Victim (1961)


Basil Dearden directs Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms and Dennis Price in this groundbreaking drama about closeted gays being blackmailed. 

An involving and stark thriller that not only paints the underground homosexual scene of London surprisingly sympathetically but also quite believably. Nearly all the men caught in the blackmailer’s trap are multidimensional humans rather than camp facsimiles. Dearden’s visual direction often frames them between scaffolding bars, railings or in locked away rooms – you feel the unfortunate claustrophobia of their lives in this era. Sure it has dated, times have moved on, but it proves an utterly enthralling whodunnit beyond its brave social message.


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