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The Believers (1987)

A New York psychiatrist finds that a brujería-inspired cult, which believes in child sacrifice, has a keen interest in his own son.


John Schlesinger


Nicholas Conde (book), Mark Frost (screenplay by)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Sheen ... Cal Jamison
Helen Shaver ... Jessica Halliday
Harley Cross ... Chris Jamison
Robert Loggia ... Lt. Sean McTaggert
Elizabeth Wilson ... Kate Maslow
Harris Yulin ... Robert Calder
Lee Richardson ... Dennis Maslow
Richard Masur ... Marty Wertheimer
Carla Pinza Carla Pinza ... Carmen Ruiz
Jimmy Smits ... Tom Lopez
Raúl Dávila Raúl Dávila ... Oscar Sezine
Malick Bowens ... Palo
Janet-Laine Green ... Lisa Jamison
Larry Ramos Larry Ramos ... Diner Counterman
Philip Corey Philip Corey ... Calder's Assistant


After the death of his wife, police psychiatrist Cal Jamison moves to New York. There he has to help in the investigation of the murder of two youths, who seem to have been immolated during a cult ritual. Jamison believes it's been Voodoo and, ignoring the warnings of his housekeeper, enters the scenery and soon gets under their influence. They try to get him to sacrifice his own son. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They exist. Fear them. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


One studio executive suggested having the Beastie Boys perform on the soundtrack. See more »


When Carmen is ironing, the wall clock behind her jumps backwards from 3:53 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. between shots. See more »


Customs agent: [Arriving at the airport] Open this please?
[first lines]
Palo: Just personel items... no need to look in there
[Palo stares deep into the man's eyes]
Customs agent: [Now in a trance like state] All-Right.
See more »


Toro Mata
Performed by Celia Cruz
Courtesy of Latin American Music Co Inc./A.C.E.M.L.A.
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User Reviews

turns into a good creepy horror
11 April 2015 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Cal Jamison (Martin Sheen) loses his wife in an accidental electrocution. He moves with his son Chris to NYC as a psychiatrist for the police department. Jessica Halliday (Helen Shaver) is their landlady. His lawyer Marty Wertheimer (Richard Masur) wants to sue the coffeemaker company. Lt. McTaggert (Robert Loggia) investigates a child murder with disturbed undercover cop Tom Lopez (Jimmy Smits) at the scene. Lopez is convinced that some unknown group will kill him and tries to shoot himself. Cal is called in to investigate the voodoo murder. Palo (Malick Bowens) is the ever present voodoo evil. Cal's housekeeper tries to protect the family with her good voodoo.

The use of religion is going to anger some people and color some reviews. I guess almost any movie can cause offense if taken that way. It starts off as a crime thriller. It seems to go slowly but methodically. Then it turns more towards horror and it's quite effective. There are some good voodoo horrors. The two hours running time is a little long but it's got some good creepy scares.

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Release Date:

10 June 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Believers See more »


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,342,732, 14 June 1987

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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