6 user 5 critic

Dark Obsession (1989)

Diamond Skulls (original title)
A group of young British guardsmen have to cover up a hit and run incident that occurred at the end of a night of drunken revelry.


Nick Broomfield


Nick Broomfield (idea), Tim Rose Price (idea) | 1 more credit »

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2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabriel Byrne ... Lord Hugo Bruckton
Amanda Donohoe ... Ginny Bruckton
Struan Rodger ... Peter Eggleton
Douglas Hodge ... Jamie Skinner
Peter Sands ... The Colonel
David Delve ... Alec
Ralph Brown ... Jack
Alexander Clempson Alexander Clempson ... Edward
Catherine Livesey Catherine Livesey ... Nanny
Michael Hordern ... Lord Crewne
Ian Carmichael ... Exeter
Matthew Marsh ... Raul
Judy Parfitt ... Lady Crewne
Sadie Frost ... Rebecca
Edward Burnham ... John the Gardener


Hugo, heir to a fortune, is married to Ginny. They have a young son, and she seems devoted to Hugo, but jealousy wracks him: he imagines her in the arms of a colleague, he spies on her, he rages. One night, after drinking with members of his regiment, he runs his car over a woman: she dies, and all but one of his pals urge him to drive on. Why didn't he stop or swerve? She looked like Ginny. A psychological tug of war ensues: Peter, Hugo's business associate, wants to use the cover-up to leverage power over the estate; Jamie, who's dating Hugo's sister, wants to go to the police. Hugo's family closes ranks. As the police investigation closes in, who wins the power struggle? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The jealousy inside a man's heart . . . can be the deadliest weapon of all


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sensuality and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

17 June 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark Obsession See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

Edited, R-rated version available on video. See more »


Catfish Row
Music by Benny Carter
KPM Music Ltd
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User Reviews

14 February 2002 | by mwriter35See all my reviews

This movie is perhaps the most compelling--and starkly fascinating--example of a filmmaker's ability to reveal the subtleties of psychology and class, and their combined effect on the an individual's actions. It's also terrifically fun to watch, make no mistake. When Viscount Bucton (Gabriel Byrne) accidentally (or with subconscious intent) kills a woman in a hit and run accident (thinking that it was his wife on an adulterous assignation) his upper-class army friends rally around him to protect one of their own. When Bucton's middle-class friend, Jamie, consumed by guilt, reveals the secret of what really happened that rainy night, he is first brutally ostracized, then framed, then killed. Rarely has the British class structure been so starkly and elegantly stripped of its "Disney" affectations, and shown for what it is. Wonderful performances, also, from Judy Parfitt as Bucton's mother, the Countess of Crune, and Michael Hordern and his father, the Earl of Crune. Bravo to acclaimed social documentarian Nick Broomfield, who turns his unsparing eye to a film that deserves a much wider distribution than it received, and which ought to be acknowledged as a dramatic triumph of Dickensian scope, beautifully and hauntingly photographed, magnificently acted, and powerfully--and tragically-- resonant. This is a profoundly intelligent film that requires a little more sophistication than the average filmgoer possesses, and will likely be a little too complicated for some viewers who might be better served by fluffier, more "Hollywood," fare.

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