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Against the Law

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Based on Peter Wildeblood’s bestselling autobiography which tells the story of his affair with a handsome serviceman he met in Piccadilly and the devastating consequences of their relationship.
Wildeblood had been a celebrated and well-connected journalist on the Daily Express, with a range of acquaintances that included Lord Montagu of Beaulieu. His journey from Fleet Street via public vilification was swift. He was imprisoned under the same legislation that sent Oscar Wilde to Reading Gaol. Whilst in prison he was subjected to a series of questionable 'medical' therapeutic measures which were believed to be able to ‘change’ his sexual orientation.
The importance of Peter Wildeblood’s case (jointly brought against him, Lord Montagu and Michael Pitt-Rivers) is that it brought the debate about homosexuality into the public domain. It led the way to the creation of the Wolfenden Committee on sexual law reform that eventually resulted in the passing of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which changed the lives of thousands of gay men with its partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts. This film offers a profoundly moving portrait of what it meant to be gay in the 1950s, underlining the importance of understanding our recent history and the immense social and emotional burdens endured by generations of gay men.
Official Selection BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival 2017 - Opening Night Gala - World premiere


Type of film
Fergus O’Brien
Scott James Bassett
Brian Fillis (screenplay), Peter Wildeblood (autobiography)
Principal Cast
Daniel Mays, Mark Gatiss, Richard Gadd, Charlie Creed-Miles


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Last updated 9th February 2017

Production Company

BBC Studios