3 user 8 critic

Believe in Me (1971)

R | | Drama | 22 April 1972 (Japan)
Remy is a medical student who has a flair for making his patients comfortable. His genuine concern for the patients in his charge marks him as a hot prospect in his internship program. ... See full summary »


Stuart Hagmann


Israel Horovitz




Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Sarrazin ... Remy
Jacqueline Bisset ... Pamela
Jon Cypher ... Alan
Allen Garfield ... Stutter
Kurt Dodenhoff Kurt Dodenhoff ... Matthew
Marcia Jean Kurtz ... Emergency Room Nurse
Kevin Conway ... Clancy
Roger Robinson ... Angel
Antonio Fargas ... Boy
Milt Kamen Milt Kamen ... Attending Physician
Susan Doukas Susan Doukas ... Ward nurse
Suzannah Norstrand Suzannah Norstrand ... Sylvia
Ultra Violet ... Emergency Room Patient
William Abruzzi William Abruzzi ... Lecturer (as Dr. William Abruzzi)
Matthew Anton Matthew Anton ... David Kieser (Little Boy)


Remy is a medical student who has a flair for making his patients comfortable. His genuine concern for the patients in his charge marks him as a hot prospect in his internship program. Pamela works at a children's book publishing company. The two meet via Pamela's brother, who is also Remy's good friend. They fall in love and get an apartment in the East Village of New York. Soon after, the couple begins to indulge in speed and barbiturates. They become heavily addicted. Remy is thrown out of medical school and Pamela quits her job. Remy soon finds himself in debt with the local dealer, Stutter, who introduces his customer to heroin as a revenge for his late bill. Pamela faces the prospect of getting sober at her brother's clinic, but must leave behind a destitute Remy in order to do it. Written by thustlebird

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Pamela knew that life without David was only existing. She also knew that life with him would destroy her.




R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The original title was "Speed is of the Essence". This was also the title of the Gail Sheehy's story published in New York magazine upon which the movie was based. Gail Sheehy wrote the article about her sister's addiction. See more »


Stutter: Maybe your right. Maybe it's that stuff I been giving you. Maybe it don't give you the proper incentive, huh?
Stutter: Right, come here, Doctor. 'Give you a little something to take the edge off.
Stutter: [he injects Remy] It's different, huh? No more speed for you, Baby. Yeah, heroin's heavy stuff. From now on, you're gonna need it. Yeah, you're gonna need it so bad, you'll have all the incentive you can handle. And you'll find any way to get it, Kid. You'll sell your soul, you'll sell your ass, you'll pimp that ...
See more »


Features A Christmas Carol (1938) See more »


Believe in Me
Music by Fred Karlin
Lyrics by Meg Karlin (as Tylwyth Kymry)
Performed by Lou Rawls
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User Reviews

Surprisingly Good
16 December 2005 | by Crap_ConnoisseurSee all my reviews

"Believe In Me" has been aired quite regularly of late on Australian cable TV. I stumbled across it and (embarrassingly enough) thought I would check it out because I liked the Lou Rawls theme song. I'm really glad I did because this film turned out to be a small gem.

During the first 10 or 15 minutes of the film, I thought I was in for a corny romance about a dedicated doctor, Remy, and his editor girlfriend, Pamela. I was genuinely surprised when Dr. Do Good stole hospital supplies to get high and was really taken aback when Pamela decided to follow Remy's example and started to shoot up. Pamela and Remy's descent into drug addiction is affecting and very gritty for a mainstream movie made in 1971. I'm sure the subject matter of white collar drug use was even more confronting back then than it is now.

I was interested to read that a significant amount of the film was edited out and re-shot because it was thought to be too bleak. This explains the jarring way in which lighter moments are interspersed into the action and the very annoying use of the (quite lovely) romantic score, which I think was intended to give the impression that the film really just a tragic love story. I'm sure the studio thought this would make the film more palatable to audiences but it just makes the story seem ridiculous. Nevertheless, the studio butchery does not entirely ruin the film. The performances by Michael Sarrazin and Jacqueline Bisset are great and the film does provide a fresh perspective on drug addiction.

I would really love to see the film as the director originally intended. I think "Believe In Me" is ripe for a director's cut on DVD, this is one of those rare films that seems more relevant today than when it was made. Recommended!

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Release Date:

22 April 1972 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Speed is of the Essence See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)
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