Director(s): Anthony Page
IMDB Rating: 6.1
At a Catholic public school, Benjamin Stanfield is tired of being the teachers pet and decides to play a practical joke on his form master Father Goddard. In confession, Stanfield tells Goddard that he has accidentally murdered his friend Blakey 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 Blakeys dead body. The plot soon thickens as Stanfields fellow student Arthur Dyson mysteriously disappears...
|Absolution (iPod)||Resolution: 480x368 px||Total Size: 335 Mb||
|Absolution (DivX)||Resolution: 720x544 px||Total Size: 1913 Mb|
Jonathon Dabell (22 May 2013)
Anthony Shaffer's scripts are nearly always identifiable by the waythey stay cleverly one step ahead of the viewer. In his originalscripts, such as The Wicker Man and Sleuth, Shaffer skilfully hidesshocking and memorable twists right up to the films' conclusion. Alsoin his adapted scripts Â such as Frenzy and Death On The Nile - Shaffermanages to generate lots of mystery and suspense before delivering histrademark surprise-solutions. However, in Absolution, a 1978 filmscripted by Shaffer and directed by Anthony Page, the twists aresomewhat overdone. Indeed, the film becomes positively excessive in itsdetermination to lead the viewer up various blind alleys, in pursuit ofcountless red herrings. Slowly but surely credibility is strained,until it collapses altogether at the film's preposterous climax. Thisis a shame, as the film has an intriguing concept and contains somegood performances.At a particularly strict Catholic boarding school, a pupil named BenStanfield (Dominic Guard) grows fed up with his reputation as theteacher's pet of priest Father Goddard (Richard Burton). In a moment ofoutrageous mischief, he speaks to Father Goddard in the confession boxand confesses to him that he has murdered a fellow pupil named ArthurDyson (Dai Bradley). Goddard is understandably distraught to learn ofthis, more so because he is bound by duty to keep secret allconfessions that are made to him. Later Goddard goes to the place whereBen claims to have buried the corpse, but discovers when he digs it upthat it is merely a scarecrow and that he has been the victim of anasty prank. The plot thickens when Ben again tells Father Goddard thathe has murdered his fellow student, but this time a real body turns up.The mental strain on Goddard is immense. On one hand, he knows who thekiller is, but on the other he can do nothing because his religion saysthat whatever is passed in confidence in a confession box must remainforever secret. Mad with despair, Goddard takes desperate measures toput a stop to these evil pranks, only to learn too late that all is notwhat it seemsÂ .Burton's performance as the priest is pretty good. One must admit thatthe film is far-fetched and reaches a delirious, hysterical tone by theend, but throughout Burton manages to give a believable and absorbingperformance. The pacing is quite good too, with a deliberately slowbuild-up that lures the viewer into a false sense of security beforethe genuinely nasty stuff gets underway. In some ways it seems churlishto criticise Shaffer's script for its twists, because they do at leastkeep the audience guessing, and few will predict what is coming next.But the thing that makes most of Shaffer's earlier works so effectiveis that the twists fit in to the overall narrative with eerieplausibility, whereas in this one they seem extremely contrived andover-the-top. I certainly don't agree with some reviewers who suggestthat the film is an unmitigated disaster, and the fact that U.Sdistributors shelved the film for 10 years is very unfair in light ofsome of the absolute rubbish they release straight away. Absolution isa mid-quality audience teaser, not plausible enough to have anylong-lasting resonance but tangled enough to keep its audienceguessing.
