6.7/10
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28 user 15 critic

True Believer (1989)

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Miguel Fernandes ...
Art Esparza
...
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>

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The only good fight is the one you win ... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das dreckige Spiel  »

Box Office

Gross:

$8,742,750 (USA)
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Company Credits

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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

The opportunity for cross-examination or re-direct examination of the witnesses is frequently glossed over. Not just that a character doesn't cross-examine such as the lack of cross of the prisoner at the end of the state's case, but most egregiously, the judge gives the district attorney no opportunity for re-direct of the eyewitness who testified she never took her eyes off the gun even though she obviously wanted to say more. No competent DA would fail to give her a chance to clarify her statements during the cross-examination. See more »

Quotes

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: ...
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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
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User Reviews

 
Just the way a thriller should be
9 August 2009 | by (Lisbon) – See all my reviews

Edward Dodd (James Woods) is a run-down lawyer who no longer shines the way he did 10 years ago. Back then he was writing history, saving the Black Panthers and stuff of the like. Now he protects drug pushers and street peddlers. Nevermind what excuses he finds for this gradual decay of affairs, for a skilled speaker and lawyer Dodd never ceases to be - this can be seen even as he defends crooks. Roger Baron (Robert Downey Jr) arrives to clerk for him and realizes the idea he had of Dodd no longer suits the reality of the man. Thus he proceeds to ask him to take a prisoner case.

This courtroom thriller has all that kind of movie should have; we see a well-crafted pace that keeps you tied to your seat, the kind of acting from James Woods that is hard to find nowadays, Robert Downey Jr also dons the recently-graduated idealistic law student to a tee. The film is reminiscent of a John Grisham novel. Margaret Colin as Kitty Greer is also great. In fact, every actor in this flick does a better-than-average role. Lacking in cheesiness, having the proper pace, the kind of twists that make it just a little less than predictable, and good acting plus a nice mix of occasional black-and-white flashbacks with the present and an original score by Brad Fiedel (Terminator, Terminator: 2) that fits the pace perfectly make for a movie that is clearly lacking in recognition.

Highly recommended thriller, 8/10.


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