Absolution (1978)

35mm film, Technicolor
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Anthony Page.

Plot Summary

At an English Catholic boy's school, Benjie Stanfield plays a deadly practical joke on his teacher Father Goddard. He claims, in confession, to have accidentally murdered his friend Blakey and buried his body in the nearby forest. Goddard investigates and uncovers what seems to be a body – but is it what is seems? And can Benjie keep his joke under control and prevent it from becoming reality?


Directed by: Anthony Page
© Bulldog Productions Ltd MCMLXXVIII [1978]
Elliot Kastner and Danny O'Donovan present
Executive Producers: George Pappas, Alan Cluer
Producer: Danny O'Donovan and Elliot Kastner
Associate Producer: Denis Holt
Screenplay by: Anthony Schaffer
Photographed by: John Coquillon
Film Editor: John Victor Smith
Music Composed and Conducted by: Stanley Myers
Sound Recordists: Peter Handford, Ken Barker
Costume Designer: Anne Gainsford
Make-up: Freddie Williamson
Hairdresser: Betty Glasow
Production Designer: Natasha Kroll
Casting: Celestia Fox
Filmed on location in England and at Pinewood Studios, London, England

Richard Burton (Father Goddard)
Dominic Guard (Benjie Stanfield)
Dai Bradley (Arthur Dyson)
Andrew Keir (the headmaster)
Billy Connolly as Blakey
Willoughby Gray (Brigadier Walsh)
Hilda Fenemore (Mrs Hoskins)
Sharon Duce (Louella)
Hilary Mason (Mrs Froggatt)
Robert Addie (Cawley)
Trevor Martin (Gladstone)
Robin Soans (Father Henryson)
Preston Lockwood (Father Hibbert)
James Ottaway (Father Matthews)
Brook Williams (Father Clarence)
Jon Plowman (Father Piers)
Brian Glover, Dan Meaden (police constables)
Kevin Hart (Petersen)
Philip Leake (Gregory)
Michael Crompton (O'Dowd)
Andrew Boxer, Charles Rigby, Richard Willis, Michael Bell, Michael Parkhouse, Martin Stringer, Richard Kates, Francis Fry, Martyn Hesford, Julian Firth, Clive Gehle, Tim Short (other boys)

Alternative Titles

Absolución – Spanish title
Absolvição – Portugese title
Murder by Confession – alternative title
Rozgrzeszenie – Polish title


Cinefantastique vol.18 no.5 (July 1988) pp.44, 45 – illustrated credits, review; illustrated article
The Dark Side December 1990 p.26 – review
Films and Filming vol.24 no.10 (July 1978) pp.8-9 – credits
Films and Filming no.328 (January 1982) p.38 – review
Halls of Horror no.27 p.16 – note
Halls of Horror no.30 p.12 – note
Hollywood Reporter vol.301 no.5 (11 February 1988) pp.3, 13 – credits, review
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.48 no.575 (December 1981 p.239 – credits, synopsis, review
Screen International no.134 (15 April 1978) p.64 – credits
Screen International no.139 (20 May 1978) pp.13, 14 – article
Screen International no.319 (21 November 1981) p.20 – review
Sight & Sound vol.5 no.8 (August 1995) pp.28-29 – illustrated article
Variety 2 December 1981 p.16 – credits, review
Video Today March 1983 – review

English Gothic: Classic Horror Cinema 1897-2015 by Jonathan Rigby p.282
Elliot's Guide to Home Entertainment by John Elliot p.2 – credits, review
The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.8-9 – credits, synopsis p.2
The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film by R.G. Young p.2 – credits
Film Review 1982-1983 by F. Maurice Speed (ed.)
The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.2 – credits, synopsis, review
The Psychotronic Video Guide by MIchael Weldon p.1 – credits, review
Video Source Book 13th Edition (1992) Volume 1 p.8 – credits
Videohound's Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics by Carol A Schwartz p.3 – credits, review
Virgin Film Yearbook 1983 by Al Clarke (ed) p.7 – credits, review