6.4/10
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59 user 17 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

Real life historical 1940s Los Angeles locations used in the film included various LA churches, Echo Park, Union Station, Olvera Street, the Biltmore Hotel and Chinatown. See more »

Goofs

When Tom Spellacy is in his office, talking on the phone, the handset switches from hand to hand between shots. See more »

Quotes

Dan T. Campion: Don't forget, you were with us when we met that girl.
Des Spellacy: Yes, we *met* her. You *fucked* her.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Knock Knock 2 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
(uncredited)
Music by George Bassman
Played in the background when Tom and Brenda are talking in the room
See more »

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User Reviews

 
superb
21 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

I had seen this excellent film when it was first released over 20 years ago. I had forgotten about it completely and came across it on the mystery channel recently. When it first came out I recall that no less a personage than William F. Buckley - not normally in the film reviewing business - raved about it.

Having just seen it again, I am astonished at what a superb film this is, and that I could have forgotten it. Consider the credits - Joan Didion as writer, and Robert Duvall, Robert deNiro, Charles Durning and and Burgess Meredith.

Those expecting simply a crime story will be disappointed, for the horrific murder that is the centerpiece of the movie is nothing more than, in Hitchcock's term, a 'McGuffin' on which to hang a richly human tale of corruption, guilt, brotherly conflict and devotion, and redemption. The portrayal of the necessary compromises that even good institutions - e.g. the church - must make to exist and operate in the world is as good a portrayal of the essential sinfulness of the human condition as any. In fact I feel that it is impossible for anyone without at least some semblance of religious sensibility to appreciate the true character of this movie.

The period setting and flavor is excellent and the production values are superb. Contrary to viewers who were bored I could not tear myself away from the screen.

This one is truly an overlooked and forgotten - dare I use an overworked term? - masterpiece.


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