Australian DVD cover
|Directed by||William A. Graham|
|Starring|| Powers Boothe |
James Earl Jones
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Frank Konigsberg|
|Producer(s)|| Sam Manners |
|Editor(s)|| Tony de Zarraga |
|Running time||192 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Konigsberg Company|
Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones, also called The Mad Messiah,is a 1980 television miniseries about the Peoples Temple led by Jim Jones, and their 1978 mass suicide at Jonestown. Based on the book by Charles A. Krause, entitled Guyana Massacre: The Eyewitness Account, the film was originally shown on television on April 15, 1980.
Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.
A miniseries is a television program that tells a story in a predetermined, limited number of episodes. The term "serial" is used in the United Kingdom and in other Commonwealth nations, though its meaning does not necessary equate to "miniseries" in its usage.
The Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, commonly shortened to Peoples Temple, was a new religious movement founded in 1955 by Jim Jones in Indianapolis, Indiana. Jones used the Peoples Temple to spread a message that combined elements of Christianity with communist and socialist ideas, as well as an emphasis on racial equality.
The film draws on Guyana Massacre: The Eyewitness Account and reports from The Washington Post at the time, to describe the life of Jim Jones from a 1960s idealist to the November 1978 mass murder/suicide of members of Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana.In the beginning of the film, Jim Jones is seen helping minorities and working against racism. Later, after a move to San Francisco and increased power and attention, Jones becomes focused on his belief in nuclear holocaust, and moves hundreds of his followers to Guyana. Congressman Leo J. Ryan is notified that some individuals are being held against their will, and after going to investigate, the Guyana tragedy itself is depicted.
The Washington Post is a major American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C., with a particular emphasis on national politics and the federal government. It has the largest circulation in the Washington metropolitan area. Its slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness" began appearing on its masthead in 2017. Daily broadsheet editions are printed for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.
Mass murder is the act of murdering a number of people, typically simultaneously or over a relatively short period of time and in close geographic proximity. The FBI defines mass murder as murdering four or more persons during an event with no "cooling-off period" between the murders. A mass murder typically occurs in a single location where one or more people kill several others.
Mass suicide is a form of suicide, occurring when a group of people simultaneously kill themselves.
|Powers Boothe||Jim Jones|
|Ned Beatty||Congressman Leo J. Ryan|
|James Earl Jones||Father Divine|
|Randy Quaid||Clayton Richie based on Timothy Stoen|
|Meg Foster||Jean Richie|
|Linda Haynes||Karen Bundy|
|Brad Dourif||David Langtree based on Larry Schacht|
|LeVar Burton||Richard Jefferson|
|Michael C. Gwynne||Larry King|
|Veronica Cartwright||Marceline Jones|
|Albert Hall||Otis Jefferson|
|Diane Ladd||Lynette Jones|
|Diana Scarwid||Sheila Langtree|
|Colleen Dewhurst||Mrs. Myrtle Kennedy|
|Irene Cara||Alice Jefferson|
|Rosalind Cash||Jenny Hammond|
|Ron O'Neal||Col. Robles|
|Brenda Vaccaro||Jane Briggs|
|Joel Godard||John Briggs|
|Clifton James||Barber Charlie Amos|
|Ed Lauter||Jim Jones Sr.|
Jones's family members in the movie are based directly on his own family. The characters of Clayton and Jean Richie are based on Timothy and Grace Stoen (he was a primary Temple attorney and Jones's former right-hand man, she a main organizer for the Temple's "Planning Commission"), and David Langtree on Larry Schacht (the sole doctor at Jonestown), though elements of other Temple members are added to each, and details are changed. Many of the other characters are composites of one or more persons.
In a work of media adapted from a real or fictional narrative, a composite character is a character based on more than one individual from the preceding story. Two or more fictional characters are often combined into a single character in the course of an adaptation of a work for a different medium, as in adapting a novel in the course of authoring a screenplay for a film. A composite character may be modeled on historical or biographical figures. An amalgamation or amalgam, when used to refer to a fictional character or place, refers to one that was created by combining, or is perceived to be a combination, of several other previously existing characters or locations. To emphasize the origin of their creations, authors or artists may use amalgamated names.
The character of Larry King has been likened to Larry Layton, a People's Temple member who took part in the assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan.
Though not a documentary in its own right, the film takes the style of a "true life" portrayal of the events.James Earl Jones appears in the film, as spiritual leader Father Divine. The final scenes of the film, with dialog taken from the infamous "Jonestown death tape" (FBI Number Q 042), were produced in a documentary cinematic style, and shot in Puerto Rico and Georgia instead of Guyana. The film was originally broadcast in two parts by CBS Television, on April 15 and 16.
