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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
Reviews
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:

When evidence leads to murder, sometimes it takes a dangerous man to free an innocent one. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,009,692, 20 February 1989

Gross USA:

$8,742,750

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,742,750
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Although much is made of Shu Kai Kim's supposedly distinctly Korean facial features, he was played by Yuji Okumoto, a Japanese-American actor. See more »

Goofs

When showing the original murder in flashbacks, the killer is standing five feet or more away from the body when he shoots him. When Dennehy tells Dodd and the flashback is shown beneath the bridge, the gun is aimed only a few inches from the previous bullet hole. A gun fired that close would leave burn marks and gunpowder residue on the victim's head, which would be incongruous with the eyewitness accounts of the actual murder. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Dodd: We gotta find some piece of evidence that's been buried, and open the sucker up again.
Roger Baron: Christ, Eddie, if the guy's really guilty...
Eddie Dodd: Hey, only Shu and God know if he's guilty, and neither one of 'em's talkin'.
See more »


Soundtracks

Amazing Grace
(1779) (uncredited)
Written by John Newton
Sung during prisoner chapel service
See more »

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User Reviews

Truly a Memorable Film.
21 April 2001 | by jaspervanzylSee all my reviews

As a huge fan of Robert Downey, Jr. I anticipated this film for weeks when I heard it was on television. So, last Saturday night I turned on the TV and, I wasn't sorry.

James Woods is in a great performance as Edward Dunn, a hotshot attorney who hires Roger Baron (Robert Downey, Jr.) to clerk for him. Woods defends a Korean whom's mother believes that he's been wrongly accused. But all the facts points to the Korean (Yuji Okumodo)...

As I said, Woods is in a great performance, which unfortunately could have been much better had it not been for his wiggy hairdo. Downey is excellent, and you can actually feel his character's anticipation. You can also feel the coldness and bitterness of Okumodo's character. Kurtwood Smith is very interesting as Robert Reynard, and the rest of the cast are also in intruiging performances.

The film is at some points very hard to follow, but overall this film could well be one of the best crime dramas of the late 1980's.


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