True Colors (1991 film)

True Colors (1991 film)

"True Colors" (1991) is a film written by Kevin Wade and directed by Herbert Ross. The cast included John Cusack, James Spader and Richard Widmark in his final movie role.

Plot summary

The movie opens with Peter Burton (Cusack) and his best friend Tim Garrity (Spader) nervously awaiting the results of Peter's congressional election. The two men met seven years earlier after getting into a fistfight over a fender bender in the parking lot at law school. After discovering that they are to be roommates, the men quickly put their differences aside and become close friends. Tim, who comes from an affluent family, is an idealistic person who wants to do what is right. He plans a career with the Department of Justice, a fact that doesn't sit well with his girlfriend, Diana (Imogen Stubbs), the daughter of Senator Stiles (Widmark). Peter, who is embarrassed by his lower-class roots, is willing to use and manipulate anyone to get ahead. He plans a career in politics, eventually manipulating his way into a job on a congressman's campaign staff.

Despite his disapproval of Peter's lies and scheming, Tim loves Peter like a brother. However, the friendship between the two men is severely tested when Peter confesses to Tim during a ski vacation that he and Diana have been carrying on an affair behind Tim's back. He adds that he plans to ask Diana to marry him.

Tim, angry at the betrayal, speeds off down a hazardous ski trail. The less experienced Peter follows him down. Tim leads Peter to the edge of a steep cliff. Peter, unable to stop in time, hurdles down to the bottom breaking his leg and cracking two ribs. Tim, out of guilt, forgives Peter and even agrees to be the best man at Peter and Diana's wedding.

Shortly after marrying Diana, Peter falls under the influence of John Palmieri (Mandy Patinkin), a malevolent man with ties to organized crime and political corruption. He bribes Peter into going along with an influence peddling scheme. Meanwhile, things have begun to spiral out of control in Peter's extended family. Earlier in the film, Senator Stiles is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease, something that will end his political career. Peter seizes the opportunity to manipulate his father-in-law into supporting his run for Congress. When the older man refuses, Peter threatens to leak news of the illness to the press. The senator reluctantly acquiesces.

Tim, who by this time has risen through the ranks of the Department of Justice, launches an investigation into political corruption that will eventually lead back to Palmieri. When Palmieri discovers Peter's ties to Tim, he bullies Peter into setting Tim up by putting him in touch with a bogus tipster. Tim runs with the false information. He creates a public embarrassment for the DOJ as well as compromises the investigation; Tim is suspended for his actions. Peter then hires Tim to work for him on his upcoming campaign.

Senator Stiles reveals the conversation that he had with Peter to Diana. Diana angrily confronts Peter, slapping his face and threatening divorce. Shortly thereafter, Tim then discovers Peter's role in getting him suspended from his job. Tim, still upset with Peter's attempt to blackmail the Senator, agrees to help the DOJ work to bring Peter down.

Tim works diligently to gather evidence of Peter's wrongdoings and dealing with Palmieri all the while pretending to be Peter's most loyal supporter. After compiling as much evidence as he possibly can, he convinces his superiors at the DOJ to set up surveillance in a hotel room. After Peter wins the election, Tim gets Peter into the hotel room upstairs and to own up to everything on camera. Peter becomes suspicious shortly thereafter; Tim admits to trying to bring Peter down, revealing the presence of the surveillance camera. He also tells Peter that Palmieri is being arraigned at that very moment. Peter then viciously attacks Tim, throwing him into furniture and choking him.

After Peter gives his victory speech, he is arrested and charged with political corruption. Despite having gotten even with Peter over his many betrayals, Tim leaves the scene feeling disillusioned and bitter. The movie ends a few months later when Peter drops by Tim's apartment to drop off a bottle of champagne. Peter reveals that he will not be sworn into office. He also tells Tim that he has been offered immunity in exchange for testimony against Palmieri and that he is fearful of reprisals from Palmieri and his crew. Tim then tells Peter that he will be forced to testify against him if he does not accept the plea deal. The two men then exchange a few more words before Peter departs.

Much of the filming occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the nightclub scene was at TRAX, the storied venue once run by Coran Capshaw, who would launch and manage the Dave Matthews Band.

External links

*imdb title|id=0103125|title=True Colors

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