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An Indecent Obsession (1985)

Sister Honour Langtree (Wendy Hughes), is in charge of a military hospital for psychiatric patients. She however transgresses boundaries by developing a sexual attraction for a new patient.


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Complete credited cast:
Honour Langtry
Michael Wilson
Richard Moir ...
Luce Daggett
Neil Parkinson
Benedict Maynard
Nugget Jones
Colonel Chinstrap
Caroline Gillmer ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marina Finlay ...
Sue Pedder
Masayuki Fujioka ...
Japanese Soldier
John Sheerin ...


Sister Honour Langtree (Wendy Hughes), is in charge of a military hospital for psychiatric patients. She however transgresses boundaries by developing a sexual attraction for a new patient.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | War


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Release Date:

23 May 1985 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Colleen McCullough's An Indecent Obsession  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film's main character Honor Langtry is played by lead actress Wendy Hughes. In 2009, Hughes commented on this film: "That was set on Lord Howe Island, for seven amazing weeks. I did get jealous when the odd other woman turned up . . . because it was just me, and all those blokes. I just loved it." See more »


When Sergeant Wilson arrives, he is wearing a set of campaign ribbons indicating the areas in which he served during the war. The medals would not have been designed by this time (immediately after the Japanese surrender) much less issued. See more »


It Could Have Been You
Written by David Skinner and Alan Lancaster
Performed by John Swan
See more »

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User Reviews

Performances By Players Enable Production To Make The Grade As A Period Drama.
6 December 2006 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

An Australian military field hospital in the South Pacific during 1945 at the very end of the Second World War becomes the hermetically sealed setting for this work filmed upon Lord Howe Island in New South Wales. A sweat drenched tropical tale based upon a novel by Colleen McCullough, the film's primary theme involves a conflict between love and duty, and the result that comes from making an inappropriate choice in the matter. Psychological stimuli for actions of the characters, in particular those who perform responsibilities in uncomfortable circumstances, are incisively dramatized through able performances from a nicely-selected cast, the narrative being temporized only occasionally by the scriptor's attempted fidelity to the novel. Sister Honour Langtry (Wendy Hughes), a caring and conscientious Army nurse, has been placed in charge of a striking mixture of five emotionally damaged soldiers being treated in the psychiatric care section of the hospital, known as Ward X, and has established thoroughly successful rapport with each man, a viewer being privy through brief flashbacks to the combat related circumstances that have driven the maladjusted troops into her care. Into this delicately balanced atmosphere is sent an addition immediately after the surrender of Japan - - a highly decorated sergeant, Michael Wilson (Gary Sweet), whose unexpected coming is not welcomed by the sister who has no need for a new patient so near the time of being mustered out, although she is also attracted to the handsome newcomer, in large part as a result of his apparently stable demeanour. Outraged by an obviously growing physical connection between Sister, or "Sis" as the inmates refer to her, and Michael, one of the patients plots to ruin the budding, as well as unethical, relationship, thereby serving merely to bring the pair closer. "My book, Indecent Obsession, was about duty", has stated author McCullough, and this subject is often brought to the fore in this melodrama that has no hero within a screenplay that generates additional interest stemming from the novelist's employment of historical trimmings that mark her most effective writing, while also making proper use of a murder mystery subtheme. Acting honours must go to Hughes, whose nurse is seeking correct symmetry between a need for romantic love and a responsibility for assisting those assigned to her care, while the principal male actors are impressive as well, bringing a broad gamut of interpretations to their roles. Perhaps most effective when it does stay very close to the book's content, the film is competently directed by Lex Marinos. A small budget is used efficiently, production and costume designing are top-tier, and editing wisely incorporates the lowering basalt cliffs that serve to define Lord Howe Island.

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