film

Victim | 1961 | Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms

In the early 1960s, Dirk Bogarde rejected his doctor image and superstardom to play the handsome grey-haired barrister who, in this controversial film, confronts his wife across their elegant drawing room and shouts, ‘Because I am!’ Homosexual, that is. Droll, you may think now, but certainly not in 1962 when being blackmailed for a liaison with a young man who commits suicide could not only ruin his marriage and career but also send him to prison.

This pioneering work was one of three social dramas made by the estimable Relph and Dearden, with writer Green, designed to entertain and change society. The film is unsensational in its depiction of a mainly closet gay world and the pressures exacted on its inhabitants.

Well shot in black and white, it has a documentary London background to enhance the emotional drama. Bogarde’s subsequent career flourished, and he relished many camp and gay roles, but this was landmark territory.

cast
Dirk Bogarde as Melville Farr
Sylvia Syms as Laura Farr
Dennis Price as Calloway
Nigel Stock as Phip
Peter McEnery as Jack Barrett
Anthony Nicholls as Lord Charles Fullbrook
Norman Bird as Harold Doe
Margaret Diamond as Miss Benham
Hilton Edwards as P.H.
John Barrie as Inspector Harris
Mavis Villiers as Madge
Derren Nesbitt as Sandy
Charles Lloyd Pack as Henry

crew
Art Direction: Alex Vetchinsky
Set Dresser: Vernon Dixon
Director Of Photography: Otto Heller
Camera Operator: H.A.R. Thomson
Still Photographer: George Courtney Ward
Makeup Artist: Harry Frampton
Hairdresser: Barbara Ritchie
Director: Basil Dearden
Assistant Director: Bert Batt
Continuity: Joan Davis
Editor: John D. Guthridge
Producer: Michael Relph
Production Manager: Denis Holt
Music: Philip Green
Sound Recordist: Gordon K. Mccallum
Sound Recordist: C.C. Stevens
Sound Editor: Les Wiggins
Conductor: Philip Green
Screenplay: Janet Green, John Mccormick

UK | 90 minutes | 1961

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