6.1/10
5,853
46 user 61 critic

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.

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writers:

Mark Frost (screenplay), Nicholas Conde (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

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
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Photos

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Storyline

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

Taglines:

They exist. Fear them. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The address shown on Lt. McTaggert's (Robert Loggia) business card is 220 E. 113th St New York, NY 10001. The phone number is 212-557-7081. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

References Rosemary's Baby (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

La Finquita
Performed by Conj. Quisqueya
Courtesy of Latin American Music Co. Inc./A.C.E.M.L.A.
See more »

User Reviews

 
A great classic? Don't believe it!
19 May 2008 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Voodoo is quite an interesting topic, and as such there are many movies on the topic, many of which are very good; which means that all the movies based on voodoo generally have a lot to live up to. The Believers benefits from a good cast, a reputable director and an obviously sizable budget - but unfortunately, it doesn't amount to a sum of it's parts, mostly due to the fact that a lot of it plays out rather slowly and is quite boring - which is fairly surprising considering that director John Schlesinger was the man behind classic thrillers such as Marathon Man. The film is based on a book by Nicholas Conde and focuses on a widowed father named Cal Jamison who takes his son to live in Manhattan. Cal gets a job with the New York Police Department as a psychiatrist for troubled police officers. It's on his first call out, to help save a suicidal police officer that he comes into contact with a strange cult that has skinned a child alive. From there, the film focuses on a series of strange and eerie events that all seem to focus on the people around the lead character...

The main problem with this movie is undoubtedly the length of it - the director obviously assumed that there was enough material to fill the nearly two hour running time, but unfortunately that isn't the case and the result is a film with a lot of dull moments. The lead role is taken by Martin Sheen who does a good job of fleshing out his character and getting the audience behind him. This, however, is not matched by the plot - which doesn't ever do enough to get the audience fully behind it, which is a shame as there are plenty of good ideas going on in it. The film can easily be compared to the likes of Angel Heart and Rosemary's Baby - but clearly it is not even nearly on the same level as the aforementioned classics. To its credit, the film does not flinch too much when it comes to showing blood and gore - skinned kids and spiders crawling out of a woman's cheek are among the highlights. Overall, The Believers is not a complete dead loss by any means; but it's not a great film either and I wouldn't recommend anyone goes out of their way to see it.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Believers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,342,732, 14 June 1987

Gross USA:

$18,753,438

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,753,438
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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