6.3/10
6,901
70 user 22 critic

True Confessions (1981)

A worldly ambitious monsignor clashes with his older brother, a cynical Los Angeles homicide detective who is investigating the brutal murder of a young prostitute.

Director:

Ulu Grosbard

Writers:

John Gregory Dunne (novel), John Gregory Dunne (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Des Spellacy (as Robert DeNiro)
Robert Duvall ... Tom Spellacy
Charles Durning ... Jack Amsterdam
Kenneth McMillan ... Frank Crotty
Ed Flanders ... Dan T. Campion
Cyril Cusack ... Cardinal Danaher
Burgess Meredith ... Seamus Fargo
Rose Gregorio Rose Gregorio ... Brenda Samuels
Dan Hedaya ... Howard Terkel
Gwen Van Dam ... Mrs. Fazenda
Thomas Hill ... Mr. Fazenda (as Tom Hill)
Jeanette Nolan ... Mrs. Spellacy
Jorge Cervera Jr. Jorge Cervera Jr. ... Eduardo Duarte
Susan Myers Susan Myers ... Bride
Louisa Moritz ... Whore
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Storyline

De Niro (a Catholic Priest) and Duvall (a Homicide Detective) play brothers drawn together after many years apart, in the aftermath of the brutal murder of a young prostitute. Written by Grant Hamilton <n9431210@scholar.nepean.uws.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two brothers out to save everyone else. But they couldn't save each other.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

True Confessions See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,850,276

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,850,276
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the filming of the movie, Robert De Niro was once quoted as saying, "If we get through one shot before lunch, or one day of shooting, we considered ourselves lucky." See more »

Goofs

When Brenda Samuels is being identified in the morgue by Detectives Spellacy and Crotty, her eyelids flutter repeatedly. See more »

Quotes

Dan T. Campion: [to Des] Looks like a leprauchan - thinks like an arab.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Devil's Muse (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Again
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
Played at the wedding reception
See more »

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User Reviews

 
superb
21 January 2004 | by rupieSee all my reviews

I had seen this excellent film when it was first released over 20 years ago. I had forgotten about it completely and came across it on the mystery channel recently. When it first came out I recall that no less a personage than William F. Buckley - not normally in the film reviewing business - raved about it.

Having just seen it again, I am astonished at what a superb film this is, and that I could have forgotten it. Consider the credits - Joan Didion as writer, and Robert Duvall, Robert deNiro, Charles Durning and and Burgess Meredith.

Those expecting simply a crime story will be disappointed, for the horrific murder that is the centerpiece of the movie is nothing more than, in Hitchcock's term, a 'McGuffin' on which to hang a richly human tale of corruption, guilt, brotherly conflict and devotion, and redemption. The portrayal of the necessary compromises that even good institutions - e.g. the church - must make to exist and operate in the world is as good a portrayal of the essential sinfulness of the human condition as any. In fact I feel that it is impossible for anyone without at least some semblance of religious sensibility to appreciate the true character of this movie.

The period setting and flavor is excellent and the production values are superb. Contrary to viewers who were bored I could not tear myself away from the screen.

This one is truly an overlooked and forgotten - dare I use an overworked term? - masterpiece.


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