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Thread: Victim (1961)

  1. #21
    Senior Member Country: Scotland
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    Having just watched this film again on Film 4 can I ask the good people on here their thoughts on it.



    Being made in 1961 when the British film industry was in the middle of a "sleazy London" expose type of movie with Soho strip clubs ,prostitution and gangsters all being highlighted by the makers, do you think this was made with this in mind and turned out to be a minor classic or the makers just got lucky?.



    Whatever your thoughts I thought it was a wonderful film with vivid location work and excellent performances, BUT, can't help thinking someone hit the jackpot with it rather unexpectedly,



    Just a thought




  2. #22
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    I have never connected the 'Soho' films with this one. The 'Soho' films are full of low-life crooks and prostitutes et al. Victim is IMHO the complete opposite, being populated mostly by intelligent, reasonable people who simply share a dangerous secret. Did the film makers get lucky? Any film that becomes a success is lucky, simply because no one knows if the public is going to like any film. However, Victim is a brilliant film and deserves it's high reputation.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Country: Ireland fluddite's Avatar
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    Kingbman - your mention of



    Quote Originally Posted by kingbman
    the British film industry... in the middle of a "sleazy London" expose type of movie with Soho strip clubs ,prostitution and gangsters
    reminded me that when I ran through Lewis Gilbert's Emergency Call the other night, it did reflect a real (if "everything-and-the-kitchen-sink") "feel" for the London underbelly of the 50s - as, of course, do Cosh Boy and The Good Die Young. And that's to say nothing of Alfie's mid-sixties take on the metropolis. Perhaps it'd be fairer to say that Gilbert is one of the more underrated London directors?

  4. #24
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    The films premise had already been done in The Shakedown in 1959 where Terence Morgan was filming prominent people having sex with prostitutes but that film is way down the list compared to Victim

  5. #25
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingbman

    The films premise had already been done in The Shakedown in 1959 where Terence Morgan was filming prominent people having sex with prostitutes but that film is way down the list compared to Victim
    I also see little connection between The Shakedown (another good film) and Victim ... other than both have blackmail as part of their plotlines.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by batman
    I also see little connection between The Shakedown (another good film) and Victim ... other than both have blackmail as part of their plotlines.




    Both films dealt with filming in secret men having sex with women and in Victims case other men, and being photographed then blackmailed.

  7. #27
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    I don't really know the genre you're referring to. I think it straddles the gap between old-fashioned drama and the kitchen-sink realism of the late '50s and '60s.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingbman
    Having just watched this film again on Film 4 can I ask the good people on here their thoughts on it.

    Being made in 1961 when the British film industry was in the middle of a "sleazy London" expose type of movie with Soho strip clubs ,prostitution and gangsters all being highlighted by the makers, do you think this was made with this in mind and turned out to be a minor classic or the makers just got lucky?.



    Whatever your thoughts I thought it was a wonderful film with vivid location work and excellent performances, BUT, can't help thinking someone hit the jackpot with it rather unexpectedly,



    Just a thought



    I don't really associate it with the sleazy soho type genre either, to me it's a film about blackmail and how evil a blackmailer could be along with a veiled plea for a change in the then law coming as it did shortly after the Wolfenden report which bought things more into the public eye about so called sexual offences, which were only vaguely known about back then.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingbman
    Having just watched this film again on Film 4 can I ask the good people on here their thoughts on it.
    Thanks for reminding me about this film. Apparently the subject matter was quite daring for its time. The films impact is helped considerably by solid performances and an intelligent script...



    I am also very fond of The Servant another Dirk Bogarde film... now that really is sleazy but very compelling...

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandragora
    Thanks for reminding me about this film. Apparently the subject matter was quite daring for its time. The films impact is helped considerably by solid performances and an intelligent script...



