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True Confessions (1981)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  24 September 1981 (Portugal)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 5,212 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 15 critic

A worldly ambitious monsignor clashes with his older brother, a cynical Los Angeles homicide detective who is investigating the brutal murder of a young prostitute.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: True Confessions (1981)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Father Des Spellacy (as Robert DeNiro)
Jack Amsterdam
Frank Crotty
Dan T. Campion
Cardinal Danaher
Msgr. Seamus Fargo
Rose Gregorio ...
Brenda Samuels
Mrs. Fazenda
Thomas Hill ...
Mr. Fazenda (as Tom Hill)
Mrs. Spellacy
Jorge Cervera Jr. ...
Eduardo Duarte
Susan Myers ...


De Niro (a Catholic Priest) and Duvall (a Homicide Detective) play brothers drawn together after many years apart, in the aftermath of the brutal murder of a young prostitute. Written by Grant Hamilton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 September 1981 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Confesiones verdaderas  »

Box Office


ESP 72,623,781 (Spain)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Grosbard had previously worked with Robert Duvall in his stage productions of "A View from the Bridge" and "American Buffalo." See more »


When the brothers discuss at the lunch counter Des's prior meeting of Lois Fazenda, the napkin which Thomas crumples in his hands suddenly appears on the counter on the reverse angle shot, then is back in his hands again as the scene ends. See more »


Brenda's Trick: I paid for half and half. I should get half and half.
Brenda Samuels: But you only did half.
See more »


Version of Who Is the Black Dahlia? (1975) See more »


At Last
Music by Harry Warren
Played in the background when Tom tells the prostitute to hand over the money
See more »

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User Reviews

Extraordinary acting
15 January 2001 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I recently pulled out my old copy of True Confessions and watched it again. The thing that struck me the most was the incredible display of extraordinary acting by so many of the actors. DeNiro and Duvall are simply mesmerizing. The supporting cast - Burgess Meredith, Cyril Cusack and Rose Gregorio - are as good as any supporting cast in any movie. The film has mood and texture, and evokes the Los Angeles of the late 1940's in brilliant detail.

John Gregory Dunne has used the real life Black Dahlia murder of 1947 to weave a complex story of corruption in the Catholic Church and the LAPD. A very underrated film.

18 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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