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Victim (1961) - Plot Summary Poster

(1961)

Plot

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Summaries

  • The death of a young man leads to the discovery of a blackmail plot against several gay men in 1960s London.

  • A plea for reform of England's anti-sodomy statutes, Melville Farr (Sir Dirk Bogarde), a married lawyer, tries to locate a blackmailer who has photos of Farr and a crying young gay man (who is being blackmailed and later commits suicide) in Farr's car. After the suicide, Farr tracks down other gay men being extorted for money by the same blackmail scheme. Worldly Police Detective Inspector Harris (John Barrie) considers the anti-sodomy law nothing more than a license to blackmailers, and eventually is contacted by Farr to capture the malicious blackmailer. The movie, far ahead of its time, ends with Farr and his loving wife coming to terms with his homosexual tendencies in advance of the public exposure he will face in the team of blackmailers' trial.

  • Jack Barrett (Peter McEnery) is found dead in his jail cell. He was being held for embezzling money from the construction company where he worked, and that he admitted to the Police to doing it. He committed suicide rather than admit the truth of why he took the money, because he was being blackmailed for being a homosexual, at a time in 1960s England when anti-sodomy laws were still in place. The other person involved and photographed with Jack, is married barrister Melville Farr (Sir Dirk Bogarde). Barrett tried to contact Farr, but the lawyer thought the young man was trying to blackmail him. Farr comes to realize that Barrett was trying to warn him. Farr decides to risk his own high standing in the community, and recent appointment to the Queens Council, by tracking down the blackmailer. Farr enlists the help of Barrett's gay friend Eddy Stone (Donald Churchill) to try to find someone else who is being blackmailed so he can make contact with the blackmailer. Farr knows his career is over if he involves the Police. Through this turmoil, Farr must deal with the fallout with his loving wife Laura (Sylvia Syms), who knew of her husband's tragic college homosexual experience before they were married. Farr discovers the blackmail scheme involves several acquaintances and gets an offer of assistance from sympathetic Detective Inspector Harris (John Barrie). Farr is challenged to find those responsible before anyone else is hurt and he breaks the law through his involvement with the embezzlers.

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