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AN INDECENT OBSESSION: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Sister Honour Langtry (Wendy Hughes) is a warm, sensitive nurse caring for five emotionally wounded soldiers at the end of World War II at a field hospital in the South Pacific. But with the arrival of dashing new patient, Michael (Gary Sweet), who appears charming and untroubled, the delicate relationship between the inmates slowly begins to unravel, as she takes more than a professional interest in him.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Colleen McCullough knows how to cook up a recipe for effective melodrama and Lex Marinos knows how to direct one. Although originally made for TV, the film turned out so well that the producers went for a cinema release first. The story of romantic tension upsetting the balance of power in a close knit, isolated community - where most of the characters are already unhinged - is filled with dramatic possibilities. All it needs is a good directror and a top cast; and the result is not just watchable but engaging.

Wendy Hughes is highly effective as the nurse who relies on compassion instead of psychiatric training to deal with the soldiers whose wounds are of the mental kind. She creates a three dimensional character who is conscientious, strong in many ways but vulnerable in the heart. Her expressive eyes always signal her emotions with great accuracy, and she can also deliver a juicy tantrum.

Gary Sweet, in one of his earliest roles (and unintentionally his first feature film) shows why he went on to make a tremendously successful career. He is edgy but likeable, and carries a great screen presence. Richard Moir (AFI Best Actor nominee) as the troubled Luce, Jonathan Hyde as the arrogant Neil and Bruno Lawrence as the blinded Matt are also excellent, as are all the supports, with Mark Little (AFI Best Supporting Actor nominee) notable as the most damaged, Ben. Bill Hunter blusters his way through as the Colonel, and Julia Blake has a small but entertaining role as the Matron who rules with an iron fist and drinks with the Colonel at night.

The DVD carries a recently completed interview with Wendy Hughes, in which she discusses the film, the characters, and the superb locations on Lord Howe Island where it was shot.

Published July 24, 2008

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

AN INDECENT OBSESSION: DVD (M)
(Aust, 1985)

CAST: Wendy Hughes, Gary Sweet, Bill Hunter, Richard Moir, Bruno Lawrence, Jonathan Hyde, Mark Little, Tony Sheldon, Julia Blake, Caroline Gillmer, Marina Finlay

PRODUCER: Ian Bradley

DIRECTOR: Lex Marinos

SCRIPT: Denise Morgan (novel by Colleen McCullough)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ernest Clark

EDITOR: Philip Howe

MUSIC: Dave Skinner

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Michael Ralph

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 2.0;

SPECIAL FEATURES: New Wendy Hughes interview; trailer

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella

DVD RELEASE: April 15, 2006







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