6.4/10
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61 user 15 critic

True Confessions (1981)

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.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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 ...
Bride
...
Whore
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Storyline

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 <n9431210@scholar.nepean.uws.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Confesiones verdaderas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The vestments worn by Robert De Niro in the opening scene were later donated to St. Agnes parish in St. Paul, MN. See more »

Goofs

When the detectives are taking the crime scene photographs, the photographer is using a "Super Speed Graphic". This model of the classic Speed Graphic was not produced until 1956. This part of the story takes place in ca. 1947. See more »

Quotes

Brenda Samuels: [to Tom] Have you ever noticed when you get old, your feet swell up.
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Connections

Referenced in Knock Knock 2 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Again
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
Played at the wedding reception
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User Reviews

Complex, thoughtful character piece
10 December 2003 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Adapted by the talented husband and wife team of Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne from the latter's novel, "True Confessions" is not a film likely to please everyone. It is a character study dressed as a detective film, following two brothers, one a priest the other a detective. Both characters are flawed and corrupt in one way or another, but over the course of a murder investigation both men find their means of salvation.

Focusing on atmosphere and characterisation rather than suspense, "True Confessions" marked another triumph for director Ulu Grosbard, director of the two criminally underrated classics "Who is Harry Kellerman?" and "Straight Time". The performances in the film are excellent, with Duvall and De Niro simply superb as the two protagonists, particularly the latter in an effectively subdued role. Loosely based on the infamous Black Dahlia case, the film will madden those expecting the film to follow the structure and pacing of a conventional genre film. Yet for those who want something more intelligent and thoughtful, "True Confessions" is a rewarding experience.


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