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:
...
...
...
Arthur Dyson (as Dai Bradley)
...
...
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
...
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:

Boyhood innocence. Deadly secrets. Burning truths. 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  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Connolly's biography Billy says of this film: "When they were filming the forest scene, Billy had to lie perfectly still wearing 'dead' make-up, half covered with leaves. Richard approached the body, to play the emotional moments of discovery, leant over the body and his face was a moving depiction of horror. However, Billy couldn't keep a straight face for his close-up because Richard Burton had burst into song at the top of his voice 'I belong to Glasgow!'" 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

Pretty Sort of Treatment for a Military Man
Lyrics by William S. Gilbert
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Performed by the students
from "Patience or Bunthorne's Bride"
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An 'ending' movie with no good ending
14 September 2003 | by (Premiere Video (Dallas, Tx)) – See all my reviews

Penned by Anthony Shaffer, who also wrote the screenplay for the amazing film, ‘The Wicker Man', ‘Absolution' had a similar feel to it. The pacing was intentionally slow, but mysterious, making the end all the more powerful and memorable. It worked very well in ‘The Wicker Man'. Here, however, the twist was pretty lame and illogical, and it almost seemed comical. Without giving anything away, I'll just say that I felt as someone in the writing room threw this ending out, and it only made it in the movie because no one could think of something better. As a payoff I found it to be slightly insulting. I focus so much of my attention on the ending because the whole movie is in the last five minutes. Every other part of the movie is fine. Solid acting, a script that set up the ending beautifully, and Billy Connolly was a great casting choice, but all that lost when the writer hit a block. Since the whole movie was in the ending, I would have to say this is one to stay away from, unless you're a Billy Connolly fan, in which case just watch the bits where he's in. Rating: 21/40


4 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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