18 user 6 critic

In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco (1993)

Religious fanatics are barricaded in a building, and surrounded by police. But they're not going to surrender, they prefer to die.


Dick Lowry




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Daly ... David Koresh
William O'Leary ... Adrian
Neal McDonough ... Jason
Lewis Smith ... Robert Williams
Marley Shelton ... Laura (as Marlee Shelton)
Jeri Ryan ... Rebecca (as Jeri Lynn Ryan)
Stephen Mailer
Debra Jo Rupp ... Dorrie
Clu Gulager ... McLennan County Sheriff
Gordon Clapp ... Glenn
Richard McGonagle
Susanna Thompson ... Meg
Heather McAdam ... Michelle
Kris Kamm
Dan Lauria ... Bob Blanchard


Religious fanatics are barricaded in a building, and surrounded by police. But they're not going to surrender, they prefer to die.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Self-proclaimed prophet David Koresh seduced his followers See more »


Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic depiction of a shootout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Phil Penningroth, who wrote the screenplay, has regretted his involvement with this movie in the years since its premiere. See more »


Follows In the Line of Duty: Siege at Marion (1992) See more »


Rise, Rise, Rise
Music & Lyrics by Mark Snow
See more »

User Reviews

Tim Daly is excellent
14 October 2005 | by shorzfamSee all my reviews

This is quite a good movie, even though I remember it being started while the siege was still underway. The tension ratchets up throughout as we see Tim Daly do an excellent job as David Koresh ruling over his acolytes, alternately bullying and charismatic. He gives a convincing portrayal of a "sinful messiah" which certainly raised concerns in the straight-laced Baptist community of Waco, Texas. This is what initially attracted the attentions of various law enforcement agencies.

The interest of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is piqued, but never fully explained, as it is to this day. Both sides are then set on a course that ultimately leads to violence, leading up to the climactic attack of the Branch Davidian compound, which caps and concludes the movie. The siege and its fiery conclusion are not seen.

The movie doesn't portray Koresh as a frothing at the mouth religious fanatic but as a true believer in what he says. Thus, the viewer is left with the ambiguous feeling that he may not have deserved his fate. The ATF agents are never fleshed out and we don't feel any real sympathy for their deaths. We end up not totally understanding why this tragedy occurred, which is exactly how we felt then, as now.

Several up and comers appear in this film, including Neil McDonough (Band of Brothers and Medical Investigations) and NYPD Blue's Gordon Clapp. Lewis Smith is wasted as one of the slain ATF agents.

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Release Date:

23 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco See more »

Filming Locations:

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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