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

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


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Up 34% 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A withdrawn young girl joins an unpopular sorority in college.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:
Carrie who? 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 »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Carrie who?, 14 September 2011
Author: Justin Stokes from Cleburne, TX

Timid Sarah and her popular stepsister, Patty, are pledging sororities at their new college. Patty gets into the most celebrated sorority on campus, but Sarah is only accepted by the least prominent. It doesn't help that Patty's new sorority sisters are elitist scum who do all that they can to make Sarah and her sorority mates miserable. Sarah has a power, though, which takes hold when she's angry. Her eccentric housemother, Ms. Hunter, is intent on helping her harness this power to use against their rival sorority.

I actually like this made for TV 'Carrie' cash-in more than De Palma's horror classic. A large part of that is due to the likability of Kay Lenz in the titular role and the connection I feel to her. I also love the storyline centered around sororities, hazing and campus rivalry. Throw in Shelley Winters as Ms. Hunter, who views her sorority as more of a cult, Morgan Fairchild as the queen bitch and Mia Farrow's sister, Tisa, and you've got quite the cast. Honestly, this doesn't even feel like a TV film. It had been a while since my last viewing, but as I sat watching it again for the first time in years, I was taken with how it never once struck me as something made for television. There was even an absence of the typical fade-outs for commercials.

This is much more than just a 'Carrie' copycat. The characters have real depth and there's a solid message about one's own self-image. The story leaning toward the occult makes for a unique take which I am all for. The addition of this aspect and Shelley Winters as someone who wants to use Sarah's abilities for her own personal vendetta makes for a very interesting climax. While the direction isn't anything out of the norm and there are no De Palma style flourishes, the lush photography is terrific.

Even though it may always be seen as nothing but a copycat by certain people, I firmly believe that 'The Initiation of Sarah' is more than capable of standing on it's own as something special. I do love De Palma's film, but I also love that it inspired something like this. 'The Spell', on the other hand, not so much.

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