IMDb > The Initiation of Sarah (1978) (TV)

The Initiation of Sarah (1978) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Don Ingalls (teleplay) &
Carol Saraceno (teleplay) ...
View company contact information for The Initiation of Sarah on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 February 1978 (USA) See more »
A withdrawn young girl joins an unpopular sorority in college. It turns out she has psychic and telekinetic powers, and she uses them against a rival sorority. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
One of the most entertainingly ridiculous TV movies ever made See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Kay Lenz ... Sarah Goodwin

Shelley Winters ... Mrs. Erica Hunter

Tony Bill ... Paul Yates

Kathryn Grant ... Mrs. Goodwin

Morgan Fairchild ... Jennifer Lawrence

Morgan Brittany ... Patty Goodwin

Robert Hays ... Scott Rafferty

Tisa Farrow ... Alberta 'Mouse'
Elizabeth Stack ... Laura O'Neil
Deborah Ryan ... Bobbie Adams
Nora Heflin ... Barbara

Talia Balsam ... Allison

Michael Talbott ... Freddie
Jennifer Gay ... Kathy Anderson

Susan Duvall ... Regina Wilson
Albert Owens ... Young man
Debi Fries ... Susan
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Doug Davidson ... Tommy (uncredited)
Madelaine Kelley ... Clerk (uncredited)
Karen Purcill ... Pledge (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Day 
Writing credits
Don Ingalls (teleplay) &
Carol Saraceno (teleplay) &
Kenette Gfeller (teleplay)

Tom Holland (story) &
Carol Saraceno (story)

Produced by
Jay Benson .... producer
Charles W. Fries .... executive producer (as Charles Fries)
Allan Marcil .... associate producer
Original Music by
Johnny Harris 
Cinematography by
Ric Waite 
Film Editing by
Anthony DiMarco 
Casting by
Ramsay King  (as Ramsey King)
Art Direction by
Herman F. Zimmerman 
Set Decoration by
Ray Molyneaux 
Costume Design by
Yvonne Kubis 
Ed Sunley 
Makeup Department
Wes Dawn .... makeup artist
William Lyon MacKenzie .... makeup artist (as Will Mackenzie)
Donna Turner Culver .... hair stylist
Production Management
William P. Owens .... production manager
Fred Stark .... unit production manager
Malcolm Stuart .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bruce Hanson .... second assistant director
Fred Stark .... first assistant director
Art Department
Vic Culina .... property master
Sound Department
Marvin Kerner .... sound effects editor
C. Darin Knight .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Cliff Wenger .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
John Bailey .... camera operator
Richard Walden .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Warren Chadwick .... assistant film editor
Music Department
John Fresco .... music supervisor
John Mick .... music editor
Transportation Department
Buster Kohloff .... transportation captain
Other crew
Nancy Hansen .... script supervisor
Orin Kennedy .... location manager
Linda Sony Kinney .... production coordinator
Joseph J. Kontra .... production assistant
Kathleen Ross .... assistant to producer
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
96 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Continuity: When Sarah comes down the stairs to go to for the birthday party for Paul Yates, her hair seems suddenly much longer than it was moments before.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Superstar (1999)See more »


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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
One of the most entertainingly ridiculous TV movies ever made, 5 June 2010
Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile

This is one of the most entertainingly ridiculous TV movies ever made. It has often been written off by many smug critics as "Carrie Goes to College", but that's not entirely accurate. It has a bit more of an occult angle for one thing (Why not "To the Devil, a Coed"?). Mostly though, unlike "Carrie" it's pretty hard to take seriously, and I think most of the people involved in it were perfectly aware they were making a cheap TV movie and were in on the joke.

The casting is pretty ridiculous. There is ugly and then there is "Hollywood ugly", but Kay Lenz wasn't even "Hollywood ugly", and it's pretty hard to buy her as a socially shunned girl who has to join the loser sorority. Lenz (who was married to 70's heart-throb David Cassidy at the time) was actually a lot prettier than walking, talking Barbie dolls like Morgan Brittany, who plays her much more popular sister, or Morgan Fairchild, who heads the popular sorority. Anyway, it is testament to her acting ability that Lenz is at all believable in this role. Tisa Farrow who plays a put-upon character named "Mouse" is highly annoying but not exactly ugly either. (She is famous for three things: she is Mia Farrow's sister,she was the female lead in Lucio Fulci's "Zombie",and she was involved in a famous falling out the Beatles had with the Maharishi in the 60's after the transcendental mystic couldn't transcend the urge to pinch the butts of her and the other young starlets in their entourage).

Of course, the best thing as usual is Shelley Winters as a house mother with an interest in the occult who encourages "Sarah" to use her latent telekinetic powers against their popular rivals. Winters was derided by some for gaining a lot of weight late in her career, but given all the scenery she typically chewed (or simply swallowed whole), I thought she stayed remarkably svelte. (Around the same time as this movie, Winter squared off with a giant octopus in Italian "Jaws" knock-off "Tentacles", and frankly she was far, far scarier than the octopus). The handsome but rather bland Robert Hays ("Airplane"), on the other hand, has an especially bland role as the Morgan Fairchild character's boyfriend and mostly just fades into the 70's wood paneling.

This doesn't really compare to "Carrie", but I would definitely recommend it highly to fans of cheesy 70's TV horror flicks.

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