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True Believer (1989)

 -  Drama | Crime  -  17 February 1989 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 2,929 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 13 critic

A cynical former civil liberties attorney now reduced to "specializing" in defending drug dealers becomes transformed by an eight-year-old murder case.

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Title: True Believer (1989)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Miguel Fernandes ...
Art Esparza
Charles Hallahan ...
Vincent Dennehy
Sully Diaz ...
Maraquilla Esparza
Misan Kim ...
Mrs. Kim
...
Chuckie Loeder
...
Ortega (as Luis Guzman)
...
Sklaroff
Tony Haney ...
Montell
...
Dean Rabin
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Storyline

Eddie Dodd is a burnt out former civil rights lawyer who now specializes in defending drug dealers. Roger Baron, newly graduated from law school, has followed Eddie's great cases and now wants to learn at his feet. With Roger's idealistic prodding, Eddie reluctantly takes on a case of a young Korean man who, according to his mom, has been in jail for eight years for a murder he did not commit. Written by <Vertigus@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When evidence leads to murder, sometimes it takes a dangerous man to free an innocent one.

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das dreckige Spiel  »

Box Office

Gross:

$8,742,750 (USA)
 »

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 character Shu Kai Kim is based on Korean-American Chol Soo Lee, who was imprisoned for nearly 10 years after wrongful conviction for a murder he did not commit. See more »

Goofs

When showing the original murder in flashbacks, the killer is standing five feet or more away from the body when he shoots him. When Dennehy tells Dodd and the flashback is shown beneath the bridge, the gun is aimed only a few inches from the previous bullet hole. A gun fired that close would leave burn marks and gunpowder residue on the victim's head, which would be incongruous with the eyewitness accounts of the actual murder. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Dodd: We gotta find some piece of evidence that's been buried, and open the sucker up again.
Roger Baron: Christ, Eddie, if the guy's really guilty...
Eddie Dodd: Hey, only Shu and God know if he's guilty, and neither one of 'em's talkin'.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Homer and Apu (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Busload of Faith
Written and Performed by Lou Reed
Courtesy of Sire Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Taut action supersedes continuity troubles
19 May 2004 | by (Balto.-WDC Metro area) – See all my reviews

Eminently watchable drama from 1989 with Woods as burned-out lawyer Eddie Dodd, formerly idealistic & successful civil liberties attorney who's now a callous defender of drug dealers ("No, pot possession cases are free. Coke dealers pay cash: that subsidizes the pot possession cases." Character reputably based on real-life S.F. lawyer J. Tony Serra; hence the long hair), & Rbt. Downey, Jr., as his idealistic law clerk, fresh out of school. (Downey, Jr.'s, @first incredulous: "You were my age when you defended that case," to which Dodd retorts, "I was never your age.")

There're a few continuity problems here, mainly which fingers the charcoal is on after Dodd's tussle with Chuckie, but they're pretty much overshadowed by some great sub-plots (Manhattan D.A.'s [Kurtwood "70s Show" Smith] curious interest in an 8-year-old murder case, Dodd's faded romance with P.I. Margaret Colin, the sadly schizoid Vietnam vet ["Cecil, are you what heroes are made of?"]) & the main story line, the case of a convicted murderer. Dodd @first dismisses Downey, Jr.'s, suggestion that they take the case but later becomes so emotionally immersed in it that when Roger (Downey, Jr.) spins the futility here with "We all think it's a good fight," Eddie pounces on him with some memorable oratory: "Don't give that liberal, yuppie b***s**t about a good fight; this isn't f*****g Yale! A good fight is one you win!"

Directed by Joseph Ruben, with a nice, incidental orig. score by Brad Fidel & some slick ambient tunes (Doors's Crystal Ship, Lou Reed's Busload of Faith).


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