Australasian Cinema > films >

An Indecent Obsession

Indecent Obsession, An (Lex Marinos, 1985) wr. Colleen McCullough (novel) Denise Morgan; Wendy Hughes, Gary Sweet, Richard Moir, Jonathan Hyde, Bruno Lawrence, Mark Little, Tony Sheldon, Bill Hunter, Julia Blake, Caroline Gillmer; Sr Honour Langtry (Wendy Hughes) runs, with remarkable incompetence, the psychiatric ward of a military hospital on a Pacific island during World War 2; shot on Lord Howe Island

This is to be compared with Between Wars, which also specifically deals with PTSD (shell shock), and with Cosi, another film with an ensemble cast who individually show particular psychiatric syndromes. I need to see Thornhill's film again to see if it does a better job than this one of representing neuroses (I suspect it does). But there's no doubt that the acting in Joffe's film is much better than here. Bruno Lawrence is capable of seriously good work, as in Crash Palace, for example, but here he's reduced to a repetitive neurotic gesture (hitting his hands together) and not much more. Mark Little is good at playing crazy, as in Nirvana Street Murder, for example, but here he's over the top hysterical. The director has let him, and others, go nuts. But then, this is a piece of shit written by Colleen McCullough, so who cares?

Garry Gillard | New: 9 August, 2014 | Now: 25 June, 2020