True Believer (1989)

R  |   |  Drama, Crime  |  17 February 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 3,202 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 14 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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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | Crime


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das dreckige Spiel  »

Box Office


$8,742,750 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Released in Australia as "Fighting Justice". See more »


During the prison knife fight, Kim stabs the Nazi in the chest. The knife then alternates between still being in the Nazi's chest to being (correctly) taped to Kim's hand. See more »


Eddie Dodd: I got jumped by a guy earlier this evening; said his name was Chuckie Loeder.
Teardrop: Chuck? Rhymes with suck! Chuckie Loeder is no longer a comrade in the resurrection of our nation. We expelled that faggot junkie last year.
Eddie Dodd: Do you know where he can be found?
Teardrop: Hanging with his tongue out and a sign around his neck says "I Betrayed My Race" along with the rest of society's scum, on the Great Day of the Rope.
Roger Baron: Um... prior to the Great Day of the Rope, where can he be found?
Teardrop: Mixing with mongrel races.
Eddie Dodd: ...
See more »


Spin-off Eddie Dodd (1991) See more »


Crystal Ship
Written by Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore & Robby Krieger
Performed by The Doors
Courtesy of Elektra/Asylum Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Woods in a tailor-made perf; not unlike "The Verdict"
23 April 2003 | by (fairview, nj) – See all my reviews

TRUE BELIEVER (1989) *** James Woods, Robert Downey Jr., Margaret Colin. Woods excels as a hippie liberal defense attorney (patterned after the legendary NYC defender William Kunstler) who gets a chance at redemption in the case of an young Asian man accused of cold blooded murder that opens a can of worms including corruption and a life lesson in ideals and dignity.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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