Dominique is Dead

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Dominique is Dead

Horror | 100 Mins | Released: 1979
Director: Michael Anderson
Starring: Cliff Robinson, Jean Simmons, Jenny Agutter, Simon Ward, Ron Moody, Judy Geeson, Michael Jayston
Our Rating: 5
Color

Greedy David Ballard (Cliff Robertson) wants to get the money of his wife Dominique (Jean Simmons), so he attempts to drive her insane. He succeeds and she hangs herself, only to come back to haunt him from the afterlife.

Directed by Michael Anderson, the film is based on the 1948 short story What Beckoning Ghost by Harold Lawlor.  The film is also known as Dominique Is Dead (American reissue title and UK video title).

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Movie Notes:

Reviews:
Is Dominique dead?
Author: Chris. from Australia – 29 May 2011
Creepy thriller concerning a selfish American businessman (Robertson) supporting his interests through a marriage of convenience to his wealthy English wife (Simmons), until she commits suicide as a result of his emotional bullying. Her instructions are for her will to be read on their wedding anniversary in a few weeks’ time, and as that day draws nearer, visions, apparent apparitions and strange goings-on haunt Robertson to the point of virtual insanity. Convinced that his wife has returned from the dead, he enlists his new chauffeur (Ward) to exhume her body, not once, but twice, where he makes a shocking discovery.
Atmospheric, tense and suspenseful throughout, I found Simmons’ portrayal of the emotionally crippled wife compelling and her ‘resurrection’ even more stirring. Gaping plot holes, contrivances and other poetic conveniences while no means forgiven, are somewhat disguised by director Anderson’s flair for creating tension out of the limited material. The cast however has considerable depth, with veterans David Tomlinson, Jack Warner, Dame Flora Robson, and Ron Moody in a pivotal supporting role. Jenny Agutter, Judy Geeson and Michael Jayston are also prominent.
There’s Hitchockian moments and more than just a little reminiscence of the similarly titled French classic “Les diaboliques” (1955), and yet despite the somewhat borrowed theme, I still found myself in the grip of “Dominique” and was rewarded with some heart-pounding moments. Not perfect, but entertaining nonetheless.

Much better than its reputation suggests
Author: Red-Barracuda from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK – 3 May 2013
A man drives his wife Dominique to suicide so he can claim her inheritance, she returns from the grave to enact a richly deserved revenge.
This British chiller is a film that clearly seems to have something of a bad reputation. I have to stand against the crowd here though because I personally find this flick somewhat entertaining and even thrilling in places. The story may be a little predictable and it may also require the audience to stretch their credibility at times. But, seriously, so what? Many films of this type have these types of issues. It may be no coincidence that its title resembles the French classic Les Diaboliques a little because Dominique is essentially a reworking of a few core ideas from that one but with a few different angles of its own. Its director is Michael Anderson who not long before had made the impressive sci-fi film Logan’s Run. Also from that film was actress Jenny Agutter who has a small but important role in this one. There is a smattering of other familiar faces from British films too. But mainly this works as a spooky horror-thriller. It really is nowhere near as bad as it’s made out to be.