of this landmark gay classic.

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Film details

Introduction

‘I wanted him!’ With these words Dirk Bogarde consigned his matinee idol alter-ego to history, and a gripping landmark in gay cinema was born. Bogarde’s closeted, married lawyer Melville Farr is drawn into exposing a terrifying blackmail ring when an admirer (Peter McEnery) commits suicide rather than implicate him.

Supporting the recommendations of the Wolfenden Committee, director Basil Dearden, producer Michael Relph and screenwriter Janet Green denounced the poisonous, institutionalised homophobia gay men of all classes faced, and cleverly packaged the politics within an accessible crime-thriller. Victim, and Bogarde’s courageous appearance in it, helped propel public discourse towards the 1967 Act and beyond – changing lives in the process.

Cast & Credits

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