fando (21 May 2013)
Richard Burton is an excellent actor, and I agree with somebody who hasalready given a comment on this movie that this is the kind of role thatfits him best ( let's remember The Heretic, a.k.a. The Exorcist II, in whichhe was one of the few asserts). What makes this movie so special is that it contains elements of murdermystery (obviously, and most of all because there's suspected murder) andgothic horror genres of the 19th century ( long dark hallways of an oldcatholic school in the middle of the dense woods, along with noises at nightseemingly coming out of nowhere, and the constant feeling of the charactersthat they're being followed). It somehow reminds me of the giallo being madein Italy during the 70's( well, actually, a lot, specially because there'sno hint to what's going to happen next, and there's just a lot coming upeach moment, which was characteristic in GOOD giallos, because there werelots of them, which leads us to think that it was worldwide popular). Thetension never stops to build stronger and stronger, until the end, when it'salmost ubearable. It bears the atmosphere of a folk ghost tale at 75% ofit's length (check out the banjo music at the beginning), and at the end, Itconcludes as an Edgar Allan Poe esque tale, where root of evil is revealed,but it's too late for victims to do something about it, as they alreadybecame involved up their necks. You suspect of everything: ghosts, amurderer, the main character's own madness, a set up.....Until the very end. There's another movie called "Dominique" that was made around that time,which bears the same dramatic elements, but is not as good, but will stillmake a great double feature for a rainy night alone at home... As they say: " Save it for a rainy day"...Desperately waiting for It's release on DVD. Maybe it never got theattention it deserved because there's no gore, and as far as violence, it'sonly implied....Absolutely does the trick without being too noisy, or gory,or hollywoodly expensive about it...Great!!!!
Bezenby (14 May 2013)
Angry looking, twitchy Richard Burton stars as a priest at an all boysschool. He's all for slapping down the disabled, annoying pupil whilepraising the sycophantic, sneaky pupil (I've forgotten their namesalready). Meanwhile, Billy Connolly of all people turns up as a drifterand after being told to bolt by Burton, sets up camp on the schoolgrounds and begins to turn the sneaky pupil's head onto drink and drugsand living free. Vexed by Connolly's free spirit and nimble banjo plucking, Burton setsout to get rid of the Glaswegian hippy and get his pupil to returnwhere every adolescent boy belongs: in a school run by Catholicpriests. Brian Glover appears as a policeman that gives out a good oldseventies police kicking for good measure. However, the tables turn asthe young pupil confesses that he's murdered somebody, but is hetelling the truth or is it just all mind games to drive old rummyBurton out of his mind?This film is deadly, deadly slow, but quite on purpose. It's yetanother one of these seventies movies where the plot zigs and zags andsomehow retains a dark atmosphere that modern films somehow can't quiteemulate. There's very little by way of action, but one burst ofviolence took me by surprise in it's brutality (a nasty axe to the facescene). Burton looks genuinely annoyed at everything, and as this wasBilly Connolly back when he was funny, he's enjoyable too. This is nota film for insomniacs but good for those with a bit of patience.
neobowler (13 May 2013)
I don't think anyone can really like this movie. It doesn't do things inadifferent strange way which is good. But the movie is just so boring, andyou are waiting for it to be over. The acting really isn't that bad, butyoudon't care about that when your watching it. I give it a 1 1/2 out of5.
(04 May 2013)
This movie was strange indeed with a twisted turn. It is not a true story as indicated on the description. This was probably just inserted as an assault on the Catholic Church by Amazon.
(03 May 2013)
Instead of Absolution, this video should have been named "Senseless in St. Louis". This video had no plot, no storyline, no meaning. I only wish I had read a review, before I had wasted my time and money. I am extremely surprised SUB ROSA allowed this excuse for a film to be published. The only positive of this movie is the music. If a movie doesn't have plot then at least it could have character development - decent dialogue - or at the very least some tits and ass!!! What is the film trying to say??? Go figure? The work is like a bad puzzel you try and try to figure out and then when you finally start to understand the solution, you wish you hadn't because it is meaningless. BUT - maybe the wannabe directors and producers who made the video didn't want it to make sense and bore us all to tears? Maybe this is their vendetta against the world? Since I, the director, suffer and am confused, I'll make crap so other people can suffer and be confused. The acting - or the acotrs acting like they were acting - goes something like this: Let's act like we are mad - let's act like we are hurt - But please, spare the world of your egotistical boredom! Jonas Moses, one of the leads, had some wackey accent from Iraq maybe? "Look at me, Look at me!" that apropo line was very fitting. Leila Schmaker was soooo dramatic. I apologize deeply for going on and on, but I'm beyond upset that I wasted my time and money to try and figure out what the hell was going on. Actually - go out and buy it so you can suffer my own fate! Misery loves company!
(29 April 2013)
It's great to find a hard to find movie on DVD, story and plot aside, the only problem with this DVD is that the video quality is quite poor. I'm not sure what master was used for the transfer, but the quality of the image is far below what we expect today from DVD releases. If you're a stickler for image quality, I would think otherwise before buying this DVD.
