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Victim Review

Image for Victim

When targeted by a sleaze a barrister takes on racketeers who use the criminal status of homosexuals as a license to extort but is forced to out himself to his wife in the process

★★★★★

Daring in 1961, this now has its quaint side, but remains a strong, unusual blackmail thriller with a central performance from Dirk Bogarde that flirts with autobiography while presenting an almost caricature image of a stiff-upper-lipped British queer.

When targeted by a sleaze, played in a perv’s leather jacket by grinning Derren Nesbitt, barrister Bogarde takes on racketeers who use the criminal status of homosexuals as a license to extort, but also has to admit to his cut-glass wife (Sylvia Syms) that he really does have desires for ‘the boy’ (Peter McEnery).

The milieu of antique shops and cosy pick-up bars might be laughably genteel but it’s still convincing, and director Basil Dearden has a knack for wrapping the gay docu-drama up with deceptively conventional police investigation and professional suspense.

Still convincing as a thriller, if a little quaint now, in it's approach to the themes surrounding homosexually .