58 user 44 critic

Trust (1990)

After being thrown out of her house, Maria encounters a married woman who complains of not having children. Maria ends up in an abandoned house, where she meets Matthew. When a baby is kidnapped Maria sets out to find the woman.


Hal Hartley


Hal Hartley
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrienne Shelly ... Maria Coughlin
Martin Donovan ... Matthew Slaughter
Rebecca Nelson Rebecca Nelson ... Jean Coughlin (as Merritt Nelson)
John MacKay John MacKay ... Jim Slaughter
Edie Falco ... Peg Coughlin
Gary Sauer ... Anthony
Matt Malloy ... Ed
Suzanne Costollos Suzanne Costollos ... Rachel
Jeff Howard Jeff Howard ... Robert
Karen Sillas ... Nurse Paine
Tom Thon ... Deli Man
Hannah Sullivan Hannah Sullivan ... Ruark Boss (as Patricia Sullivan)
Marko Hunt Marko Hunt ... John Coughlin
Kathryn Mederos Kathryn Mederos ... Factory Woman
Bill Sage ... John Bill


When high school dropout Maria Coughlin announces her pregnancy to her parents, her father drops dead on the floor. Her mother kicks her out of the house and her boyfriend dumps her, so Maria is left alone and homeless. This is when she meets Matthew Slaughter. Matthew is an educated high school graduate with a great talent for fixing electronic devices, but he can't hang on to a job because of his principled attitude towards quality. When Maria accepts Matthew's offer to help her, they begin to form a relationship with each other in which both of them begin to change. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A slightly twisted comedy


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


At Matthew's place, Maria picks up and takes with her a book titled "Man and the Universe," by Ned Rifle, which is a pseudonym used by director Hal Harley as well as the title of one of his films. See more »


Maria Coughlin: Do you miss your kids?
Peg Coughlin: Sure.
Maria: Do you hate your husband?
Peg: Absolutely.
Maria: Would you ever get married again?
Peg: Of course.
See more »


References Playtime (1967) See more »


Mess With Me
Written by Hub Moore
Performed by The Great Outdoors
See more »

User Reviews

This is What You Can Make in 11 Days
7 June 2015 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

When high school dropout Maria Coughlin (Adrienne Shelly) announces her pregnancy to her parents, her father drops dead on the floor. Her mother kicks her out of the house and her boyfriend dumps her, so Maria is left alone and homeless.

Martin Donovan really excels here and represents a type of person some of us know all too well. The man who rebels against the world, but in a sort of passive-aggressive, nihilistic fashion. It is interesting that this film came out in 1990, as the 90s were very much a nihilistic decade for film and music, and the character of Matthew Slaughter sort of anticipates that.

Hal Hartley may not be as well known as Jim Jarmusch or (early) Richard Linklater, but he has that same independent vibe. He has done here for Long Island what Linklater did for Austin.

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Release Date:

20 September 1991 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Trust See more »


Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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