7.4/10
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24 user 33 critic

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 »
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

Film debut of Bill Sage. 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

Josh Hutton: The last time I took a drink, I got into a car crash and I killed a girl.
Otis: No!
Josh Hutton: Yeah.
Otis: That's enough to drive you to drink.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinefile: Made in the USA (1993) 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

 
A cute and quirky, offbeat romantic comedy
4 February 2002 | by Dennis LittrellSee all my reviews

What we have here is an indie romantic comedy, adorably done. Adrienne Shelly, who is petite and cute and pale as winter snow, stars as Audrey Hugo, a mechanic's daughter who has been accepted at Harvard (or so she says) but has no intention of going. She is obsessed with what she sees as the inevitability of nuclear war and attendant horrors, which she reads about aloud to herself and anyone who will listen.

It is 1988 and this is Long Island, New York, although it looks a lot like Jersey to me. Certainly this is not the high rent district of Long Island. Her boyfriend is shallow and doesn't listen to her. Her father thinks she ought to go to the local community college which he notes is a whole lot cheaper than Harvard. She is bored with her senior year at high school and usually cuts.

Enter tall, handsome, dressed all in black Robert Burke as Josh Hutton just released from prison. People who meet him ask, "Are you a priest?" He answers, "I'm a mechanic." And indeed he is an especially wondrous one who, of course, goes to work for Audrey's father, Vic Hugo (Chris Cooke) and becomes invaluable. Although it seems that Josh killed a girl and then the girl's father some years ago, we of course know from the title and from Josh's obviously sterling character that the "unbelievable truth" must be otherwise. And of course so does Audrey who is immediately smitten with him. But Josh is apparently practicing something like celibacy ("Are you a priest?") and rebuffs Audrey's advances, thereby initiating a whole slew of romantic misunderstandings wittily tossed about by director Hal Hartley along with some spiffy Mamet-like dialogue.

Now enter a photographer who makes Audrey into a fashion model, first her feet, but eventually the entire petite torso. Physically she moves to New York City, but her heart is still with Josh at her dad's auto repair shop. She even carries Josh's wrench in her handbag, with which she threatens the photo guy when he tries to get too close.

What makes this film a delight in spite of all the obvious elements and the predictable complications is the original, independent and sparkling character of Audrey, the true blue integrity of Josh, some clever and funny dialogue, and a kind of warm puppy feel usually the signature property of a Nora Ephron film starring Meg Ryan.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


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