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The Unbelievable Truth (1989)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  8 November 1990 (Australia)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,335 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 21 user | 31 critic | 14 from

After serving time for murder, Josh Hutton returns to his home town where me meets Audry Hugo. No one can remember exactly what Josh did, but they are all wary of him, especially Audry's ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Josh (as Robert Burke)
Chris Cooke ...
Vic Hugo (as Christopher Cooke)
Julia McNeal ...
Katherine Mayfield ...
Liz Hugo
Gary Sauer ...
Mark Chandler Bailey ...
Mike (as Mark Bailey)
David Healy ...
Todd Whitbread
Otis: Driver - Bum
Jane - The Waitress
Jeff Howard ...
Irate Driver
His Wife
Ross Turner ...
Their Son
Bill (as Paul Schultze)
Mike Brady ...


After serving time for murder, Josh Hutton returns to his home town where me meets Audry Hugo. No one can remember exactly what Josh did, but they are all wary of him, especially Audry's father. Written by Tom Unger <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 November 1990 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

A Incrível Verdade  »

Box Office


$75,000 (estimated)


$546,541 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The paperback that Audry is reading in the bookstore scene is THE JESUS FACTOR, a 1970 work of fiction about the threat of( or actual lack of the threat) of nuclear war. See more »


When Audry and Emmet are walking in the street rite after Audry tells Emmet she does not want to go out with him anymore if you look behind Audry you can see a car approach the corner and a crew member directing the car to turn left so it does not interfere with the shot, the crew member even walks up to the car. See more »


Audry: Emmet, don't be maudlin.
See more »


References Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting first attempt by Hartley
4 December 2003 | by (St. Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

First feature by eccentric writer/director Hal Hartley turns out to be one of his most accessible films. Unfortunately, it's also a little boring. The problem here is the same as that of Peter Greenaway's `The Pillow Book,' or any film that departs from its auteur's trademark style; that is, it isn't weird enough for the director's devotees, but it's too weird for anybody else. Of course, as a first film, `The Unbelievable Truth' isn't a departure, it's an experiment, and so fans of Hartley's later work aren't likely to feel as alienated as they would if he had made it after establishing himself with absurdist little indie comedies like `Trust,' `Surviving Desire,' and `Simple Men.' Hartley's signature quirks--non-sequiter-laden dialogue, slapstick, existentialist rhetoric, and deliberately flat performances--are all there, but in muted, almost embryonic form. This was the only Hartley feature I hadn't seen, and it's hard to imagine what it would have been like to see it without knowing his other films--from the other comments posted here, it appears impressions vary. Myself, I found it a bit slow, and I kept wishing he would crank the artifice up to the level of his later films, or at least his later early films. Still, while I don't feel it's his strongest work, it's always interesting, and the performances by Hartley icons Adrienne Shelley and Robert John Burke (how young he looks!) give the film an emotional honesty that more than pays off. 7 out of 10.

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