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The Initiation of Sarah (1978)

Not Rated | | Horror, Thriller | TV Movie 6 February 1978
A withdrawn young girl joins an unpopular sorority in college. It turns out she has psychic and telekinetic powers, and she uses them against a rival sorority.

Director:

Robert Day

Writers:

Don Ingalls (teleplay), Carol Saraceno (teleplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kay Lenz ... Sarah Goodwin
Shelley Winters ... Mrs. Erica Hunter
Tony Bill ... Paul Yates
Kathryn Grant ... Mrs. Goodwin
Morgan Fairchild ... Jennifer Lawrence
Morgan Brittany ... Patty Goodwin
Robert Hays ... Scott Rafferty
Tisa Farrow ... Alberta 'Mouse'
Elizabeth Stack ... Laura O'Neil
Deborah Ryan ... Bobbie Adams
Nora Heflin Nora Heflin ... Barbara
Talia Balsam ... Allison
Michael Talbott ... Freddie
Jennifer Gay Jennifer Gay ... Kathy Anderson
Susan Duvall ... Regina Wilson
Edit

Storyline

A withdrawn young girl joins an unpopular sorority in college. It turns out she has psychic and telekinetic powers, and she uses them against a rival sorority.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She was born with devastating psychic powers. And she's forced to unleash them in a shocking finale! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Initiation of Sarah See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Body count: 2 See more »

Goofs

When Sarah comes down the stairs to go to for the birthday party for Paul Yates, her hair seems suddenly much longer than it was moments before. See more »

Quotes

Kathy Anderson: What's your major, Sarah?
Sarah Goodwin: Psychology.
[Kathy hands her some punch]
Sarah Goodwin: Thank you.
Sarah Goodwin: What's yours?
Kathy Anderson: [Silkily, with a staged smile] Excuse me a minute. Some new girls. I'll be back.
Regina Wilson: She ditched me the same way.
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Initiation of Sarah (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Carrie who?
14 September 2011 | by Cujo108See all my reviews

Timid Sarah and her popular stepsister, Patty, are pledging sororities at their new college. Patty gets into the most celebrated sorority on campus, but Sarah is only accepted by the least prominent. It doesn't help that Patty's new sorority sisters are elitist scum who do all that they can to make Sarah and her sorority mates miserable. Sarah has a power, though, which takes hold when she's angry. Her eccentric housemother, Ms. Hunter, is intent on helping her harness this power to use against their rival sorority.

I actually like this made for TV 'Carrie' cash-in more than De Palma's horror classic. A large part of that is due to the likability of Kay Lenz in the titular role and the connection I feel to her. I also love the storyline centered around sororities, hazing and campus rivalry. Throw in Shelley Winters as Ms. Hunter, who views her sorority as more of a cult, Morgan Fairchild as the queen bitch and Mia Farrow's sister, Tisa, and you've got quite the cast. Honestly, this doesn't even feel like a TV film. It had been a while since my last viewing, but as I sat watching it again for the first time in years, I was taken with how it never once struck me as something made for television. There was even an absence of the typical fade-outs for commercials.

This is much more than just a 'Carrie' copycat. The characters have real depth and there's a solid message about one's own self-image. The story leaning toward the occult makes for a unique take which I am all for. The addition of this aspect and Shelley Winters as someone who wants to use Sarah's abilities for her own personal vendetta makes for a very interesting climax. While the direction isn't anything out of the norm and there are no De Palma style flourishes, the lush photography is terrific.

Even though it may always be seen as nothing but a copycat by certain people, I firmly believe that 'The Initiation of Sarah' is more than capable of standing on it's own as something special. I do love De Palma's film, but I also love that it inspired something like this. 'The Spell', on the other hand, not so much.


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