Preeko (28 April 2013)
The beginning is slightly boring but as you get into the film it twists andturns many times giving a great ending. Burton being one of the best actors of all time, gave a brilliantperformance. From the tag line and the description of the film, I didn't think it wasgoing to be a good as it was. The ending was unexpected, so i believe it to be very well written, verywell cast and very well directed.This is a must for any Burton fan.I give it a rating of 3 out of 5
(23 April 2013)
Richard Burton is my absolute favorite actor,bar none. I was pretty stoked to discover this film since I had never seen it,nor heard of it.Even if you aren`t quite the huge RB fan I am,you should still enjoy this psycho-thriller set in a British parochrial(sp?) boys` school.A bit slow starting out but does pick up and "worth the watch".Burton is at home in his role as the cantankerous,mildly-sadistic Headmaster of the school.Somewhat predictable but with a decent surprise ending--and one actually shocking scene! Recommended for all my fellow Richard Burton fans 100%!Worth buying it used for you non-believers,too! ;)Thank You for reading!
pcernea-1 (23 April 2013)
This movie is somewhat hard to watch because it is slow-paced andlow-budget, but the great acting by Richard Burton and the others makeup for this. More importantly, it brings up a unique set of issues thatother movies do not, at least not in one single movie. The effects ofFather Goddard's favoritism towards apple-polishing Benji at theexpense of the more intelligent Dyson. The homoerotic dynamics betweenGoddard/Benji, Blakey/Benji, Goddard/Dyson, and basically everyone, andthe sadism of Benji towards the masochist Dyson (who ultimately is moreclever). The biggest issue, more important now than ever, is how crimescan be hidden within the Catholic church which sees itself as above thelaw and above family/friendship, and well- meaning priests willperpetuate this, because they are inculcated that this is their highestduty. This simple yet extremely intelligent movie shows how theCatholic church can be rendered impotent to protect people because (intheory) its priests are sworn to secrecy, and may not appeal to secularpolice.
(22 April 2013)
Richard Burton is a priest at a catholic school for boys. One day during latin class he tells the boys about the sanctity of confession, and that the priest who hears it is bound to not reveal the confession to anyone. This is true even if the confessor has committed murder. Well, this puts ideas into the heads of some of the lads, who set out to use this information against the priest himself. False confessions are made, as well as a confession of murder! Burton's character is sent into turmoil trying to get to the bottom of things. He's made a fool of and also gets drawn into a dark plot to destroy him. ABSOLUTION has many twists and creepy moments. I was surprised at how good it turned out to be. I was expecting some dumb religious movie! Track this one down...
gridoon (21 April 2013)
It's a gripping thriller, and Richard Burton is utterly convincing in thekind of role he was born to play (a rigid priest/teacher, but with tracesofhumanity underneath). But the constant flow of twists results in constantshifts in the characterizations, until the whole thing becomes toofar-fetched for its own good. Nonetheless, it certainly didn't deserve itsgross mistreatment by the American distributors, who released it ten yearsafter it was made. (**1/2)
sol1218 (21 April 2013)
(There are Spoilers) Very disturbing film about a Catholic boardingschool that may very well offend some viewers in its depiction of theschools Latin teacher Father Goddard, Richard Burton. It's not whatFather Goddard does but how he's manipulated and later drove to thebrink of madness and suicide that's so disturbing. All this whileFather Goddard is trying to help one of his students Benji Stanfield,Dominic Guard, who had gone astray from the schools teachings to thepoint of murder.Being looked upon as his best pupil Father Goddard has Benji set up, toall the students in his Latin class, as an example of what a good andintelligent young man should be. This has the nerdy and crippled ArthurDyson, David Bradley, always try to hang out with Benji in order thatsome of his popularity with both the administrators and students in theschool would rub off on himself. Benji tolerates the odd-ball Dyson upto a point but gets a bit turned off by his always, through no fault ofhis own, screwing things up for him in his fumbling and butterfingeredways.It's when Benji doing his morning run, which the lame legged Dysoncouldn't participate in, runs into this easy rider type hippie Blakey,Billy