4.9/10
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6 user 2 critic

Death of a Prophet (1981)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | TV Movie
After breaking ties with the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X became a man marked for death...and it was just a matter of time before his enemies closed in. Despite death threats and intimidation... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Yolanda King ...
...
Comrade 1 (bearded assassin)
Sam Singleton ...
Brother Samuels ?
Tommy Redmond Hicks ...
Comrade 2 (beardless assassin) (as Tommie Hicks)
Yusef Iman
Sonny Jim Gaines
Kirk Kirksey
Charles Griffin
James DeJongh
Salaelo Maredi
...
Himself
Yuri Kochiyama ...
Herself
Amiri Baraka ...
Himself
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Storyline

After breaking ties with the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X became a man marked for death...and it was just a matter of time before his enemies closed in. Despite death threats and intimidation, Malcolm marched on - continuing to spread the word of equality and brotherhood right up until the moment of his brutal and untimely assassination. Highlighted by newsreel footage and interviews, this is the story of the last twenty-four hours of Malcolm X. Featuring the music of jazz percussionist Max Roach. Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

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Drama | History

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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The Last Days of Malcolm X  »

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4:3
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An Honest Review
16 June 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm sorry, but I guess you had to see it in 1981.

Part of the distaste here is that it doesn't really compare to Spike Lee's last good film.

And the other part is Morgan Freeman. It's really hard to see him as Malcolm X. That's not to say that he isn't a good actor, and it is not to say that Washington is a better actor.

Push comes to shove anyone will take Freeman over Washington for most roles...and Freeman does his best, but he just doesn't have it in his personality to capture Malcolm X. He's lacking the ominous intensity he's, well...

...it's honestly just really hard to see Freeman as anyone that's ever been militant.

It's not unlike his role in Glory, or Robin hood, you can see him as the teacher, the father figure of a group of soldiers...but the moment he picks up a rifle (or in Robin Hood a sword) and threatens to harm someone else...you lose that willing suspension of disbelief.

It may be easy to see him in the role of a Civil Rights leader...but not one as Militant as Malcolm X.

It may just be me, but I like Freeman because I get wise and peaceful father-figure vibe off him, or even just the teacher vibe...and that's only a small part of Malcolm X.

It just didn't sit right. The casting ruined the film for me. But like I said, it could be that I watched it in 2017, after the Spike Lee adaptation of his life, and not in 1981 before Freeman established himself as the teacher-father figure for the audience.


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