Original film poster
Directed byMichael Anderson
Written by
  • Edward Abraham
  • Valerie Abraham
Based on"What Beckoning Ghost"
(1948 short story)
by Harold Lawlor
Produced byAndrew Donally
Milton Subotsky
CinematographyTed Moore
Edited byRichard Best
Music byDavid Whitaker
Sword and Scorcery Productions
Grand Prize Productions
Distributed byScotia-Barber Distributors
Release date
  • March 1979 (1979-03)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget$1.2 million[1][2]

Dominique (also released as Dominique Is Dead) is a 1979 British psychological horror film directed by Michael Anderson, and starring Cliff Robertson, Jean Simmons, Simon Ward, Jenny Agutter and Ron Moody.[3][4] Author Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes wrote a novelization of the film,[5] which in turn is based on the 1948 short story "What Beckoning Ghost", written by American author Harold Lawlor.[6] It centers on a wealthy businessman (Robertson) who is seemingly haunted by the ghost of his wife (Simmons), whom he drove to suicide.

This is the final film of actors Jack Warner and Leslie Dwyer.


David Ballard, a struggling businessman in desperate need of money, devises a plan to use psychological manipulation to drive his rich wife, Dominique, to suicide so he can inherit her fortune. His plan seemingly works when Dominique's body is found hanging in her greenhouse, but David soon finds himself being haunted by what he believes is Dominque's vengeful ghost. His sanity gradually crumbles as he finds himself unable to rid himself of his wife's spirit, until he finally falls to his death while trying to escape from her.

In a twist ending, the "ghost" turns out to be his half-sister, Ann; with the help of her lover, Tony Calvert, who had come to work as the Ballards' chauffeur and ingratiated himself with Dominique before her passing. Ann had used prosthetic makeup to impersonate Dominique, get rid of David, and claim David's share of the family fortune for herself, while Tony, being the only person Dominique trusted, became her beneficiary and got her fortune after David's death. However, Tony then rejects Ann and plays her an audio recording that reveals that the real Dominque had actually been alive, and part of the plan, until they had killed her to avoid detection, the recording making it seem that Ann had concocted the entire plan without Tony's knowledge. Tony admits that he intends to use the recording to enforce Ann's silence, and that he had always intended to take his share and leave her. Ann murders him with a revolver the couple had previously used as part of their deception, with the movie ending on an ambiguous note as Ann stands over Tony's corpse.



Filming dates

Filming started in England during September 1977 and lasted six weeks.

Filming locations

The film was initially meant to be filmed in Canada, but this was changed after an offer was made to shoot the film in England with a higher budget.[1]


Dominique was initially released in March 1979. After a very brief theatrical run, it found larger visibility in cable airings.

Home media

Vinegar Syndrome released the film on DVD and Blu-ray in 2019.[7]


Martyn Auty criticized the film in the Monthly Film Bulletin as "heavy handed".[8] Pop Matters reviewed the film in 2019, writing that it "won’t raise the hackles of anyone looking for deep scares, but it is an absorbing suspense-drama that will at least keep you in your seat, if not the edge of it."[7]


  1. ^ a b Ed. Allan Bryce, Amicus: The Studio That Dripped Blood, Stray Cat Publishing, 2000 p 159
  2. ^ Childs, Mike; Jones, Alan (Spring 1978). "Dominique". p. 52. ((cite magazine)): Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  3. ^ Smith, Gary A. (2000). Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976. McFarland. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-7864-0604-3.
  4. ^ "Undercover Battles as seven". Evening Post ( 9 June 1979.
  5. ^ Psycho-Mania!
  6. ^ ""What Beckoning Ghost?" by Harold Lawlor, Weird Tales, July 1948". ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ a b "Gothic Mystery 'Dominique' Indulges in Mood, PopMatters". PopMatters. 1 October 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  8. ^ Auty, Martyn (1 January 1979). "DOMINIQUE (review)". Monthly Film Bulletin. 46 (540): 120. ProQuest 1305828100.