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Guyana: Cult of the Damned (1979)

Guyana: Crime of the Century (original title)
Reverend Jim Jones, the priest of an independent church in the South American country Guyana, orders his followers to commit suicide. But not all of them follow him blindly and begin to think on their own.

Director:

René Cardona Jr.

Writers:

René Cardona Jr. (screenplay), René Cardona Jr. (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stuart Whitman ... Reverend James Johnson
Gene Barry ... Congressman Leo Ryan
John Ireland ... Dave Cole
Joseph Cotten ... Richard Gable
Bradford Dillman ... Dr. Gary Shaw
Jennifer Ashley Jennifer Ashley ... Anna Kazan
Yvonne De Carlo ... Susan Ames
Nadiuska ... Leslie Stevens
Tony Young ... Ron Harvey
Erika Carlsson Erika Carlsson ... Marilyn Johnson
Robert DoQui ... Oliver Ross
Hugo Stiglitz ... Cliff Robson
Carlos East ... Mike Sheldon
Eduardo Bea Eduardo Bea ... Reporter
Juan Luis Galiardo ... Reporter
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Storyline

This horrific dramatization of the Guyana tragedy traces the steps of Reverend Jim Jones, a highly charismatic, but profoundly paranoid clergyman, who after years of evangelism and good deeds, begins his own church in the mid-western United States. When Jim Jones becomes increasingly obsessed with the belief that the CIA is "a wicked enemy" who is out to get him, he emigrates with his congregation to Guyana, where he plans to create a utopia. But Jim Jones' utopia consists of a society where he demands his followers turn their minds, bodies and possessions over to him, one that is rife with orgies, physical violence, mental torture, and sexual abuse of children and adults. Ultimately, Jim Jones' paranoia reaches a fevered pitch that culminates in him taking savage action against his own congregation. Written by VCI Home Video

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The movie that dares to tell the truth behind the most shocking crime of the century!

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Mexico

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

25 January 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Guyana: Cult of the Damned See more »

Filming Locations:

Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,668,965, 27 January 1980

Gross USA:

$3,798,102

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,798,102
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It's an unauthorized version of the Jonestown story, so many names were changed. Jim Jones is called "James Johnson." See more »

Alternate Versions

The original Mexican cut runs 115 minutes. The USA cut of the film was reedited by Universal down to 90 minutes. This USA cut, although tamer as far as violence and sexual situations go, has a tighter pace and a more documentary-style feel to it by adding some informative narration from an unseen male "survivor." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Citizen Shane (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Time To Love
Written by Alfredo Diaz Ordaz
Performed by Robertha
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Acapulco gathering of old stars
7 July 2011 | by EdgarSTSee all my reviews

A real mess coproduced by México, Spain, Panamá and the U.S., done by the Cardonas with the same sensationalism of other 1970s "films", as "El triángulo de las Bermudas", "¡Tintorera!" and a few others that father and son signed together or separatedly. Everybody spoke their lines in their native languages, many tried to speak English for the "international market"... and were indeed recorded, but finally dubbed for the American version. It is awful in any version. Little was left (I can only guess) of the real facts that made headlines on newspapers. All I can remember now is Stuart Whitman in a blood-red shirt, playing the head of the cult, and all those old familiar faces, probably making fun of what they were doing in Acapulco for a few dollars...


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