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True Confessions

By Marshall Fine

John Gregory Dunne turned the true story of Los Angeles's Black Dahlia murder case into a compelling novel and then adapted the novel (with wife Joan Didion) for this meaty movie mystery directed by Ulu Grosbard. A study of the ways power corrupts, and the way corruption consumes the soul, the film stars Robert Duvall and Robert De Niro as a pair of brothers (a cynical police detective and a rapidly rising monsignor, respectively) who come into conflict over the case of a murdered woman in 1940s Hollywood. De Niro gives a beautifully shaded performance, while Duvall, who never gives a bad one, gets the slightly flashier role. Yet there's nothing showy about Duvall, who gets under the skin of this cop and who knows better than to get personally involved in a case but ultimately can't help it. A fine supporting cast includes Kenneth McMillan, Charles Durning, and Burgess Meredith. Maybe too studied for some, but worth watching if only for the two leads.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)DVD unavailableSoundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Ula Grosbard

Stars: Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Charles Durning, Ed Flanders, Burgess Meredith, Rose Gregorio, Cyril Cusack, Kenneth McMillan, Dan Hedaya, Jeanette Nolan

Released: February 12, 1981

Availability: VHS


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