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Guyana: Cult of the Damned (1979)
"Guyana: Crime of the Century" (original title)

5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 273 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 21 critic

Reverend Jim Jones, the priest of an independent church in Guyana in South America, orders his followers to suicide. But not all follow him blindly and begin to think on their own...

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Title: Guyana: Cult of the Damned (1979)

Guyana: Cult of the Damned (1979) on IMDb 5.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Congressman Lee O'Brien
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Dave Cole
...
Richard Gable
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Dr. Gary Shaw
Jennifer Ashley ...
Anna Kazan
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Susan Ames
Nadiuska ...
Leslie Stevens
Tony Young ...
Ron Harvey
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Oliver Ross
Erika Carlsson ...
Marilyn Johnson
Hugo Stiglitz ...
Cliff Robson
Carlos East ...
Mike Sheldon
Ricardo Carrión ...
Bert Powers
Jack Braddock Johnson ...
Alex Dresden
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Storyline

Reverend Jim Jones, the priest of an independent church in Guyana in South America, orders his followers to suicide. But not all follow him blindly and begin to think on their own... Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

guyana | suicide | religion | preacher | nudity | See more »

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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Release Date:

25 January 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Guyana: Cult of the Damned  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
This movie tells everything but the truth
15 March 2005 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

I have to admit that ever since I first heard about this cult I've been terribly interested in knowing just what the tag line of the movie implies that this movie tells you: The Truth Behind the most shocking crime of the century. This movie did everything but fulfill its' promise.

We get introduced to the cult in an opening scene with Reverend James Johnson, the leader of the cult, preaching in a church. He explains that they have gotten a piece of land by the "friendly socialists" in Guyana where they will establish a religious community. This is a key sentence, because the connection between Johnson and socialism becomes established over and over again. For example, in the "Johnsontown agricultural project", they listen to a woman that is trying to teach them Russian while they are working. Later in the movie, the U.S. Ambassador calls Johnson a socialist.

I think that the movie was made too soon after the incident to have any perspective. I was bewildered by the ignorance of the director that actually believed he could get any real insight in the event when not even a year had passed since! He tried and failed miserably, as far as I'm concerned. This movie is not even trying to tell the truth. The director is making almost desperate efforts to draw parallels between "suicide cults" and "socialists" using the infamous "guilt by association" method. I think that this is a very interesting movie if you watch it from that perspective - and bear in mind the echoes of the cold war. If you're trying to get to know what happened - look elsewhere.


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