5.6/10
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Messenger of Death (1988)

A Denver reporter investigates the mass murder of a family of Mormons in rural Colorado.

Director:

J. Lee Thompson

Writers:

Rex Burns (novel), Paul Jarrico (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bronson ... Garret Smith
Trish Van Devere ... Jastra Watson
Laurence Luckinbill ... Homer Foxx
Daniel Benzali ... Chief Barney Doyle
Marilyn Hassett ... Josephine Fabrizio
Charles Dierkop ... Orville Beecham
Jeff Corey ... Willis Beecham
John Ireland ... Zenas Beecham
Penny Peyser ... Trudy Pike
Gene Davis ... Junior Assassin
John Solari ... Senior Assassin
Jon Cedar ... Saul
Tom Everett ... Wiley
Duncan Gamble ... Lieutenant Scully
Bert Williams Bert Williams ... Sheriff Yates
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Storyline

Wifes and children of the Mormon Orville Beecham become victims of a massacre in his own house. The police believes the crime had a religious motive. Orville doesn't give any comment on the case, is taken into protective custody. Journalist Smith persuades him to help him in the investigation - and finds out about economic motives for the murder. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What the cops can't do, he will.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Avenging Angels See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,035,279, 18 September 1988

Gross USA:

$3,074,681

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,074,681
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The meaning and relevance of this movie's title is that it refers to a drawing featuring an avenging angel of death that is left at a crime scene at the beginning of the movie. The title also connects with Charles Bronson's vigilante screen persona made famous in the movie Death Wish (1974). It suggests that Bronson is a 'Messenger of Death', the word messenger also being a play on words with this, as his character is a journalist, a job which involves writing news articles, they being "messages" in a sense. See more »

Goofs

During the car chase, Smith's car is on the inside of one of the tankers on the first corner out of the tunnel, but in the next shot it's back in the middle of both tankers. See more »

Quotes

Garret Smith: [threatening] You're going to give us the name, yes?
Senior Assassin: No!
[gets kicked in the face]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Almost 5 minutes were cut in Finland for VHS distribution. Later released on DVD as uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Best of the Worst: Our VHS Collection (2019) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An action movie of a different kind for Charles Bronson...
30 June 2008 | by legendaryunderdogSee all my reviews

Director J. Lee Thompson used Charles Bronson more than any other actor in his eighties movies (Ten to Midnight, Cabo Blanco, Death Wish 4, Murphys Law) and this was his second to last outing with Bronson (the last being Kinjite:Forbidden Subjects). Charles Bronson plays Garrett Smith, a reporter who is very curious as to why a family of Mormons (women and children) were all shot to death in a rural farmhouse. He finds a sketch of an angel on a piece of paper that is taped to the wall where one of the victims bodies had laid against. From here, Bronson goes from source to source to try to unravel whatever mystery he has bounded himself in. For those who prefer the 'Paul Kersey/Death Wish' Charles Bronson, you might wanna look elsewhere for a movie, this is a Bronson action character of a different type. He seems to be a very laidback individual and he doesn't really possess that knack of persistently annoying people like most reporters do, but Bronson as usual makes the character work. The plot is very strong, the mystery of the movie definitely kept me guessing until the very, very end of the movie and then BANG! it's all over... I miss Cannon films...


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