Watch Victim

"A Scorching Drama of the Most Un-talked About Subject Of Our Time!"
  • NR
  • 1962
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 7.7  (7,061)
  • 85

Victim is a British drama film from 1961 directed by Basil Dearden and starring Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms, and Dennis Price. Set in the conservative society of post-war London, the film was groundbreaking at the time for addressing the taboo topic of homosexuality, and for portraying a complex and sympathetic gay character. Bogarde plays Melville Farr, a successful lawyer whose closeted homosexuality comes under threat when he receives an anonymous letter blackmailing him for his relationship with a young man named Boy Barrett (Peter McEnery). Despite the risk to his reputation, and to his marriage with his devoted wife Laura (Syms), Farr decides to take action and report the blackmail to the police. This decision leads him to uncover a wider network of gay men being blackmailed, and to embroil himself in a dangerous investigation that puts his marriage, his career, and his own freedom in jeopardy.

Throughout the film, Victim offers a compassionate and nuanced portrayal of Farr's inner conflict and the pressures of the era's homophobic society. Bogarde, who was himself gay but had not publicly come out at the time, gives a restrained and powerful performance as Farr, conveying his character's fear, shame, and eventual resolve with a subtle and dignified intensity.

Syms, too, shines as Laura, a woman who loves her husband deeply but struggles to understand the secret that keeps him distant from her. Her scenes with Bogarde are poignant and moving, showcasing the depth of their relationship despite its unspoken challenges. And Price, as a former lover of Farr's and a fellow victim of blackmail, brings a bitter and caustic energy to his role, highlighting the cruel irony of society's judgment of gay men while it exploits and harms them.

Dearden's direction, meanwhile, is tight and effective, balancing the film's social commentary with its suspenseful plot and the emotional journeys of its characters. He conveys a vivid sense of London at the time, with its smoky nightclubs, dingy hotel rooms, and bustling streets, and he handles the film's sensitive subject matter with admirable sensitivity and intelligence.

Overall, Victim is a groundbreaking and powerful film that stands as a landmark of LGBT cinema. It humanizes its gay characters without shying away from the harsh realities of their lives, and it asks important questions about the nature of justice and love in a society that condemns difference. It's a film that speaks as powerfully today as it did in 1961, and it's a testament to the enduring power of cinema to explore and challenge our assumptions about the world we live in.

Victim is a 1962 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 85.

Where to Watch Victim
Victim is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Max, Apple TV and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Victim for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (7,061)
  • Metascore