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: Not because you love me or anything like that?
Matthew: I respect and admire you.
Maria: Is that love?
Matthew: No, that's respect and admiration.
See more »


Referenced in Meanwhile (2011) See more »


Walk Away
Written by Hub Moore
Performed by The Great Outdoors
See more »

User Reviews

simply brilliant!
7 March 2014 | by PrigmatusSee all my reviews

I saw this one when I was working in a small movie theater as a student back in 1991 in Leuven, Belgium. I cannot explain why but this little gem of a movie touched me and I fell in love with all the characters (specially the main ones played by Adrienne Shelly and Martin Donovan), the modest soundtrack (loved the synthesizer score at the end), the dialogs, the humor mixed with social and realistic situations. Now, 23 years later, I had the chance to rediscover this movie by accident through a local internet movie site and honestly, after having seen hundreds of movies in all genres during the passed years, it still remains my favorite movie of all times. Thank you, Mr Hartley! One from the heart!

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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
See full technical specs »

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