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Country: UK

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller



At a Catholic public school, teacher's pet Benjamin 'Benjie' Stanfield (Dominic Guard) plays a practical joke on his form master Father Goddard, by telling him during confession that he has murdered a man and left his body in the forest. When Goddard discovers that Benjie has lied, he is outraged, but knows that he cannot expel Benjie because of the Seal of the Confessional, which forbids a priest to publicly disclose anything they are told by penitents during the confession. When, in a later confession, Benjie claims that he has now actually done what he had earlier 'confessed' simply as a practical joke, Father Goddard discovers that this time someone really has been murdered. When Benjie then confesses his desire to murder his despised crippled classmate Arthur (David 'Dai' Bradley, of "Kes" fame), Father Goddard's life spirals out of control...


  • Adapted by English playwright Anthony Shaffer (1926-2001) from an unperformed stageplay he had written called "Play With a Gypsy"
  • This movie was Scottish comedian Billy Connolly's film debut.
  • There was a disagreement between screenwriter Anthony Shaffer and director Anthony Page as to how the film should build up to the final act, resulting in two versions of this film, the original Theatrical Version and a Director's Cut (both of which are included on the Indicator blu-ray release).
Picture for Absolution


  • Richard Burton
    (Father Goddard)
  • Dominic Guard [ALUMNUS]
    (Benjamin 'Benjie' Stanfield)
  • David Bradley [ALUMNUS]
    (Arthur Dyson)
  • Billy Connolly

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Page Last Modified: 21st July 2019
Page Added: 18th July 2019

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