James Earl Jones is an American actor. His career has spanned more than 60 years, and he has been described as "one of America's most distinguished and versatile" actors and "one of the greatest actors in American history". Since his Broadway debut in 1957, Jones has won many awards, including a Tony Award for his role in The Great White Hope, which also earned him a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the film version of the play. Jones has won three Emmy Awards, including two in the same year in 1990. He is also known for his voice roles as Darth Vader in the Star Wars film series and Mufasa in Disney's The Lion King, as well as many other film, stage and television roles.
Father Divine, also known as Reverend M. J. Divine, was an African American spiritual leader from about 1907, until his death. His full self-given name was Reverend Major Jealous Divine, and he was also known as "the Messenger" early in his life. He founded the International Peace Mission movement, formulated its doctrine, and oversaw its growth from a small and predominantly black congregation into a multiracial and international church.
A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record. "Documentary" has been described as a "filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries. Documentary films were originally called 'actuality' films and were only a minute or less in length. Over time documentaries have evolved to be longer in length and to include more categories, such as educational, observational, and even 'docufiction'. Documentaries are also educational and often used in schools to teach various principles. Social media platforms such as YouTube, have allowed documentary films to improve the ways the films are distributed and able to educate and broaden the reach of people who receive the information.
A 1980 Time magazine review was mostly positive, but criticized the film for spending too much time on earlier parts of Jones' life, stating: "There really is no point in recounting the minutiae of a madman's life if, after four hours, it is still impossible to understand how Jones became a sex-and-drug-crazed megalomaniac or why his misfit followers so easily accepted his larcenous and sadistic behavior."The Time review went on to also note the way Boothe captured the minutiae of the Jim Jones character, and lamented that the film's writer had not made the role more complex for Boothe to portray.
Time is an American weekly news magazine and news website published in New York City. It was founded in 1923 and originally run by Henry Luce. A European edition is published in London and also covers the Middle East, Africa, and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong. The South Pacific edition, which covers Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, is based in Sydney. In December 2008, Time discontinued publishing a Canadian advertiser edition.
Actor Powers Boothe, who played the role of Jim Jones, won the 1980 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special for his portrayal in the film.Boothe was the only nominated actor in any category to attend the awards ceremony, since the Screen Actors Guild was boycotting the event during a strike. The film was also nominated for Emmy Awards in three other categories, including Outstanding Achievement in Film Sound Mixing, Outstanding Directing in a Limited Series or a Special, and Outstanding Drama or Comedy Special. The film was also nominated for an Eddie Award, for Best Edited Episode from a Television Mini-Series, by the American Cinema Editors.
Lawrence Gene David is an American comedian, writer, actor, director, and television producer. He and Jerry Seinfeld created the television series Seinfeld, of which David was the head writer and executive producer from 1989 to 1997. David has subsequently gained further recognition for the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, which he also created, in which he stars as a semi-fictionalized version of himself.
The Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, better known by its informal name "Jonestown", was a remote settlement established by the Peoples Temple, a predominantly African American cult under the leadership of Jim Jones, in northwestern Guyana. It became internationally known when, on November 18, 1978, a total of 918 people died in the settlement, at the nearby airstrip in Port Kaituma, and at a Temple-run building in Georgetown, Guyana's capital city. The name of the settlement became synonymous with the incidents at those locations.
James Warren Jones was an American religious cult leader who, along with his inner circle, initiated a mass suicide and mass murder in Jonestown, Guyana. He was the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple cult which he began in Indiana during the 1950s. He was officially ordained in 1956 by the Independent Assemblies of God and in 1964 by the Disciples of Christ. He moved the Temple to California in 1965 and gained notoriety with its activities in San Francisco in the early to late 1970s. He then relocated to Guyana.
Leo Joseph Ryan Jr. was an American teacher and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the U.S. Representative from California's 11th congressional district from 1973 until his assassination as part of the Jonestown massacre in 1978.
Powers Allen Boothe was an American television, video game, and film actor and voice actor. Some of his most notable roles include his Emmy-winning portrayal of Jim Jones in Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones and his turns as TV detective Philip Marlowe in the 1980s, Cy Tolliver on Deadwood, "Curly Bill" Brocius in Tombstone, Vice President and subsequently President Noah Daniels on 24, and Lamar Wyatt in Nashville.
Amy Marie Madigan is an American actress, producer, and singer. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1985 film Twice in a Lifetime. Her other film credits include Love Child (1982), Places in the Heart (1984), Field of Dreams (1989), Uncle Buck (1989), The Dark Half (1993), Pollock (2000), and Gone Baby Gone (2007). Madigan won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her portrayal of Sarah Weddington in the 1989 television film Roe vs. Wade.
