6.3/10
7,396
75 user 24 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 ... Det. Sgt. Tom Spellacy
Charles Durning ... Jack Amsterdam
Kenneth McMillan ... Det. Frank Crotty
Ed Flanders ... Dan T. Campion
Cyril Cusack ... Cardinal Danaher
Burgess Meredith ... Msgr. 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. ... Father Eduardo Duarte
Susan Myers Susan Myers ... Bride - Georgette Amsterdam
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was released four years after the source novel was published. See more »

Goofs

The character listed in the credits as Sonny McDonough is called Sonny O'Meara by Tom Spellacy when he and Des are having lunch in the restaurant. See more »

Quotes

Brenda's Trick: I paid for half and half. I should get half and half.
Brenda Samuels: But you only did half.
See more »

Connections

References Elephant Boy (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm in the Mood for Love
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Played at the wedding reception
See more »

User Reviews

Complex, thoughtful character piece
10 December 2003 | by carnivalofsoulsSee all my reviews

Adapted by the talented husband and wife team of Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne from the latter's novel, "True Confessions" is not a film likely to please everyone. It is a character study dressed as a detective film, following two brothers, one a priest the other a detective. Both characters are flawed and corrupt in one way or another, but over the course of a murder investigation both men find their means of salvation.

Focusing on atmosphere and characterisation rather than suspense, "True Confessions" marked another triumph for director Ulu Grosbard, director of the two criminally underrated classics "Who is Harry Kellerman?" and "Straight Time". The performances in the film are excellent, with Duvall and De Niro simply superb as the two protagonists, particularly the latter in an effectively subdued role. Loosely based on the infamous Black Dahlia case, the film will madden those expecting the film to follow the structure and pacing of a conventional genre film. Yet for those who want something more intelligent and thoughtful, "True Confessions" is a rewarding experience.


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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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