HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  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 5507 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
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: