Victim – Basil Deardon

victimIt is easy now to forget that in 1961 when this film was made, it was still a crime to be a gay man! We must also take into account that the lead actor in this film was ‘The Idol of the Odeon’s’ who took a major career risk in taking on this role. Dirk Bogarde who was never open in his lifetime about his sexuality, did write a lot about this film in his memories, he also wrote the scene at the end of the film where his wife (Sylvia Simm’s) confronts him. It is such a powerful scene, played with such passion and truth.
The film tells of blackmail, Bogarde plays a lawyer who is being blackmailed for an alleged affair with a young boy. Bogarde snaps, enough is enough, he risks everything to take on the blackmailers.
If you visit Dirk Bogarde’s excellent website you will see that it in fact contains a letter from Lord Arran, who having seen Dirk’s films ‘Victim’ and ‘The Servant’, actually changed the law so that it was no longer illegal to be gay!
It is such a paradox that all through his life Dirk was unable to confirm his sexuality! But having made such tremendous steps, does it really matter.
Great film, very profound – I would say it’s a classic!
If you haven’t watched it then take the time one Sunday afternoon to view it, as it’s worth it!

The official Dirk Bogarde Site

Victim [DVD] [1961] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Film Gay Films Lesbians of North London

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