26 user 36 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.


Hal Hartley
2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrienne Shelly ... Audry
Robert John Burke ... Josh (as Robert Burke)
Chris Cooke ... Vic Hugo (as Christopher Cooke)
Julia McNeal ... Pearl
Katherine Mayfield Katherine Mayfield ... Liz Hugo
Gary Sauer ... Emmet
Mark Chandler Bailey ... Mike (as Mark Bailey)
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


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The paperback that Audry is reading in the bookstore scene is THE JESUS FACTOR, a 1970 work of fiction about the threat of (or actual lack of the threat) of nuclear war. See more »


When Vic gives Josh $500 to take Audrey out on a date, he hands him two bills. Unless each of them was worth $250 (not possible in US currency), he could not have given him $500. See more »


Vic Hugo: No man is like a priest. Priests aren't even like priest when it comes to women.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Director's Friend......Steven O'Connor See more »


Salt River
by Paul Cullum and Philip Reed (as Wild Blue Yonder) (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

Original movie that started a whole genre of Indy films
15 June 2005 | by Joel_GoodsenSee all my reviews

Clever Indy film-making at it's best!!! This film jump started a genre. Hal Hartley's masterpiece brims with clever dialogue and funny performances. Adrianne Shelley is a standout as Audrey who is convinced that the world is soon to blow up. Chris Cooke should be getting a lot more work after his winning performance as Vic Hugo. He's a delight to watch as his daughter Audrey bargains with him on about going to college. And Robert Burke is great as the quiet Josh, the returning man with a past. You catch something new every time with this film ... like the funny way everyone fights in the movie (elaborate pushing matches). An original film and thoroughly enjoyable. Great soundtrack too ... under Hal Hartley's alias of Ned Rifle. Highly recommended ... and definitely more than worth than 50¢ at your video rental and won't put you to sleep if you like original, clever, landmark Indy films like this one is.

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Release Date:

8 November 1990 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Unbelievable Truth See more »


Box Office


$75,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Action Features See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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