6.3/10
4,553
20 user 14 critic

True Colors (1991)

R | | Drama | 15 March 1991 (USA)
Best friends from law school to election night, their friendship is sorely tested when one learns of another's betrayal.

Director:

Herbert Ross

Writer:

Kevin Wade
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Bad Influence (1990)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A soft and hesitant young man is in danger when tries to break toxic relationships with a mysterious stranger claiming to be his friend.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Rob Lowe, James Spader, Lisa Zane
Jack's Back (1988)
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A serial killer in Los Angeles celebrates Jack the Ripper's 100th birthday by committing similar murders and only one has a chance of stopping him.

Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: James Spader, Cynthia Gibb, Jim Haynie
Storyville (1992)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

While investigating his own blackmailing, a young politician uncovers his family's deep secrets.

Director: Mark Frost
Stars: James Spader, Joanne Whalley, Jason Robards
White Palace (1990)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Still getting over the death of his wife, a young advertising executive meets an older waitress, a woman that might set him free.

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Susan Sarandon, James Spader, Jason Alexander
The Stickup (2002)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

It's a quiet little town where nothing happens - until the day the bank is hit for half a million dollars by a thief wearing a clowns mask.

Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: James Spader, Leslie Stefanson, David Keith
Critical Care (1997)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Werner Ernst is a young hospital resident who becomes embroiled in a legal battle between two half-sisters who are fighting over the care of their comatose father. But are they really ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Spader, Kyra Sedgwick, Helen Mirren
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A thrill seeker agrees to help a shady professional gambler win a high stakes poker game. However, they lose and become captives of two eccentric rich men who decide to forcibly keep them on their remote gated ranch as indentured servants.

Director: Philip Haas
Stars: James Spader, Mandy Patinkin, M. Emmet Walsh
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A female marriage counselor and a male depression expert try to solve the marital problems of a troubled couple.

Director: John McNaughton
Stars: James Spader, Melora Walters, Jay Mohr
Driftwood (1997)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When Sarah walks alone along the desolate beach one day she find an unconscious man, who has been brought to land by the waves. When he awakens he doesn't remember anything. He has no name ... See full summary »

Director: Ronan O'Leary
Stars: James Spader, Anne Brochet, Barry McGovern
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A bachelor afraid of marriage angers his long-time girlfriend by buying a splendid townhouse just for himself, only to find it haunted by the ghosts of a famous theatrical couple, who teach... See full summary »

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: James Spader, Polly Walker, Michael Caine
Dream Lover (1993)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A successful businessman tries to uncover what is wrong with his wife.

Director: Nicholas Kazan
Stars: James Spader, Mädchen Amick, Fredric Lehne
The Pentagon Papers (TV Movie 2003)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Defense worker Daniel Ellsberg seeks to publish a series of classified government documents detailing the true nature of America's involvement in the Vietnam War.

Director: Rod Holcomb
Stars: James Spader, Claire Forlani, Paul Giamatti
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cusack ... Peter Burton
James Spader ... Tim Gerrity
Imogen Stubbs ... Diana Stiles
Mandy Patinkin ... John Palmeri
Richard Widmark ... Sen. James Stiles
Dina Merrill ... Joan Stiles
Philip Bosco ... Sen. Frank Steubens
Paul Guilfoyle ... John Laury
Brad Sullivan ... FBI Agent Abernathy
Russell Dennis Baker Russell Dennis Baker ... Todd
Don McManus ... Doug Stubblefield
Karen Jablons-Alexander Karen Jablons-Alexander ... Store Clerk
Wendee Pratt Wendee Pratt ... Janine
Rende Rae Norman ... Fanne
Frank Hoyt Taylor ... Sen. Lockerby
Edit

Storyline

Peter and Tim are both law students looking to get into the battleground of politics in Washington, but they both have different ideals and ethics. Tim wants to pursue a career in justice, but Peter is determined to be a big political power broker any way he can, even if that means bending the rules. As their careers push them towards political opposites, their friendship must constantly adapt to the new situation. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lies. Deceit. Betrayal. It's What Friendship Is All About. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sensuality | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

