HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Victim Make A Stand On The Stand
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 4117 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: