Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
In its time, Victim was considered as a daring a film as had ever been made in England. Taken at face value, Janet Green and John McCormick's screenplay is nothing new: Dirk Bogarde plays a lawyer who agrees to defend an old friend (John McEnery) on a theft charge, only to be enmeshed in a blackmailing scheme. What set this one apart is the fact that the lawyer had once been the male lover of his client. At a time when homosexuality was a criminal offense in England, any film that depicted the gay scene in a non-judgmental light was in for a rough time from the bluenose brigades. What… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[Victim] has a careful performance by Bogarde, and it pursues with eloquence and conviction the case against an antiquated statute."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"The very fact that homosexuality as a condition is presented honestly and unsensationally, with due regard for the dilemma and the pathos, makes this an extraordinary film."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"What a gripping film -- melodramatic and self-conscious, yes, but forthright and bold."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Immensely significant in its plea for tolerance for gay men (interestingly, lesbianism is not discussed here), Victim works hard arguing that gays are part of the typical, healthy fabric of society."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"... a startlingly handsome feature with a theatrical flair and a shadow of a crime thriller running through it."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
"Bogarde is subtle, sensitive and strong. Syms handles a difficult role with delicacy."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Recent critics find Victim timid in its treatment of homosexuality, but viewed in the context of Great Britain in 1961, it's a film of courage."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Impeccably liberal, weirdly restrained and, aside from anything else, a fascinating historical document."
‑ Andrew Pulver, Guardian
"If it now appears quaintly old-fashioned in its attitudes and assumptions, it still impresses thanks to Dirk Bogarde's performance."
‑ Tom Dawson,
"Still convincing as a thriller, if a little quaint now, in its approach to the themes surrounding homosexually."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"There are many pleasures to be found in the quirky supporting cast, expressive, noir-style lighting and an effectively suspenseful opening."
‑ Ben Walters, Time Out
"Though a tad dated and tame by today's standards, this 1961 drama was not only ground-breaking in its depiction of homosexuality, but it also marked the occasion when Dirk Bogarde broke free from his popular matinée idol image."
‑ Adrian Turner, Radio Times
"The intensity of Bogarde's performance, not least where he confesses to wife Sylvia Syms his homosexual desires, transcends the film's well-intentioned cautiousness."
‑ , Total Film
"Moralistic thriller with a sincere plea for Great Britain to end its oppressive law that makes it a criminal offense to be a homosexual."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Shot in widescreen black and white, Victim is an exceptionally well-produced film with bracing contrast in its dark shadows."
‑ Christopher Null,
More reviews for Victim on Rotten Tomatoes