    I am also very fond of The Servant another Dirk Bogarde film... now that really is sleazy but very compelling...
    I rarely miss a chance to see DB, one of my all time favourite British actors, haven't seen The Servant in a long time, must try and get a copy of it

  11. #31
    Senior Member Country: England Number Six's Avatar
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    I do think it fits in with the generalisation of the type of film you mention, although, being centred around the blackmail of a homosexual made it far more controversial than other films of a similar nature when it was made. I suppose you could argue that this would have given it a certain 'edge' on release and would perhaps have attracted a larger audience as a result. I can't imagine that was a deliberate marketing ploy though! Whatever the background reasoning behind the making of Victim, it's a great film and one of DB's finest hours.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Number Six
    In answer to your question, I do think it fits in with the generalisation of the type of film you mention, although, being centred around the blackmail of a homosexual made it far more controversial than other films of a similar nature when it was made. I suppose you could argue that this would have given it a certain 'edge' on release and would perhaps have attracted a larger audience as a result. I can't imagine that was a deliberate marketing ploy though! Whatever the background reasoning behind the making of Victim, it's a great film and one of DB's finest hours.
    The film was also made by an independant film company and I was surprised it wasn't picked up by a bigger studio, as you say VERY daring in it's day and to some extent still potent today



    kingbman




  13. #33
    Senior Member Country: England Number Six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingbman
    the film was also made by an independant film company



    Allied Film Makers, which, if you don't know was the company set up by Richard Attenborough, Bryan Forbes, Basil Dearden (director of Victim), Jack Hawkins, Guy Green and Michael Relph. Among its films were 'League of Gentlemen' 'Whistle Down The Wind' and my favourite, 'Seance on A Wet Afternoon'.

  14. #34
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingbman
    the film was also made by an independant film company and I was surprised it wasn't picked up by a bigger studio, as you say VERY daring in it's day and to some extent still potent today
    This isn't really true ...



    Signed to a contract by Rank, the team was to make...... exceptional films.



    Sapphire (1959), an uncompromising murder mystery, with the victim a half-black girl passing for white, was a scathing assault on racial prejudice

    Victim (1961), starring Dirk Bogarde as a blackmailed barrister followed as the controversial and brave attack on the pre-Wolfenden laws at the time regarding homosexuality. Rank was very courageous to do it because Dirk was one of their biggest assets.

    Life for Ruth (1962), tackled the subject of religious fundamentalism in the tale of a sick girl whose father (Michael Craig) will not allow her to be given a blood transfusion. When the child dies, the agnostic doctor (Patrick McGoohan) presses manslaughter charges on the father.

    Michael Relph - Obituaries, News - The Independent



    Victim seems part of a Fifties/Sixties "Social Conscience" schtick rather than anything to do with strippers or Soho... Life for Ruth was filmed in Northumberland.




  15. #35
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Number Six
    Whatever the background reasoning behind the making of Victim, it's a great film and one of DB's finest hours.
    It is number six, superb acting from all concerned, though apparently Dirk did lose much of his female fan base after Victim, to quote Sister George yet again their 'horizons were broadened' about an otherwise taboo subject in it's day.

  16. #36
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Tigon Man's Avatar
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    Watching this classic drama again many years after first seeing it, I wondered whether Sandy the blackmailer (a wonderfully odious portrayal by Derren Nesbitt) was himself secretly homosexual. Was his picture of the Boy David in his apartment some sort of oblique reference?

    Still a great film nearly fifty years after it's making, with some marvellous performances. Those of Charles Lloyd-Pack and Norman Bird are particularly striking.




  17. #37
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigon Man
    I wondered whether Sandy the blackmailer (a wonderfully odious portrayal by Derren Nesbitt) was himself secretly homosexual.
    I have wondered that myself. It is a beautifully ambiguous performance by Derren.

  18. #38
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    Plus the blackmailer is not just homophobic but obviously sex starved!

  19. #39
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    Derren Nesbitt's character was definitely a closet homosexual. There were a few clues besides the statue of Michelangelo's David. I think he listened to Beethoven or something - obviously in the real world an interest in classical music has nothing to do with homosexuality, but in that era, it was obvious code for an "artistic" type, ie a homosexual.



    I recall Charles Lloyd Pack was very effective in this. He could give a really good performance when he wanted to. The other one that stands out for me is his role in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell.

  20. #40
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Rattigan

    I recall Charles Lloyd Pack was very effective in this.
    He was indeed .... he portrays the character's fear and helplessness brilliantly.

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