True Colours See more »

Filming Locations:

Annapolis, Maryland, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$59,517, 17 March 1991

Gross USA:

$418,807

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$418,807
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Second of two consecutive films with titles referring to color for actor James Spader who had starred in the previous year's movie White Palace (1990). See more »

Goofs

The store clerk's accent appears to change from north eastern to southern from the time Peter meets her to the time she leaves his dorm room. See more »

Quotes

Tim Gerrity: We may not always get what we want. We may not always get what we need. Just so's we don't get what we deserve!
See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Very well-played, but almost written at the level of an after-school special.
3 March 2004 | by abyoussefSee all my reviews

from Dane Youssef

The Brat Pack actors are certainly a talented bunch. Everyone has a favorite. For me, it's a toss-up between James Spader and Anthony Michael Hall.

John Cusack was mesmerizing back in his early-days. He was a teenager, but he looked, sounded and acted very adult for his age. "The Sure Thing" put him on the map and "Say Anything..." made him a household name.

But while Crowe's "Say Anything..." was obviously a great movie, it was both a blessing and a curse for Cusack, who has rarely played anything else in his career. I know, I know. He's been in countless other movies. But "a rose by any other name..." His character, no matter what the movie, is essentially always Lloyd Dobbler.

Spader sometimes played other types besides the oily Steff from "Pretty in Pink." His typecast-breaking turn came when he played the lead in this movie.

But I know Cusack can do more. I keep waiting for him to. Which was one of my guilty pleasures of this movie.

The story and plot are the right out of the old fable about the rich man and the poor man who come together and create something special... and then the rich man betrays the poor man and casts him aside. And the poor man plots to take revenge...

Another big twist that "True Colors" has is it's twist in typecasting. Cusack specializes in playing sharp, calculated, smarter-than-average teenager... who's heartbroken and devastated... and is desperately trying to win back the girl. Here, Cusack plays a character who's as smart as the heroes he usually plays, though here he uses his intellectual gifts for evil instead of good. His goal is usually to win the girl's heart. Here he betrays the girl (and his close friend) in order to get what he wants.

And Spader usually plays blue-blooded, silver-spoon fed, upper-class yuppie scummy villains. Here he's still a rich blue-blooded yuppie. But a hero, who uses his financial connections to right wrongs and do just.

The two meet the first day of law school where there's a fender-bender and brief scuffle. Cusack angrily attacks Spader violently and blames him for the whole thing and the two have to be pulled apart. Later on, things get worse as they discover... their assigned to be roommates. Cusack smooths things over by admitting the whole thing was his fault. You'll see why.

Afterwords, the two form a fast friendship and Spader even uses his financial backgrounds and connections to help Cusack out. Later we find out that Cusack is lying about his background to fit in and the payoff feels lifted out of a soppy, moralizing and insipid sit-com where today's moral is... "If you have to be someone else to get a friend, then they're really not your friend."

Richard Widmark is great as well as the ailing senator who sees potential and ambition in Cusack after he sees what looks like Cusack doing him a favor, little realizing how dangerous Cusack is. Spader girlfriend considers breaking off the relationship for Cusack who can keep her bringing in big cash. She doesn't realize that Cusack is willing to betray her too, in order to get what he wants.

One of the major problems is that their true colors are obvious from the beginning. Cusack is clearly someone not to trust from the start and Spader all but actually walks on water. Another is that the movie is too thin. There isn't enough entry.

The movie... skims too much of the surface. And Spader's big plan and the finale is pretty tacked on.

The movie aspires to be a movie like "Patriot Games" or "Citizen Kane." But everything is routine and predictable and there are precious few new touches to this tired formula. If screenwriter Kevin Wade could've given the script a bit more depth and discovery into these characters and done a little more with the formula, this could have really been something special. The cast does what it can, but inevitably, a good cast can only take a movie so far. Still, it's worth seeing just for Cusack turn towards the dark side and Spader as a yuppie with heart.

Oh, well...

--Filled With Personal Politics, Dane Youssef


9 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed