IMDb > True Believer (1989)
True Believer
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True Believer (1989) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 18 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
True Believer -- James Woods enthralls as a jaded lawyer whose passion for justice is rekindled when an associate (Robert Downey, Jr.) urges him to re-open a hopeless murder case.
True Believer -- text on screen

Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   2,819 votes »
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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer (WGA):
Wesley Strick (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for True Believer on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 February 1989 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
When evidence leads to murder, sometimes it takes a dangerous man to free an innocent one.
Plot:
A cynical former civil liberties attorney now reduced to "specializing" in defending drug dealers becomes transformed by an eight-year-old murder case. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
One of the most powerful court dramas ever made. See more (24 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

James Woods ... Eddie Dodd

Robert Downey Jr. ... Roger Baron

Margaret Colin ... Kitty Greer

Yuji Okumoto ... Shu Kai Kim

Kurtwood Smith ... Robert Reynard

Tom Bower ... Cecil Skell
Miguel Fernandes ... Art Esparza
Charles Hallahan ... Vincent Dennehy
Sully Diaz ... Maraquilla Esparza
Misan Kim ... Mrs. Kim

John Snyder ... Chuckie Loeder

Luis Guzmán ... Ortega (as Luis Guzman)

Graham Beckel ... Sklaroff
Tony Haney ... Montell

Joel Polis ... Dean Rabin
Will Marchetti ... Judge Quealy
Maureen McVerry ... Billy
Abigail Van Alyn ... Connie Dennehy

Deborah Offner ... Laura Gayley
Thomas Wagner ... Tommy

Richard Fancy ... Ballistics Expert

Kurt Fuller ... George Ballistics

Ginger Rolstad ... Translator (as Ginger Chung)
Thelton E. Henderson ... Judge Baum

Gerry Bamman ... Brian Nevins
Charles Dean ... Detective #1

Gustave Johnson ... Detective #2
Cab Covay ... Teardrop

Tony Abatemarco ... Glen Fulton
Ken Grantham ... Cecil's Judge (as Kenneth Grantham)

Ralph Peduto ... Court Officer

Margot Rose ... Ms. Jessum
Jan Michael Shultz ... Lindeman (as Jan Shultz)

George Maguire ... Maitre'd
David Espinoza ... Corrections Officer

Conrad Dunn ... Slim Jim (as George Jenesky)
Sean O'Brien ... Clyde Gruner
Cully Fredricksen ... Scarecrow
Taylor Gilbert ... Reynard's Receptionist
Peter Anthony Jacobs ... Reporter
Stu Klitsner ... Magnate (as Stu Klitsher)

David Booth ... Minister

Peter Fitzsimmons ... Court Clerk
Jarrett Sullivan ... Boy
Mike Stone ... Client (as Michael Stone)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chris Jorie ... Assistant D.A. (as Chris Jorie)

Karen A. Brown ... West Village Rocker (uncredited)

Darryl Fong ... Jimmy Chin (uncredited)

Woody Harrelson ... Man in Dodd's office (uncredited)
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Directed by
Joseph Ruben 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Wesley Strick (written by)

Produced by
Patrick Crowley .... co-producer
Lawrence Lasker .... producer
Walter F. Parkes .... producer
Peter Rosten .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Brad Fiedel 
 
Cinematography by
John Lindley (director of photography) (as John W. Lindley)
 
Film Editing by
George Bowers 
 
Casting by
Karen Rea 
 
Production Design by
Lawrence Miller 
 
Art Direction by
Jim Pohl 
 
Set Decoration by
Jim Poynter 
 
Costume Design by
Erica Edell Phillips 
 
Makeup Department
Joseph Coscia .... hair stylist: New York (as Joe Coscia)
Deborah Figuly .... makeup artist
Candace Neal .... hair stylist
Allen Weisinger .... makeup artist: New York (as Alan Weisinger)
 
Production Management
Nan Bernstein Freed .... unit production manager: New York (as Nan Bernstein)
Whitney Green .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Julie A. Bloom .... second second assistant director (as Julie Bloom)
Annie Spiegelman .... second assistant director
Michael E. Steele .... first assistant director (as Michael Steele)
Stephen Wertimer .... second assistant director: New York (as Steve Wertimer)
 
Art Department
Rodney Armanino .... construction foreman
William Beck .... set designer
Richard W. Clot .... construction coordinator (as Rich Clot)
Elisa Nevel Demarest .... scenic artist: New York
Claudette Didul .... art researcher: New York
Tim Galvin .... art director: New York
Stephen J. Gardner .... set dresser (as Steve Gardner)
Gilbert Gertsen .... construction coordinator: New York
Elizabeth Hamilton .... scenic artist
Harley Jessup .... illustrator
Steven J. Jordan .... set decorator: New York (as Steven Jordan)
Len Morganti .... storyboard artist
Billy Puzo .... master scenic artist: New York
Gary E. Roloff .... set dresser (as Gary Roloff)
Philip Saccio .... prop master: New York
Michelle Souza .... property master
J. Michael Speakman .... assistant props
Eric Stepper .... assistant props: New York
Don Watson .... leadman
Lisa Winick .... stand-by scenic artist: New York
Jennifer Clinard .... stand-by painter (uncredited)
Lisa Devlin .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
James Ashwill .... foley mixer (as Jim Ashwill)
Kevin Bartnof .... foley artist
Tom Bellfort .... sound editor
Lon Bender .... supervising sound editor (as Lon E. Bender)
Neal Burger .... sound editor
Michael Evje .... production sound mixer
Dan Gleich .... boom operator
Avram D. Gold .... sound editor (as Avram Gold)
Devon Heffley Curry .... adr editor (as Devon Heffley-Curry)
Chris Hogan .... sound editor
Randy Kelley .... sound editor
Larry Kemp .... supervising sound editor
Lou Kleinman .... sound editor
Mark R. La Pointe .... sound editor (as Mark La Pointe)
Mary Jo Lang .... sound recordist
George Reinhardt .... cable person
Daniel Rosenblum .... sound mixer: New York
Wylie Stateman .... sound editor
Alicia Stevenson .... foley artist
Mel Zelniker .... sound re-recording mixer
Hugo Weng .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
John McLeod .... special effects coordinator
 
Stunts
Rocky Capella .... stunt coordinator
Jim Lovelett .... stunt coordinator: New York
Rocky Capella .... stunts (uncredited)
Kevin Larson .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
Johnny Martin .... stunts (uncredited)
Mike Martinez .... stunts (uncredited)
Randell Dennis Widner .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Phil Bray .... still photographer
Richard L. Carden .... dolly grip (as Rick Carden)
Dave Childers .... dolly grip
Robert Dalva .... still photographer: period stills
Greg Davies .... gaffer
Brad Edmiston .... assistant Steadicam operator
Thomas Ford .... best boy electric: New York
Walt Fraser .... additional first assistant camera
Tom Gilligan .... best boy grip: New York (as Thomas Gilligan)
Tony C. Jannelli .... camera operator: New York (as Tony Jannelli)
Lawrence Karman .... first assistant camera (as Larry Karman)
Billy Kerwick .... grip
Jay Levy .... first assistant camera: New York
Larry McConkey .... Steadicam operator: New York
Deborah Morgan .... second assistant camera
Randy Nolen .... Steadicam operator
Douglas Pellegrino .... second assistant camera: New York (as Doug Pellegrino)
Bobby Powell .... best boy
Ed Quinn .... key grip: New York (as Edwin Quinn)
Patrick Riley .... additional first assistant camera
Peter Thomas .... key grip
Jon R. Tower .... gaffer: New York (as Jon Tower)
Barry Wetcher .... still photographer
Barry Wetcher .... still photographer: New York
Michael Whitehurst .... best boy grip
Kenneth Zunder .... camera operator (as Ken Zunder)
Kjell Ness .... genny operator (uncredited)
Michael Olague .... best boy gaffer (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Aleta Chappelle .... casting: San Francisco and New York (as Aleta Helena Chappelle)
Laura Folger .... extras casting assistant
Doreen Lane .... casting assistant: Los Angeles
Davia Nelson .... extras casting
Riccardo Bertoni .... extras casting (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Michael Becker .... costume supervisor
David Bess .... wardrobe supervisor: men, New York
Barbara Kassal .... costumer
Sue Miller .... set costumer
Susan J. Wright .... wardrobe supervisor: women, New York (as Susan Wright)
 
