True Believer (1989)

R  |   |  Drama, Crime  |  17 February 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 3,201 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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Faux documentary about a fictional Hollywood film studio.

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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?


The character of Eddie Dodd was modeled after famed civil rights lawyer Tony Serra. See more »


When Eddie fights with Chucky, he rubs the painted tears off Chucky's face with his right hand, leaving black marks on his index and middle fingers. A while later, while looking through a mug book at the cop shop, he looks at the marks on his fingers, which have now switched to his left 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 »


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


La Marea
Written and Performed by Rubén Blades
Courtesy of Elektra/Asylum Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Smart but airless thriller.
20 January 2001 | by See all my reviews

Technically excellent and tightly made - perhaps TOO tightly. It's so plot-heavy and complicated that the characters aren't allowed much room to breathe; they're too occupied with trying to push the story forward. The few personal moments are nicely played but they aren't enough. The movie relentlessly keeps throwing in new information and complications, and it's too talky for a thriller. Woods occasionally overacts, but he does give a charge to his role. (**1/2)

4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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