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DERREN NESBITT STALKS A DARING BRITISH NEW WAVE 'VICTIM'

Year: 1961 Rating: ***1/2

If watching the 1961 British crime film VICTIM with no idea about the plot, the spooked young "Boy Barrett" seems like he owes money to the mob as the creatively filmed, suspense-driven direction... moving from busy backrooms to dark shadow-filled alleyways... nicely suits a B&W thriller until, through Dirk Bogarde as barrister Melvin Farr, seemingly contented with beautiful blond wife Sylvia Syms, we learn that doomed kid was not only a homosexual but both are blackmailed from a law against sodomy... 

Including a random group of Londoners ranging from a barber to stage actor, and during the best moments classy lawyer Bogarde turns Bogart-style investigative Noir gumshoe. And in one scene the lethal collecting thug's played by Darren Nesbitt, old school gangster-flashy and baring what'd become his signature devious grin. Then there's what would today be a standard melodramatic "coming out" confession from husband to wife, Bogarde to Syms, but VICTIM can't be viewed through anything less than a historic view of what's many decades ahead of its time. And for entertainment's sake it's a nice little British crime flick to boot. 

Derren Nesbitt as Sandy Youth in VICTIM
Derren Nesbitt as Sandy Youth in VICTIM
Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms in VICTIM
Dawn Beret in VICTIM with initial victim Peter McEnery vainly seeking shelter
Derren Nesbitt as Sandy Youth in VICTIM
Sylvia Syms in VICTIM
Dirk Bogarde and stage actor Dennis Cole in VICTIM


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