6.5/10
1,193
21 user 25 critic

Absolution (1978)

At a Catholic public school, Benjamin "Benjie" Stanfield (Dominic Guard) is tired of being the teacher's pet and decides to play a practical joke on his form master Father Goddard (Richard ... See full summary »

Director:

Anthony Page

Writer:

Anthony Shaffer (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Burton ... Father Goddard
Dominic Guard ... Benjie
David Bradley ... Arthur (as Dai Bradley)
Billy Connolly ... 'Blakey' / Blakey
Andrew Keir ... Headmaster
Willoughby Gray ... Brigadier Walsh
Preston Lockwood Preston Lockwood ... Father Hibbert
James Ottaway ... Father Matthews
Brook Williams ... Father Clarence
Jon Plowman Jon Plowman ... Father Piers
Robin Soans ... Father Henryson
Trevor Martin Trevor Martin ... Mr. Gladstone
Sharon Duce Sharon Duce ... Louella
Brian Glover ... First Policeman
Dan Meaden Dan Meaden ... Second Policeman
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Storyline

At a Catholic public school, Benjamin "Benjie" Stanfield (Dominic Guard) is tired of being the teacher's pet and decides to play a practical joke on his form master Father Goddard (Richard Burton). In confession, Stanfield tells Goddard that he has accidentally murdered his friend Blakey (Sir Billy Connolly) and buried him in the forest. When Goddard investigates the matter, he finds a buried scarecrow. Goddard is outraged, but, due to the seal of confession, he knows he cannot expel Stanfield. Shortly after, Stanfield once again enters the confession booth, telling Goddard that what before was a practical joke, he has now made happen. In disbelief, Goddard once again goes to the forest to investigate the matter. This time, he discovers Blakey's dead body. The plot soon thickens as Stanfield's fellow student Arthur Dyson (David Bradley) mysteriously disappears.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man, two boys... one deadly game. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 July 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder by Confession See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bulldog See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final theatrical movie of Hilda Fenemore (Mrs. Hoskins). See more »

Goofs

In the tennis match, a close shot of Benjie shows him serving whilst standing in the right service court (which would be illegal) but the long shot shows him serving from the baseline (legal). The score is 30-all, so he should be serving from the right side of the baseline, but is shown serving from the left side. See more »

Soundtracks

Swanee River
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Sung by one of the policemen at Blakey's camp
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Some credibility problems, but still a compelling film.
22 August 2002 | by gridoonSee all my reviews

It's a gripping thriller, and Richard Burton is utterly convincing in the kind of role he was born to play (a rigid priest/teacher, but with traces of humanity underneath). But the constant flow of twists results in constant shifts in the characterizations, until the whole thing becomes too far-fetched for its own good. Nonetheless, it certainly didn't deserve its gross mistreatment by the American distributors, who released it ten years after it was made. (**1/2)


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