Connolly, that he starts to change for the worst. Blakey puttingideas into Benji's head about drugs and sex, together with his hippiegirlfriend Louella(Sharon Duce), that has Father Goodard put his footdown and forbid Benji never to see Blakey again. Benji trying to mendfences with Father Goodard asks him to receives his confession whichthe Father reluctantly does and gets all the steamy and unholy detailsof his relationships with both Blakey and Louella.Father Goddard not being able to really do anything since the thingsthat Benji confessed to him are between him and Benji, and God, triesin a round about sort of way to get the young man back on the righttrack. Benji who was getting fed up with the restrictions of hisCatholic faith, in how it keeps him from doing the things that hereally wants to do, starts to play games with the concerned FatherGoddard. Benji goes out and committing a number of horrendous acts thatincluded the murder of his good friend Blakey, who was about to leavehim. Confessing those acts, or crimes, to Father Goddard Benji knowsfull well that he couldn't tell the police or even have him expelledfrom the school.Playing Father Goddard for a fool Benji starts to enjoy his driving thevery serious and strict man almost insane. Running to where Benji toldhim that he buried the murdered Blakely Father Goddard only finds outthat the whole story about murdering him was a joke. Later Benji againconfesses that this time around he really did in fact murder Balkey andwhen the now almost hysterical Father Goddard goes to the place whereBenji told him that Blakey was buried he indeed finds the man dead andburied! The movie then takes a sudden U-turn when it comes out, withyet another confession on Benji's part, that the lame and dejectedDyson was also a victim of Benji's insanity. These revelations drivesFather Goddard over the top which is exactly what Benji was planning todo to him right from the start. Bringing Father Goddard to the brink ofcondemning himself, in the Catholic tradition, to eternal damnation or,in the eyes of the law, a life behind bars in either a prison or mentalinstitution.The movie has a very out of left field surprise ending where we seewhat was really behind all this manipulating of poor Father Goddardsmind. This act of revenge and jealousy that went as far as driving theman to not only lose his faith and sanity but his life as well. FatherGoddard demise came about by him innocently going along with those whowere using him and his good will, in helping them, for their own sickselfish and ungodly purposes.
shirley12vineyard (20 April 2013)
I came upon this movie after it had already begun. I couldn't find theprogramme listing - so was completely 'at sea' as to the genre and modefor a time. Now, having read others' comments I can offer a differentslant. My 'start' was around the time when two priests were talking,and referring to (Dyson?) needing extra care as he was vulnerable - andshortly after Benji pressuring Fr Goddard to hear his confession in thepriest's study (usually a no-no) regarding his meetings with theseriously weird Billy Connolly character and his voluptuous lady. For atime I felt there was a Hitchcock-like parody running - the sound-trackmusic seeming to be bordering on comic-horror. Viewing with today's(2009) sensibilities had me wondering if we were going to be travelingto the dire domain of sexual abuse so much a feature of recent RC'outings' in real life, and for me for a time then added to serioustension. Of course there was no such sub-plot; Goddard was a'true-blue' pre-Vatican II priest - a desperate "keep me constant Lord- keep me constant!" his prayer in times of dire temptation to stgrikeback at his tormentor/s.I had never heard of this film - but was lured to stick with it becauseof Richard Burton - granite-like and deeply troubled from the firsttake. The plot twists were rather tortuous, and I didn't pick up theimpersonation going on in the confessional, so was greatly caught up inthe last plot movements.I agree with commentators that some of the filming tricks struckexactly the right note. The sequences in the woods were seriouslyspooky with their blurred shadowy nuances of being followed.The colouration plan was obviously meant to be monochromatic with only'splash' instances of colour? i.e. inside the school and thecharacter's hair and skin tones are quite black/white - with thepriestly stole singularly purple, and outside of course, green wastruly green.I rate this movie much more highly than most. At the very least it isof distinctive genre, keeps you viewing (past the small hours) anddisplays the legendary Burton still able to strut his thespian stuffwith the best of them.
