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Frank D. Gilroy
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>
Charles Bronson plays investigative reporter Garret Smith for the Denver Tribune in this motion picture about a blood feud between two brothers, of different Mormon sects. With outside political as well as economic overtones.
A decent story about religious jealousy and the behind the scenes politics of exploiting it. The feud between brothers Willis, Jeff Corey, and Zenas, John Ireland, Beecham is instigated when Willis' son's Orville's, Charles Dierkop, family is massacred. Willis believes that it was the work of Zenas and starts an all out war against his brother which ends with both brothers getting killed. But there's something else that has nothing to do with the feud between the brother's that's central to the story: A lake of artesian water under brother's Zenas' property that can be used to turn common and plentiful shale into valuable and scarce fuel oil.
Charles Bronson is still believable, at age 67, as the tough reporter that gets to the bottom of the story with his fists as well as his typewriter to uncover the truth about Orville's family being murdered. As well as who ordered it that instigated a war between his father and uncle and why.
With the exception of the beginning the movie "Messenger of Death" cuts down on the violence and concentrated more on the story which made the movie more interesting to watch. And also gave the audience more time to think who's behind the murders that happened to the Orville Beecham family which built up to a better then average ending.
The ending of "Messenger of Death" though a bit contrived and what seemed forced still tied the story together and made it believable. One of Charles Bronson's best later efforts when he was still effective as an action hero, or in this case an action reporter, on the screen.
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