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True Believer (1989)

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A cynical former civil liberties attorney now reduced to "specializing" in defending drug dealers becomes transformed by an eight-year-old murder case.

Director:

Joseph Ruben

Writer:

Wesley Strick
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Sully Diaz ... Maraquilla Esparza
Misan Kim Misan Kim ... Mrs. Kim
John Snyder ... Chuckie Loeder
Luis Guzmán ... Ortega (as Luis Guzman)
Graham Beckel ... Sklaroff
Tony Haney Tony Haney ... Montell
Joel Polis ... 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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The killing. The conviction. The cover-up. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das dreckige Spiel See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$8,742,750
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 ten years after a 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: [Eddie is having a hard time building a defense] I can do this shit myself!
Kitty Greer: Come on, Eddie, that's not fair!
Roger Baron: Come off it, Eddie! We're all committed to the case, we all believe it's a good fight.
Eddie Dodd: Good fight? You think I'm going into court to make a fucking statement? You think Shu gives a shit whether we go down but go down nobly? This is a man looking at 40 years of HARD TIME! He could've had a deal and been out in five, but he bet it all on ME! Don't give me that liberal yuppie bullshit about ...
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Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Homer and Apu (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

All Along The Watchtower
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by Jimi Hendrix
Courtesy of A.R.M. BV & Are You Experienced Ltd.
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User Reviews

Woods in a tailor-made perf; not unlike "The Verdict"
23 April 2003 | by george.schmidtSee all my reviews

TRUE BELIEVER (1989) *** James Woods, Robert Downey Jr., Margaret Colin. Woods excels as a hippie liberal defense attorney (patterned after the legendary NYC defender William Kunstler) who gets a chance at redemption in the case of an young Asian man accused of cold blooded murder that opens a can of worms including corruption and a life lesson in ideals and dignity.


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