Editorial Department
Patricia A. Galvin .... assistant editor (as Patricia Galvin)
Robert Grahamjones .... assistant editor
Lauren A. Schaffer .... first assistant editor (as Lauren Schaffer)
Doron Shauly .... apprentice editor
Robert Wait .... post-production coordinator
Roger La Prairie .... telecine colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Sharon Boyle .... music supervisor
Tim Boyle .... scoring mixer
Allan K. Rosen .... music editor (as Allan Rosen)
Sandy K. Tanaka .... assistant music supervisor
George Doering .... musician (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Steve Collins .... transportation captain
William Curry .... transportation captain: New York (as Bill Curry)
Richard McDermott .... transportation coordinator (as Rich McDermott)
Dennis Salomone Sr. .... transportation: New York (as Dennis Salomone)
Ken Fleisch .... driver (uncredited)
John Melendez .... driver: San Francisco (uncredited)
Kjell Ness .... driver: San Francisco (uncredited)
David Pappas .... driver (uncredited)
Ed Ramos .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Carlyn Bochicchio .... production assistant: New York
Sidney Brammer .... production secretary: New York
Jacob F. Conrad .... location manager: New York (as Jacob Conrad)
Carol DePasquale .... script supervisor (as Carol De Pasquale)
Christopher Desmond .... first aid
Jane Nerlinger Evans .... production coordinator: New York
Susan Fanara .... assistant to producers
Maxine Garcia .... production secretary
Barbara Ludlum .... production auditor
George F. Mauricio .... craft service (as George Mauricio)
Sue Miller .... set supervisor
Douglas Morton .... production assistant
Maureen Murphy .... production coordinator
Anne Reddington .... assistant location manager: New York
Mike Revell .... assistant production accountant
Donna Santora .... assistant auditor: New York
L.J. Silverman .... first aid
Anastasia St. Amand .... executive assistant
Gail Stempler .... location manager
Spooky Stevens .... publicist
Al Cerullo .... helicopter pilot (uncredited)
Anne Lockhart .... adr voice group (uncredited)
Nicholas Wolfert .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Fighting Justice" - Philippines (English title)
See more »
Runtime:
105 min | USA:108 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
Roger Baron:You were my age when you defended that case.
Eddie Dodd:I was never your age.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Crystal ShipSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
One of the most powerful court dramas ever made., 29 May 2002
Author: Daria42 from USA

Okay. I'm a huge James Woods fan, so I may be a bit biased. But a lot of these reviews on this movie are pretty unfair - *especially* the one where the only comments made about the entire movie was a detailed description of the "nightmare" Woods' hairpiece inspired for the viewer. C'mon, that has nothing to do with anything. (I, personally, quite liked seeing Woods with long hair for a change - but that's not the point of this review, so I'm moving on.)

This movie's plot, about a disillusioned lawyer who has spent the latter half of his career getting drug dealers freed, and suddenly gets a chance at a case where he can really do something _good_ - namely, free an innocent man - is a story that packs a lot of power. And most of that power comes from Woods in his role as Eddie Dodd, the shambled attorney. Man, if Woods would ever find himself without work, he could always go back to school and go into law; raw passion, this guy has it. The court scenes are brilliant. Actually, all of the scenes are brilliant. You can't watch this movie without being amazed at the depths of emotion that this character is going through, all visible on his face, in his eyes, in his voice. The acting is superb. (A rarity with some more recent movies, in my opinion.) The character is superb. Woods turns him from a character into a real _person_, someone you can relate to, someone you can understand and sympathize with. Which is really what makes a movie great.

The acting is great, the story is gripping - the audience can try to stay one step ahead of the characters, but good luck! Everything unfolds at a good pace, without getting either too slow or too confusing. Robert Downey, Jr., is both amusing and poignant as a green attorney working for Dodds; and Yuji Okumoto, as Shu, has some really in-depth scenes against Dodds. All the characters are great.

It's got action, it's got power, it's got raw emotion, it's got _feeling_. The ending was poignant enough to make me cry. So, hey, if you like watching a film that will get your attention and maybe even make you re-think a few things about how America is handled, give this movie a try. Because, really, the hairpiece on Woods is actually quite attractive. ;-)

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