6.3/10
6,585
62 user 24 critic

True Confessions (1981)

A worldly ambitious monsignor clashes with his older brother, a cynical Los Angeles homicide detective who is investigating the brutal murder of a young prostitute.

Director:

Ulu Grosbard

Writers:

John Gregory Dunne (novel), John Gregory Dunne (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Des Spellacy (as Robert DeNiro)
Robert Duvall ... Tom Spellacy
Charles Durning ... Jack Amsterdam
Kenneth McMillan ... Frank Crotty
Ed Flanders ... Dan T. Campion
Cyril Cusack ... Cardinal Danaher
Burgess Meredith ... Seamus Fargo
Rose Gregorio Rose Gregorio ... Brenda Samuels
Dan Hedaya ... Howard Terkel
Gwen Van Dam ... Mrs. Fazenda
Thomas Hill ... Mr. Fazenda (as Tom Hill)
Jeanette Nolan ... Mrs. Spellacy
Jorge Cervera Jr. Jorge Cervera Jr. ... Eduardo Duarte
Susan Myers Susan Myers ... Bride
Louisa Moritz ... Whore
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Storyline

De Niro (a Catholic Priest) and Duvall (a Homicide Detective) play brothers drawn together after many years apart, in the aftermath of the brutal murder of a young prostitute. Written by Grant Hamilton <n9431210@scholar.nepean.uws.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two brothers out to save everyone else. But they couldn't save each other.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Confesiones verdaderas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,850,276

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,850,276
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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

The film's marketing boasted the star-teaming of the two ROBERTs - Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall. The film's marketing also emphasized alliteration of their last names: "DE NIRO. DUVALL. True Confessions." De Niro and Duvall had been rivals for the Best Actor Oscar at the 1981 Academy Awards just six months before the film launched stateside. Duvall had been up for The Great Santini (1979), but De Niro won for Raging Bull (1980). Neither were Best Actor Oscar nominated for this movie, as expected by industry insiders, but the two were jointly awarded the Best Actor Golden Phoenix Award for their performances in this film. Duvall and De Niro had appeared in The Godfather: Part II (1974), but they never appeared together in the same scene, but finally did in this movie. See more »

Goofs

When the brothers discuss at the lunch counter Des's prior meeting of Lois Fazenda, the napkin which Thomas crumples in his hands suddenly appears on the counter on the reverse angle shot, then is back in his hands again as the scene ends. See more »

Quotes

Tom Spellacy: Msgr. Spellacy's table, please.
Headwaiter: I thought that Msgr. Spellacy would be dining with Mr. Amsterdam.
Tom Spellacy: Well, you thought wrong, fuckhead.
See more »

Connections

References Elephant Boy (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Again
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
Played at the wedding reception
See more »

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User Reviews

Two greats at their best
1 July 2004 | by TroopieSee all my reviews

I had high hopes for this film, with De Niro and also the rarely if ever disappointing Robert Duvall, two of the best actors around. I wasn't disappointed. This is a very understated, gently told story of church & police politics, of corruption, of brothers & of the way our decisions affect our future lives. As he so often does, Duvall steals the film but he has tough competition from the likes of Cusack (brilliantly cynical), Meredith &, of course, De Niro. I have watched this film several times & have even transferred it onto DVD so that I may continue to enjoy it. If you're looking for thrills or excitement, rent something else. But if you're looking for good characters, a believable plot & a strangely unforgettable film, I recommend this one.


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