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Rediscover Dirk Bogarde’s trailblazing performance in this landmark gay classic.

Image from Victim

UK 1961
Dir Basil Dearden
With Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms, Peter McEnery, Dennis Price, John Barrie
Certificate PG
A Park Circus release

‘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 (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.

Simon McCallum, Archive Curator

Extended intro with Brian Robinson on Tuesday 25 July 18:10.

See our Gross Indecency season.

Also available on BFI Player.

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