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A cinematic milestone, Victim was one of the first films to deal seriously and openly with homosexuality. Basil Dearden's (The League of Gentlemen) taut thriller focuses on a bisexual lawyer (Dirk Bogarde, The Servant, The Woman in Question) who risks his marriage and reputation to prosecute a ring of blackmailers that targets gay men. Made when British law still outlawed "homosexual acts," Victim was a risk to the careers of all those involved, but screenwriters Janet Green and John McCormick skillfully avoided both sensationalism and stereotypes. Victim marked a turning point for matinee idol Bogarde, who moved from lightweight to serious, attention-getting roles. Shot on location in London with an impeccable cast, Dearden's stylish film helped forge a new realism in British cinema.
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