Sunday, 8 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 29: Sun Jan 29

Victim (Dearden, 1961): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.30pm

This 35mm screening is part of a Unicorn Nights season at the Prince Charles. You can find the full details here.

Guardian review:
Dirk Bogarde stars as Melville Farr, a brilliant, upwardly mobile barrister with a dark past: he's an in-the-closet gay man who risks exposure (in the days when it was illegal) by taking on a homosexual blackmail ring. It was co-written by Janet Green – a thriller/whodunnit specialist who counted Midnight Lace among her credits – and directed by Basil Dearden.What a gripping film – melodramatic and self-conscious, yes, but forthright and bold. Its tendency to show homosexuality as a tragic, pitiable quirk of nature may now look like condescension, but for the time this was real risk-taking. It has some of the earnestness of the traditional "issue" movie, but it's also a drum-tight thriller with a neat twist in the tail. Some characters, notably a kindly liberal police inspector, voice rather elaborate campaigning sentiments about how the unreformed law is just a blackmailers' charter. But there's some succinct point-making too: the same inspector, bemused by his sergeant's loathing of homosexuals, reminds him that puritanism was once against the law as well.
Peter Bradshaw

You can read the full review here.

Here (and above) is the Unicorn Nights trailer.

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