6.5/10
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Absolution (1978)

R | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 1981 (UK)
At a Catholic public school, Benjamin Stanfield is tired of being the teacher's pet and decides to play a practical joke on his form master Father Goddard. In confession, Stanfield tells ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Arthur Dyson (as Dai Bradley)
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Headmaster
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Brigadier Walsh
Preston Lockwood ...
Father Hibbert
James Ottaway ...
Father Matthews
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Father Clarence
Jon Plowman ...
Father Piers
...
Father Henryson
Trevor Martin ...
Mr. Gladstone
Sharon Duce ...
Louella
...
First Policeman
Dan Meaden ...
Second Policeman
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Storyline

At a Catholic public school, Benjamin Stanfield is tired of being the teacher's pet and decides to play a practical joke on his form master Father Goddard. In confession, Stanfield tells Goddard that he has accidentally murdered his friend Blakey and buried him in the forest. When Goddard investigates the matter, he finds a buried scarecrow. Goddard is outraged, but, due to the seal of confession, he knows he cannot expel Stanfield. Shortly after, Stanfield once again enters the confession booth, telling Goddard that what before was a practical joke, he has now made happen. In disbelief, Goddard once again goes to the forest to investigate the matter. This time, he discovers Blakey's dead body. The plot soon thickens as Stanfield's fellow student Arthur Dyson mysteriously disappears... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man, two boys... one deadly game. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

1981 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Murder by Confession  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Burton turned down an offer to play King Lear on stage in Canada in order to make this film. See more »

Goofs

In the tennis match, a close shot of Benjie shows him serving whilst standing in the right service court (which would be illegal) but the long shot shows him serving from the baseline (legal). The score is 30-all, so he should be serving from the right side of the baseline, but is shown serving from the left side. See more »

Soundtracks

Shady Grove
Traditional
Sung by Billy Connolly
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I Confess I Actually Sat Through This
18 May 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In the last decade of his life Richard Burton was doing just about anything put in front of him for money. He felt, probably rightly so, that he had nothing to prove as an actor. So why not build up a nest egg, especially with all the heavy duty alimony he was laying out. It's the only reason I could think of he did Absolution.

Burton plays a priest at a British Catholic school where he's got some really sadistic kids on his hands. After a class in which he carefully explains the religious implications of the confessional and the restrictions it places upon a priest hearing confession, Father Burton hears some confessions that positively drive him to the brink and he singles out one youth as responsible for it all. Drives Father Dick quite bonkers.

It's pretty bad, it's the sort of stuff that the producers of American slasher films would do with a little more gore. It didn't enhance Burton's reputation and I wouldn't waste my time.


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