7.4/10
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The Unbelievable Truth (1989)

A man returns to his home town after serving a prison sentence for homicide, and finds that the details of the crime have been forgotten and replaced with local legends and rumors.

Director:

Hal Hartley

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrienne Shelly ... Audry
Robert John Burke ... Josh (as Robert Burke)
Chris Cooke Chris Cooke ... Vic Hugo (as Christopher Cooke)
Julia McNeal Julia McNeal ... Pearl
Katherine Mayfield Katherine Mayfield ... Liz Hugo
Gary Sauer Gary Sauer ... Emmet
Mark Chandler Bailey Mark Chandler Bailey ... Mike (as Mark Bailey)
David Healy David Healy ... Todd Whitbread
Matt Malloy ... Otis: Driver - Bum
Edie Falco ... Jane - The Waitress
Jeff Howard Jeff Howard ... Irate Driver
Kelly Reichardt ... His Wife
Ross Turner Ross Turner ... Their Son
Paul Schulze ... Bill (as Paul Schultze)
Mike Brady Mike Brady ... Bob
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Storyline

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 <unger@raindrop.seaslug.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 November 1990 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

A Incrível Verdade See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$546,541
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Action Features See more »
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Audry: I decided I can have faith in what I can't see.
Josh Hutton: What do you wanna see?
Audry: The world.
See more »

Connections

References A Fish Called Wanda (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Cruel Something There
by Paul Cullum and Philip Reed (as Wild Blue Yonder) (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hartley's style isn't for the casual viewer
22 April 2006 | by abchulettSee all my reviews

Long Island auteur Hal Hartley writes, directs, and co-produces his first feature film. His second, "Trust," has more polish and a better reputation, but "The Unbelievable Truth" has plenty to recommend it. Hartley came onto the scene as kind of a Generation X independent film voice, and while the acting quality in this feature debut is more uneven than in subsequent efforts, his almost surreal approach to dialogue, situations, and characterization is intact right out of the gate.

The story is of a man who comes back to his hometown after years in prison, and the young girl he meets once he gets there. As in "Trust," Hartley uses coincidences to underline the intersecting lives and fates of his characters, and his characterization emphasizes the random way in which so many of us foolishly let our hearts lead us around rather than our heads...although ultimately the day belongs to those who are able to conquer this tendency.

While Hartley forcefully instructs his actors to play their lines totally deadpan as much as possible, the situations and character reactions lead to lots of uproarious laughs that will not be evident to many viewers if they're expecting sitcom-type humor, and the way his plots twist is a joy. For the sophisticated movie fan, Hartley's films are extremely interesting and a terrific exercise in watching a true original at work.


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