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Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980)

The real-life story of the Peoples Temple cult led by Reverend Jim Jones and the events involving its move to Guyana and its eventual mass suicide.

Director:

William A. Graham

Writers:

Ernest Tidyman (teleplay), Charles A. Krause (book)
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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Powers Boothe ... Rev. Jim Jones
Ned Beatty ... Rep. Leo Ryan
Irene Cara ... Alice Jefferson
Veronica Cartwright ... Marceline 'Marcy' Jones
Rosalind Cash ... Jenny Hammond
Brad Dourif ... David Langtree
Meg Foster ... Jean Richie
Michael C. Gwynne ... Larry King
Albert Hall ... Otis Jefferson
Linda Haynes ... Karen Bundy
Diane Ladd ... Lynette Jones
Ron O'Neal ... Col. Robles
Randy Quaid ... Clayton Ritchie
Diana Scarwid ... Sheila Langtree
Madge Sinclair ... Mrs. Jefferson
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Storyline

Based upon the real life story of Reverend Jim Jones, a self-proclaimed prophet who founded the Peoples Temple. In the 1960s, he began as an idealist helping minorities and working against racism. After a move to San Francisco and increased power and attention, Jim Jones became focused on his belief in nuclear holocaust. He had a loyal following of over 1000 people, who had donated their entire life savings to him and to join his commune, before moving them to Guyana. When possible illegal activities came to the attention of the authorities, and once notified that some individuals are being held against their will, they began to investigate. Rather than face the charges against him, Jim Jones committed suicide, and convinced virtually most of his followers to do the same. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The shocking true story written in blood!! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 January 1982 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Guyana Tragedy: The Jim Jones Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Konigsberg Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dialogue in the mass suicide/murder scene was taken almost word-for-word from an audiocassette found in a portable tape recorder under Jim Jones' chair. The tape recorder's batteries were run down, so it ran much slower than normal, recording the entire 40-minute event. See more »

Goofs

The guards' AK assault rifles have blank firing adapters attached to the muzzles. See more »

Quotes

Rev. Jim Jones: ...Father, you were forced to leave New York. Why?
Father Divine: We were becoming too strong. They were frightened.
Rev. Jim Jones: How do you sustain a movement like this one?
Father Divine: How did Moses sustain his flock?
Rev. Jim Jones: What of the cost?
Father Divine: Ask and you shall receive, my son.
Rev. Jim Jones: And as for worldly possessions?
Father Divine: Sustenance of whatever kind our Heavenly Father requires.
Rev. Jim Jones: ...Sometimes, the women in my flock tempt me. What shall I do about that?
Father Divine: It's your duty - your religious obligation - to bring such desires to the surface, so that you can ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The film you are about to see is a dramatization of the life of Jim Jones. Born - May 13, 1931 Lynn, Indiana - Died - November 18, 1978, Jonestown, Guyana. This is his story." See more »


Soundtracks

Welcome
Performed by the People's Temple Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

Guyana Tragedy showcased Powers Boothe's wonderful acting brilliantly
25 October 2013 | by dhainline1See all my reviews

"Guyana Tragedy" is one of the best miniseries about religious cults I have ever seen! Powers Boothe gave Jim Jones a charisma that made you understand why so many people basically followed this man to hell. The young actor who played Jim Jones as a boy was very good as well! I liked the back stories of the characters who followed Jones to their doom. I felt sympathy for Brad Dourif's naive doctor character who was brain washed by Jones. I also felt bad for LaVar Burton as Richard who saw what kind of monster Jones truly was and couldn't help anyone. The only criticism I had was the hiring of brown-haired Ned Beatty to play the white-haired senator, Leo Ryan. The real Ryan's assistant was a woman senator. Another semi-criticism I have is the fact that Stephan Jones, Jim and Marceline's biological son was left out of the movie, and so were Stephan's adopted siblings. On a personal note: I will miss Powers Boothe's compelling performances in every TV and movie project he has done since "Guyana Tragedy.". All of his fellow performers and I think all of us who have posted a review for his performance in this compelling movie will miss this great actor!


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