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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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:

Boyhood innocence. Deadly secrets. Burning truths. 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  »

Company Credits

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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

Pretty Sort of Treatment for a Military Man
Lyrics by W.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

 
Some credibility problems, but still a compelling film.
22 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

It's a gripping thriller, and Richard Burton is utterly convincing in the kind of role he was born to play (a rigid priest/teacher, but with traces of humanity underneath). But the constant flow of twists results in constant shifts in the characterizations, until the whole thing becomes too far-fetched for its own good. Nonetheless, it certainly didn't deserve its gross mistreatment by the American distributors, who released it ten years after it was made. (**1/2)


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