The Unbelievable Truth (1990)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Writer-director Hal Hartley's first feature -- shot in less than 12 days in his backyard for a mere $200,000 -- is a dry and dark comedy about the dangerous undercurrents that exist below the surface of normal middle class existence. Over the credits, Josh (Robert Burke), a man garbed in black, is seen hitch-hiking back to his Long Island home. People ask him, "Are you a priest?" and Josh responds, "No. I'm a mechanic." Back in Long Island in the town of Lindenhurst, beautiful and somber 17-year-old Audry (Adrienne Shelly) is busy worrying about the forthcoming apocalypse. Josh arrives in Lindenhurst and is hired by Audry's father (Chris Cooke) as a mechanic at his garage. But Audry's father worries about him, particularly when he falls in love with Audry. Her father's problems compound when Audry dumps her old boyfriend and rejects an invitation to attend Harvard. The whole town is now gossiping about Audry's new boyfriend, with rumors spreading that Josh is a mass murderer who killed two members of the family of local waitress Pearl (Julia McNeal). Pearl tells Audry, "He seems like a nice man." Audry responds, "Even though he killed your father and your sister?" Audry finally makes her father happy when she tells him she won't see Josh again, but dad's relief is short-lived when Audry informs him she's moving to New York to become an underwear model. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
Comedy , Drama
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Chris Cooke
as Vic Hugo
Gary Sauer
as Emmet
David Healy
as Todd Whitbread
Edie Falco
as Jane, the Waitress
Jeff Howard
as Irate Driver
Kelly Reichardt
as Irate Driver's Wife
Turner Ross
as Irate Driver's Son
Mary Flynn
as Girl at Counter
Tom Thon
as News Vendor
Mary Sue Flynn
as Girl at Counter
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Critic Reviews for The Unbelievable Truth

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

In this lyrically offbeat fable, Hartley, the most Godardian of American indies, takes the audience to familiar-looking yet utterly strange places, like working class Long Island, where his bizarrely charming romance takes place; still his best film.

Full Review… | August 31, 2006

Hilarious black comedy.

Full Review… | January 16, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Strange little tale that may prove to grow on you.

August 16, 2001
Apollo Guide

Quote not available.

December 11, 2007

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October 9, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Quote not available.

January 24, 2004
IGN Movies

Audience Reviews for The Unbelievable Truth

Hasn't aged well but I can see how enticing HAL HARTLEY's films were in the 90's to certain audiences.

Michael Hartney
Michael Hartney

Mr. Hartley and his director of photography, Michael Spiller, have made a film that is visually and verbally much richer than its low budget.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

I don't know. If you like the Indie vibe, you'll probably be OK, but I struggle with some of the acting here. There are some funny parts, but Rolling Stone's "Wildly Hilarious" comment is mildly exaggerated.

Andy Cramer
Andy Cramer

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