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Absolution (1978)

 -  Drama | Mystery | Thriller  -  1981 (UK)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 688 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 13 critic

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

The poem that is read by Father Goddard (Richard Burton) is The Leaden Echo and The Golden Echo by Gerald Manly Hopkins. Burton admired Hopkins' work and is said to have improvised this scene in the film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Burton vs Connolly!
9 January 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Angry looking, twitchy Richard Burton stars as a priest at an all boys school. He's all for slapping down the disabled, annoying pupil while praising the sycophantic, sneaky pupil (I've forgotten their names already). Meanwhile, Billy Connolly of all people turns up as a drifter and after being told to bolt by Burton, sets up camp on the school grounds and begins to turn the sneaky pupil's head onto drink and drugs and living free.

Vexed by Connolly's free spirit and nimble banjo plucking, Burton sets out to get rid of the Glaswegian hippy and get his pupil to return where every adolescent boy belongs: in a school run by Catholic priests. Brian Glover appears as a policeman that gives out a good old seventies police kicking for good measure. However, the tables turn as the young pupil confesses that he's murdered somebody, but is he telling the truth or is it just all mind games to drive old rummy Burton out of his mind?

This film is deadly, deadly slow, but quite on purpose. It's yet another one of these seventies movies where the plot zigs and zags and somehow retains a dark atmosphere that modern films somehow can't quite emulate. There's very little by way of action, but one burst of violence took me by surprise in it's brutality (a nasty axe to the face scene). Burton looks genuinely annoyed at everything, and as this was Billy Connolly back when he was funny, he's enjoyable too. This is not a film for insomniacs but good for those with a bit of patience.


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