A UK Channel 4 series celebrating 40 years of legalization of homosexuality in UK, this film was the first in series. This moving docu-drama shows investigating a pivotal court case in the mid-50s that changed public opinion.
Peter Wildeblood, a royal correspondent for the Daily Mail newspaper is a closet homosexual and like many gay men at that time, lives in secret as homosexuality is against the law. One evening he meets Eddie McNally, who is on leave from the air force and the pair embark on an affair together. They spend a weekend at the estate of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, a 28-year-old aristocratic socialite with a friend Johny Reynolds. Every single person tried to hide their homosexuality but one day when the air force chief catches one of the letters from Peter to Eddie, things change forever. Johny and Eddie are arrested and are told they would be freed if they testified against Peter and Montagu. In January 1954, Lord Montagu and Peter were arrested after a concerted effort by the police to ensnare them for homosexual offences. Their subsequent trial and conviction were to mark a sea change in public opinion, which eventually led to the Wolfenden Committee and its landmark recommendations for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain.
Mixing drama with documentary testimony, including that of Lord Montagu, this film brings to life the extraordinary events of the trial and paints a vivid picture of gay life in 1950s Britain. Performances in the drama part were very realistic and it does send chills knowing that being gay was so hard and illegal at one point in time in this world.
Definitely a good watch to understand the gay British history. (7/10)
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