A prominent lawyer goes after a blackmailer who is exposing gay men. Only this lawyer has his own secrets, too…
Another course film.
I have never really seen any Dirk Bogarde films, although I was aware of his prowess as an actor. His homosexuality was an open secret and it must’ve been a massive gamble career-wise to take the role of the lawyer Melville.
Bogarde is superb in his role, and the torment felt by the character feels very real indeed. At least these days homosexuality is no longer illegal, and as a society we are slowly becoming more understanding. The cinematography is full of dark spaces and shadows, and the lines blur where the true danger is never really codified, although it is clear that people feared it and its implications.
Sylvia Sims plays Melville’s wife Laura, who is aware of her husband’s carnal desires for other men but accepts them knowing they are suppressed. Her character is indomitable, seeing the love between a man and wife as the only right way of things.
While I wouldn’t have watched the film if it wasn’t a set text, it is still worth watching as an important part of social history.
MY RATING: *** / *****