The death of a young man leads to the discovery of a blackmail plot against a number of gay men in 1960s London.

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Melville Farr
...
Laura
...
Calloway
...
Lord Fullbrook
...
Paul Mandrake
...
Harold Doe
...
Barrett
...
Eddy
...
Sandy Youth
...
Det.Inspector Harris
John Cairney ...
Bridie
Alan MacNaughtan ...
Scott Hankin
...
Phip
Frank Pettitt ...
Barman (as Frank Pettit)
Mavis Villiers ...
Madge
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Storyline

A plea for reform of England's anti-sodomy statutes, this film pits Melville Farr, a married lawyer, against a blackmailer who has photos of Farr and a young gay man (who is being blackmailed and later commits suicide) in Farr's car. After the suicide, Farr tracks down other gay men being extorted for money by the same blackmailer. The well-educated police Detective Inspector Harris considers the sodomy law nothing more than an aid to blackmailers, and helps Farr in calling his blackmailer's bluff. The movie, far ahead of its time, ends with Farr and his wife coming to terms with his homosexuality after the public exposure he faces in the blackmailer's trial. Written by Mike Mills <mills@colorado.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people will be jolted by this motion picture. SOme will be shocked. Because it is a film that deals with perhaps one of the most controversial themes the screen has ever dared touch. Banned by some, praised by others, it is a film experience we invite you to judge for yourself. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1961 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Teufelskreis  »

Box Office

Budget:

£153,756 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (pre-censored) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The word "queer" is used in two contexts in this movie. Firstly in "Queer Street" meaning to be in difficulties, particularly financial. Secondly in the whitewash daub on the garage door "FARR IS QUEER" meaning he is gay. See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow moves onto Madge's coat as it pushes in closer from behind after Eddy leaves the bar. See more »

Quotes

Detective Inspector Harris: I can see you're a true puritan, Bridie. Eh?
Bridie: There's nothing wrong with that, Sir.
Detective Inspector Harris: Of course not. There was a time when that was against the law you know.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks II (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet, Op.18
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Arranged by Philip Green
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Striking, well shot and memorable film
28 October 2004 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Set in 1950's Britain at a time when homosexuality is against the law, a top Barrister ( Dirk Bogarde) puts his career on the line to tackle the outrageous blackmail of London's homosexuals.

Impressive cast and outstanding performance by Dirk Bogarde as the troubled barrister whose anguish and pain one can see in his face throughout the film. Watching this now in the 21st century, it seems unbelievable to think that homosexuality was illegal here forty years ago. This is not to say that homophobia is not a concern now, because it still is, however there have been large strides forward for the acceptance and tolerance of homosexuals in mainstream society.

This film is an excellent historical snippet at a time of contentious laws as well as being a fine piece of art. Basil Dearden directs brilliantly and the script maintains a gripping interest throughout. In addition it was nice to see many parts of London as they were in the fifties before factories were knocked down and the hordes of yuppie apartments where built along the Thames.


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