7.4/10
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In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders (1988)

Florida 1985: A series of brutal robberies and murders keeps the F.B.I busy. Although all crimes seem to be comitted by the same group, they can't hunt them down. The experienced officer ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Agent Ben Grogan
...
...
William Russell Matix
Doug Sheehan ...
Agent Gordon McNeill
...
Michael Lee Platt
...
Ed Mireles
...
Vickie
...
Detective Hamill
...
John Hanlon
Anne Lange ...
Sandra
Katie Layman ...
Liz Mireles (as Kathleen Layman)
...
Elaine McNeill
...
Carol Ann (as Becky Gelke)
Randal Patrick ...
Agent Ron Risner
Ashton Wise
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Storyline

Florida 1985: A series of brutal robberies and murders keeps the F.B.I busy. Although all crimes seem to be comitted by the same group, they can't hunt them down. The experienced officer Ben Grogan and his youngest colleague Gordon finally have to rely on their luck when they set up a trap. The chase results in a massacre... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's 1986, and a small, tranquil Florida town is being rocked by a wave of vicious serial murders


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Release Date:

27 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bloody Friday  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

During the shootout between the FBI and Matix and Platt, Mike Platt is crouching in front of the brown sedan (in a far shot), but in the very next shot, Platt gets up off the ground and then crouches in front of the car again. See more »

Quotes

Agent Gordon McNeill: As far as descriptions: all we have is two males, ages and race unknown. Height 5'10 to 6 feet. weight 170 to 200 lbs
See more »

Connections

Followed by In the Line of Duty: Manhunt in the Dakotas (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Above-Line TV Movie
12 October 2003 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Liberally based on true events surrounding a mid-80's F.B.I.

investigation and notorious apprehension attempt of a pair of

murderous, military-styled bank-robbers, IN THE LINE OF DUTY:

THE F.B.I. MURDERS (1988) is well-scripted, beautifully acted,

and superbly directed. The pacing and tension build up perfectly

as the two story-lines –– one involving the F.B.I. team diligently

working its way through the case, the other showing the harsh

criminal viewpoint –– mesh together with ever-tightening switch- ups until the dramatic and bloody climax. Nothing feels forced or

out of place, and nothing seems missing. Just solid story-telling

and top-notch drama from beginning to end.



It's largely the casting which plays such a huge role in determining

the quality of this picture, in my opinion. With screen veterans

Ronny Cox, as senior agent Ben "The Grinch" Grogan, and David

Soul, as the sadistically deadly robber Michael Lee Platt, you have

both sides of a very truthful and convincing acting team

represented. Add to that Bruce Greenwood, as the rookie agent,

his ex-"Knot's Landing" compatriot Doug Sheehan, as another

hard-driven and concerned field-agent, and a plethora of other

lesser-known but equally skilled actors and you have a solid cast.

But the most notable and electrifying performance turned in is in

the surprisingly cold and delivered performance by Michael Gross,

as fellow killer William Russell Matix. Here Gross completely

sheds the compassionate, intelligent and endearing character

traits so well-portrayed with his much-loved character Steven

Keaton on the TV series "Family Ties", and gives a completely

inner-defined and chilling turn as a contradictory bible-thumping/

womanizing, murderer and bank-robbing degenerate. Shocking

and terribly engaging all in one. The film pulls few punches with

regards to violence throughout –– the final "take-down" scene is

surely one of the most graphic and bloody ever shot for

mainstream audiences, even by today's standards I'd wager ––

but it never comes across as exploitive. The story is always the

main focus of the film and for THAT reason it succeeds; it's simply

a good, engaging story that needed to be told.



I first saw this made-for-TV movie on it's original network television

airing and was extremely impressed. Now, 15 years later, I still

hold it in high regard (with only the cars and the synth-driven

soundtrack music really adding any dating to the picture at all).

Unfortunately, IN THE LINE OF DUTY: THE F.B.I. MURDERS, has

long since been out-of-print on VHS, and rarely turns up on TV. For

those lucky enough to come across it I whole-heartedly

recommend it.



7/10. A made-for-TV movie that succeeds in being more!


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