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Where the Truth Lies (2005)

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Karen O'Connor, a young journalist known for her celebrity profiles, is consumed with discovering the truth behind a long-buried incident that affected the lives and careers of showbiz team Vince Collins and Lanny Morris.


Atom Egoyan


Atom Egoyan (screenplay), Rupert Holmes (novel)
2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Bacon ... Lanny
Colin Firth ... Vince
Alison Lohman ... Karen
David Hayman ... Reuben
Rachel Blanchard ... Maureen
Maury Chaykin ... Sally Sanmarco
Sonja Bennett ... Bonnie
Kristin Adams ... Alice
Deborah Grover ... Mrs. O'Flaherty
Beau Starr ... Jack Scaglia
Arsinée Khanjian ... Publishing Executive
Gabrielle Rose ... Publishing Executive
Don McKellar ... Publishing Executive
David Hemblen ... NY Hotel Concierge
John Moraitis John Moraitis ... Irv Fleischman


Karen O'Connor tells the story about two distinct but related periods in her life. In 1972, she is an up-and-coming Los Angeles based journalist who has been given the lucrative assignment of convincing once successful comic Vince Collins, who is at the tail end of his career, to allow her to ghost write his memoirs. Most specifically, she has the task from her publishers of discovering the reason behind two issues in Vince's life from 1957: why he and his former on-stage partner Lanny Morris, who is still active and well known within the entertainment business, broke up their professional partnership shortly after they hosted a successful thirty-nine hour telethon for polio research in Miami, there not having been any indication of problems between the two before that; and how did the dead body of Maureen O'Flaherty end up in the water filled bathtub in Vince and Lanny's New Jersey hotel suite, the opening of that New Jersey hotel owned by mobster Sally Sanmarco which was Lanny and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Canada | UK


English | Cantonese

Release Date:

7 October 2005 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Where the Truth Lies See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

CAD 184,496 (Canada), 9 October 2005

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,726, 16 October 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$871,527, 27 November 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


An important plot twist, part of the reason the film was given an NC-17 rating in the U.S., is revealed in the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006). See more »


The dates given in the movie are inconsistent. The telethon takes place Veterans Day weekend, November, 1957. It is stated that telethon finished on noon that Sunday, which, according to the calendar, would be November 10th. However the date on the room service bill signed the previous afternoon for Maureen is also dated November 10th. And when the duo are asked to open the New Jersey night club on November 15th, they respond they can't because that is the next day after the telethon ... and that date is inconsistent with both the calendar and the room service bill. See more »


Vince: [as she comes to, he is drinking tea] Morning.
Karen: That was not a Quaalude you gave me. I've had Quaaludes.
Vince: Hmmm. I said it was like a Quaalude.
Karen: And you didn't take one yourself, you palmed the pill.
Vince: [smirking] Somebody had to drive.
[puts down his tea-cup]
Vince: Don't worry, you won't get pregnant. Not from Alice, and certainly not from me. I didn't take off my pants, as you may or may not remember.
Karen: There are laws against drugging people.
Vince: Oh, please! You took it voluntarily, nobody slipped it into your ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the United States, the MPAA cut the film for an R rating. However, the original uncut version was later released unrated on DVD. Some international versions, including the UK version, are the original uncut version. See more »


You Know, You Know
Performed by The Mahavishnu Orchestra
Courtesy of Sony BMG Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd.
Composed by John McLaughlin
(c) Warner/Chappell North America Ltd.
By kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A mighty swing and a miss..but worth seeing
15 October 2005 | by baffled522See all my reviews

Good film, glad to have seen it. Wish there were more adult films as I'm tired of sifting through what appeals to 14 year old males. I wasn't shocked by the sex scenes and can think of a few R-rated films that contained scenes which made me more uncomfortable. There is a lot of sex in the film, it's not framed in shoulders-up shots, but it's not wall-to-wall. There is a good story that goes along with it. I wouldn't call it erotic, this is a story about sex as a way to manipulate people and sex because you can. It is graphically honest. I didn't feel it overwhelmed the plot or took you out of the story. If you're looking for a souped up version of Body Heat though, you'll probably be disappointed.

So I start with a 10 for interesting story and great performances from Firth and Bacon. Bacon clearly has the showier role, and the script mostly revolves around Lanny and how people relate to him. He commits himself to it totally and gives you a revealing performance of this "out there" character, warts and all. You see Lanny for what he is, both the public and private persona. It is a pitch perfect performance. Colin Firth handles the more complex character of Vince with his usual ability to reveal everything and nothing at the same time. His character is more veiled and enigmatic, not so clearly scripted (which works in the movie) and leaves you with questions as much as answers by the film's end. He delivers it with truthfulness and without gimmickry or sleight of hand. One of the thing's I've always liked about him as an actor is once you've seen a movie and know the ending, you can re-watch it and see an even more layered performance than you first realized because his character was fully there from scene one. The mystery, though not what I'd call suspenseful, did serve as a useful and involving vehicle in an interesting character drama. Then I start to subtract.

The film started off a little slow and it took me a while to establish an interest in what really happened to the dead girl, beyond what I'd picked up from the trailer. And Alison Lohman was just bad, I couldn't buy into her character at all. She was supposed to be the engine that drives to the solution of the murder and why these guys broke up, pushing them to reveal secrets they've held onto for 15 years. Not only did she need to be tougher and much smarter and more driven, her acting was way off the mark. Her lines in a scene might read "I'm a tough cookie" but there was nothing in her performance that supported it, before, after or during the scene. She was supposed to be someone who you'd pay a million dollars to for a hard-hitting expose because you believed she could get at the truth. Instead she comes across as the girl from Kansas who just fell off the turnip truck looking for a big break. She's out of her depth, exacerbated by being blown off the screen by her co-stars. I never believed she could stand up to Vince the way she has to in order to make the plot evolve, or hold Lanny's interest as a sexual liaison or an adversary. She added nothing and I think reduced the impact of the mystery's resolution.(Though I agree with an earlier review that Rachel Blanchard was a surprise as the girl killed in the hotel room. She was good.)

My last nit..the music was often wrong. I'm not usually so aware of the music in a film, but in this one it was distracting at times, way over the top.

So this is a film that "coulda been a contender" along the lines of LA Confidential. Close but no cigar. If this were meant to be a break out film of sorts for Egoyan, I don't think he completely managed it. I do think it is worth the price of admission though, and is better than most of the films I've seen this year. I don't mean to undersell the film and its strengths make up for the weaknesses. So if character dramas are your thing, see it for an interesting dynamic and two stand-out performances in an involving plot. See it with friends who love thought provoking movies, probably not right as first date fare.

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