(20 April 2013)
Burton does a great job in this movie, and the film really keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. It is very intense, and there are a lot of surprises. This is categorized as a psychological thriller--in reality it is perhaps a "psychotic" thriller! There is a slight lack of credibility at the end, but this is definitely worth the watch!
christophaskell (19 April 2013)
Penned by Anthony Shaffer, who also wrote the screenplay for the amazingfilm, ÂThe Wicker Man', ÂAbsolution' had a similar feel to it. The pacingwas intentionally slow, but mysterious, making the end all the more powerfuland memorable. It worked very well in ÂThe Wicker Man'. Here, however, thetwist was pretty lame and illogical, and it almost seemed comical. Withoutgiving anything away, I'll just say that I felt as someone in the writingroom threw this ending out, and it only made it in the movie because no onecould think of something better. As a payoff I found it to be slightlyinsulting. I focus so much of my attention on the ending because the wholemovie is in the last five minutes. Every other part of the movie is fine.Solid acting, a script that set up the ending beautifully, and BillyConnolly was a great casting choice, but all that lost when the writer hit ablock. Since the whole movie was in the ending, I would have to say this isone to stay away from, unless you're a Billy Connolly fan, in which casejust watch the bits where he's in. Rating: 21/40
(16 April 2013)
"Absolution" surprised me. I expected a boring melodrama with Richard Burton as a priest in a Catholic boy's school, but was pleasantly surprised with genuine creepiness and interesting plot developments.Despite numerous scenes of Latin class and related academic pursuits, the film has an interesting storyline and some surprising developments. Burton makes the error of telling his students that anything said in confession can never be revealed, even to the police. This gives the boys an idea for a great practical joke at Burton's expense, but things turn ugly fast, first for a banjo-toting hippie, and later for others. The student under suspicion is cunning, perhaps even more cunning than Burton, and things rapidly spin out of control as Burton reaps an unexpected whirlwind.Not all is as it seems, however. Part of the final plot point requires a suspension of disbelief, but overall the film has a haunted, harrowing feel that is rarely matched in psychological thrillers. Burton does occasionally give in to the temptation to overact, and the scenery chewing is contagious in the cast, particularly in the closing moments. Despite those drawbacks (and a dreadful bit of comic opera performed by the boys), I liked the film, and found it absorbing.
bkoganbing (16 April 2013)
In the last decade of his life Richard Burton was doing just aboutanything put in front of him for money. He felt, probably rightly so,that he had nothing to prove as an actor. So why not build up a nestegg, especially with all the heavy duty alimony he was laying out. It'sthe only reason I could think of he did Absolution.Burton plays a priest at a British Catholic school where he's got somereally sadistic kids on his hands. After a class in which he carefullyexplains the religious implications of the confessional and therestrictions it places upon a priest hearing confession, Father Burtonhears some confessions that positively drive him to the brink and hesingles out one youth as responsible for it all. Drives Father Dickquite bonkers.It's pretty bad, it's the sort of stuff that the producers of Americanslasher films would do with a little more gore. It didn't enhanceBurton's reputation and I wouldn't waste my time.
Billy Spears (14 April 2013)
Not only is Absolution a hard movie to find, but it also very slowmoving. The acting is great and the story is great, but the directorcould have tried something to liven it up. All script writing bookswill tell you to put the first action and get the ball rolling aboutten to fifteen minutes into the film, whereas in the case of Absoution,you go about halfway through the movie and realize the plot startedhalf an hour before.Absolution focuses on two students in a catholic school, one namedBenji (Dominic Guard) and one Dyson (David Bradley). Benji is thegolden boy of the school who is good at everything from sports toclass, Dyson on the other hand is crippled and not too good atanything. When Father Goddard (Richard Burton) hears Benji's confessionthat he killed a homeless drifter named Blakey (Billy Connoly) theninvestigates only to find a buried scarecrow he doesn't take the nextreport of Blakey's murder very seriously, but this time discoversBlakey's corpse. When Goddard receives another confession that Benjihas killed Dyson, he drives himself mad looking for the body untilfinally killing Benji, only to discover that Dyson, jealous of Benji'sabilities and the favoritism shown to Dyson by Goddard, had beenimpersonating Benji in the confessions.also I believe that Richard Burton's performance was great but youcan't overlook Billy Connoly who is a great comedian and great actor ofany genre.
(13 April 2013)
The DVD arrived as predicted, and appeared to be as advertised. However, on trying to play it, the video portion looked good, but the sound wasvery low volume (could not amplify it enough to hear it, and what could be heard was garbled. Could not watch it and understand anything being said.
Review total: 20, showing from 1 to 20