Law, blackmail and sexuality

This controversial suspense drama became the first film to utter the word “homosexual” and it’s easy to see how progressive it was in exploring changing social attitudes towards gay men. Dirk Bogarde compels as Melville Farr, a successful barrister struggling to hide his own sexuality as he becomes embroiled in a blackmail plot targeting gay men.

The film is dated by an overly melodramatic score and clipped British dialogue, as well as an excess of euphemisms and subject tip-toeing, but otherwise still feels like fresh, brave new territory for the time.

Film Details