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Absolution (1978)

 -  Drama | Mystery | Thriller  -  1981 (UK)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 695 users  
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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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Title: Absolution (1978)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Arthur Dyson (as Dai Bradley)
...
Andrew Keir ...
Headmaster
...
Brigadier Walsh
Preston Lockwood ...
Father Hibbert
James Ottaway ...
Father Matthews
...
Father Clarence
Jon Plowman ...
Father Piers
Robin Soans ...
Father Henryson
Trevor Martin ...
Mr. Gladstone
Sharon Duce ...
Louella
Brian Glover ...
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 »
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Details

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Release Date:

1981 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Murder by Confession  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was originally written by playwright-scriptwriter Anthony Shaffer as a play called 'Play With A Gypsy' whilst on television it is also known as 'Murder By Confession'. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Better than you'd probably expect from the public domain.
3 August 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Absolution" is a film that has somehow faded into the public domain. So, if you are interested in seeing it, you can download it for free from archive.org. Often IMDb links to this site but in this case, oddly, it has not.

The film is set at a Catholic boarding school. An incredibly humorless priest, Father Goddard (Richard Burton) teaches Latin at the school and in most of his dealings with the students, he's a nasty and cold man. He's so cold that he naturally breeds contempt in some of his students. And, this coldness and inflexibility will eventually be his undoing.

In the course of his work, Father Goddard has also managed to alienate a stranger--a drifter and a bit of a rogue (Billy Connelly). Instead of showing the love of God, Goddard is cold and dismissive of the man. However, because he does treat this man so poorly as well as students, one of the boys finds a kindred spirit in this drifter. They become friends and the boy starts sneaking out at night to spend time with the guy. Where does all this lead? Well, certainly NOT where you'd expect it to go!!! The film turns out to be a dandy suspense film--and one that kept me guessing many times. It's very interesting and worth seeing though I have one reservation. While the teens playing the students were pretty good actors, occasionally Burton seemed to overact. I know, he's well respected by many, but here he did seem to overdo it just a bit.

By the way, another part that didn't come off well was the violent scene involving a shovel to the head. However, I would say that although it looked fake, I am happy it wasn't more graphic!


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