7.6/10
1,184
21 user 12 critic

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)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Featuring never-before-seen footage, this documentary delivers a startling new look at the Peoples Temple, headed by preacher Jim Jones who, in 1978, led more than 900 members to Guyana, where he orchestrated a mass suicide via tainted punch.

Director: Stanley Nelson
Stars: Rebecca Moore, Janet Shular, Tim Carter
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

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

Director: René Cardona Jr.
Stars: Stuart Whitman, Gene Barry, John Ireland
Jonestown (2013)
Short | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A thriller that dramatizes the last 24 hours in the lives of Jim Jones and The Peoples Temple Church through the eyes of a reporter.

Director: David B. Berget
Stars: Kym Jackson, Leandro Cano, William Russ
Jonestown (2017)
Short | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  
Director: Felix Tonio Stintzing
Stars: Brendan Michael O'Malley, Yaret Lora, Jess Matney
Macabro (1980)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A middle-aged woman, traumatized from the death of her adulterous lover, moves into a room at a New Orleans boarding house where the blind landlord becomes suspicious to her activities of continuing her affair with her dead lover.

Director: Lamberto Bava
Stars: Bernice Stegers, Stanko Molnar, Veronica Zinny
Max Headroom (TV Movie 1985)
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the dystopic near future, a crusading TV reporter investigates news stories with the help of a wisecracking computer version of himself.

Directors: Annabel Jankel, Rocky Morton
Stars: Matt Frewer, Nickolas Grace, Hilary Tindall
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

As WWII rages on, a group of Nazi paratroopers land on the secret city of Palandria to exploit its wealth, and they start taking hostages. Can the powerful King of the Jungle and his trusted companions--Cheeta, and Buli--save them?

Director: Wilhelm Thiele
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Frances Gifford, Johnny Sheffield
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Mildred decides that she and George will celebrate their anniversary at a posh London hotel - whatever the cost. However, a shady businessman mistakes George for a hit man.

Director: Peter Frazer-Jones
Stars: Yootha Joyce, Brian Murphy, Stratford Johns
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A British satire on the beginning of WWIII.

Director: Tom Bussmann
Stars: Stuart Saunders, Graeme Garden, Marc Smith
Brave New World (TV Movie 1980)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man who grew up in a primitive society educating himself by reading Shakespeare is allowed to join the futuristic society where his parents are from. However, he cannot adapt to their repressive ways.

Director: Burt Brinckerhoff
Stars: Julie Cobb, Bud Cort, Keir Dullea
The Victors (1963)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Intelligent, sprawling saga of a squad of American soldiers, following them through Europe during World War II.

Director: Carl Foreman
Stars: Vince Edwards, Albert Finney, George Hamilton
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The life and death of the "Playboy" centerfold model/actress Dorothy Stratten.

Director: Gabrielle Beaumont
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Weitz, Robert Reed
Edit

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
Edit

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:

He called them his children. He called himself a god. He called them from their country to a jungle, which he called the promised land... See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The cast includes one Oscar winner, Irene Cara, and seven Oscar nominees: Ned Beatty, Diane Ladd, James Earl Jones, Randy Quaid, Brad Dourif, Brenda Vaccaro, and Diana Scarwid. See more »

Goofs

In the film, more than 10 people die during the Port Kaituma airstrip shooting. In real life, five people died. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Brad Tries...: Brad Tries Manson Family Cult-a-Cola (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Powers Boothe's Tour de Force
27 July 2002 | by AjtlawyerSee all my reviews

Certainly this is the best work Powers Boothe has done and he deservedly got an Emmy for it. As an aside, I can recall the awards night because there was a Screen Actors Guild strike or something and nearly all of the nominees failed to attend the ceremonies. But when Boothe's name was called out as a winner, he defiantly strode up to the podium to get his trophy.

People may want to read the book "Raven" which is a biography about Rev. Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple; this TV movie can only scratch the surface of the demonic goings-on in the Temple without demanding more censorship than a TV show could allow, at least back then.

Boothe is hypnotic as Jim Jones and you get the sense that he wasn't always whacked out and loony. A particularly good scene is when Jones stands in front of an abandoned synagogue in the black-ghetto part of town. The only white man there, he's soon surrounded by obviously skeptical blacks. "Will you pray with me?" Jones asks, and the bystanders do as Jones gives a heartfelt prayer that God will lift their burdens. The bystanders are impressed and in a short time the Peoples Temple is prospering.

Boothe perfectly recreates the candence and timbre of Jones' preaching and phony faith-healing and his lustful disposition towards the women of his congregation. Jones's sexual exploits don't end there and he later has an affair with drug-addicted Brad Dourif, as well (in fact, Jones had sex with plenty of his male followers). The end of the movie where the cult members all commit suicide is very frightening. All the more so because nearly all of the dialogue is exactly what was spoken---Jones had been tape recording his harangues and the tape ended probably not long before he was killed himself. By the way, Jones never took the cynanide-laced kool-aid, he was shot which led many to believe that Jones had no intention of going off into the hereafter but was planning his escape when one of henchmen decided to have Jones join his "flock".


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed