In 1940's Los Angeles, Monsignor Desmond Spellacy (Robert De Niro), a rising star in the Catholic Church hierarchy, has a talent for fundraising that is matched only by his level of piety. When his brother Tom (Robert Duvall), a hard-edged cop, finds that a suspect in the murder of a prostitute may be one of the church's prime benefactors, he asks for his brother's help in catching the killer. Although Desmond is torn between his loyalties to the church and to his brother, he chooses to join Tom in a desperate search for the truth. Based on John Gregory Dunne's novel, in turn based on the real-life killing of Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Short, the infamous Black Dahlia.
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