Don Harris was an NBC News correspondent who was killed after departing Jonestown, an agricultural commune owned by the Peoples Temple in Guyana. Harris and four others were killed by gunfire by Temple members at a nearby airstrip in Port Kaituma, Guyana. Their murders preceded the death of 909 Temple members in Jonestown and four Temple members in Georgetown, Guyana.
Frances Hardman Conroy is an American actress. She is best known for playing Ruth Fisher on the television series Six Feet Under. Her work on the show won her acclaim and several awards, including a Golden Globe and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. She is also known for playing the older version of Moira O'Hara in season one of the television anthology series American Horror Story, which garnered Conroy her first Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television nomination, and as well an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. Conroy subsequently portrayed The Angel of Death, Myrtle Snow, Gloria Mott, Mama Polk and Bebe Babbitt on six further seasons of the show - Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Roanoke, Cult, and Apocalypse, respectively. Conroy and co-star Lily Rabe have appeared in the most seasons of the show after Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson. For her performance in Coven, she was nominated again for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself is a 2003 television film for HBO in partnership with City Entertainment and starring Antonio Banderas as Pancho Villa, directed by Bruce Beresford, written by Larry Gelbart and produced by Joshua D. Maurer, Mark Gordon, and Larry Gelbart. The cast also included Alan Arkin, Jim Broadbent, Michael McKean, Eion Bailey, and Alexa Davalos.
Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, is a 2006 documentary film made by Firelight Media, produced and directed by Stanley Nelson. The documentary reveals new footage of the incidents surrounding the Peoples Temple and its leader Jim Jones who led over 900 members of his religious group to a settlement in Guyana called Jonestown, where he orchestrated a mass suicide with poisoned Flavor Aid, in November 1978. It is in the form of a narrative with interviews with former Temple members, Jonestown survivors, and people who knew Jones.
The Jonestown conspiracy theories are conspiracy theories centering on the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project and the Jonestown massacre. Many proponents of such conspiracy theories contend that outside forces were involved in what occurred at the commune, including the massacre. These theories often include the assertion that the events in Jonestown represented CIA efforts in mind control or similar modes of social experimentation, often believed by proponents of such theories to be a covert example of Project MKUltra in practice.
And the Band Played On is a 1993 American television film docudrama directed by Roger Spottiswoode. The teleplay by Arnold Schulman is based on the best-selling 1987 non-fiction book And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts.
Jonestown: Paradise Lost is a 2007 documentary television film on the History Channel about the final days of Jonestown, the Peoples Temple, and Jim Jones. From eyewitness and survivor accounts, the program recreates the last week before the mass murder-suicide on November 18, 1978.
The 32nd Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, September 7, 1980, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The awards show was hosted by Steve Allen and Dick Clark and broadcast on NBC.
Guyana: Crime of the Century is a 1979 Mexican exploitation docudrama film written and directed by René Cardona Jr.. The film, which was shot in Mexico, is based on the Jonestown Massacre. It stars a number of American actors such as Stuart Whitman, Gene Barry and Joseph Cotten. The names of central characters are slightly tweaked from the historical ones: the film is set in "Johnsontown" rather than Jonestown, the cult is led by "Reverend James Johnson" (Whitman) rather than Rev. Jim Warren Jones, and the murdered Congressman is "Lee O'Brien" (Barry) rather than Leo Ryan.
Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People details the life and ultimate demise of Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. Written by journalist Tim Reiterman, the book reviews the history of the Peoples Temple. The book includes numerous interviews, audio tapes and documents among its hundreds of sources.
Timothy Oliver Stoen is an American attorney best known for his central role as a member of the Peoples Temple, and as an opponent of the group during a multi-year custody battle over his six-year-old son, John. Stoen's battle led to an investigation of the Peoples Temple's settlement at Jonestown, Guyana, which became internationally notorious in 1978 after 918 people—including Stoen's son—died in the settlement and on a nearby airstrip. Stoen continues to work as a deputy district attorney in Mendocino County, California, where he is assigned to the District Attorney's Fort Bragg office.
The Peoples Temple, the organization at the center of the Jonestown incident, was headquartered in San Francisco, California, from the early to mid-1970s until the Temple's move to Guyana.
Don King: Only in America is a 1997 television film directed by John Herzfeld and written by Kario Salem. The film stars actor Ving Rhames as Don King and tells the story of King becoming a famous fight promoter and boxing manager.
Without Warning: The James Brady Story is a 1991 American television film starring Beau Bridges as James Brady, the White House Press Secretary who was shot during the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981. The film is based on Mollie Dickenson's 1987 biography about Brady titled Thumbs Up.