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The Avenging Angel (1995)

Not Rated | | Western | TV Movie 22 January 1995
Miles Utley is a professional Mormon commando/bodyguard who is forced to turn renegade and to question his faith as he investigates a scandal involving assassination and land speculation.


Craig R. Baxley


Gary Stewart (novel), Dennis Nemec (teleplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Berenger ... Miles Utley
James Coburn ... Porter Rockwell
Fay Masterson ... Miranda Young
Kevin Tighe ... Benjamin Rigby
Jeffrey Jones ... Brother Milton Long
Tom Bower ... Bill Hickman
Leslie Hope ... Liza Rigby
Daniel Quinn ... Alpheus Young
Andrew Prine ... Andrew Pike
Lisa Banes ... Rebecca Heaton
Drew Snyder ... Will Heaton
Tracey Ellis ... Hannah Parker
Charlton Heston ... Brigham Young
Patrick Gorman ... Jonathan Parker
Miles Feulner Miles Feulner ... Josh Heaton


Revisionist western about a freelance bodyguard hired to protect a Mormon prophet from a gang of would-be assassins in 19th Century Utah. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Blazing Western Adventure (Video Australia) See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Angelos ekdikisis See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film is not entirely fictitious: Brigham Young was president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and he did have a home in St. George. See more »


After Miles kills Alpheus and checks his pulse and declares him dead Miles rides off and they zoom in and you can see Alpheus's chest rising and falling with each breath so he's breathing still. See more »


Milton Long: It's easy enough to assassinate a powerful man. The real trick, the art of it, is finding someone else to put the blame on.
See more »

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User Reviews

This movie does not give an accurate poprayal of 1870's Utah.
7 April 2003 | by rockhound-1See all my reviews

First of all, it's been a while since I saw this movie. So, I may be wrong about this, but one of the other reviewers mentions the "trek of the Mormons to Utah in the 1870's...." By the 1870's the Transcontinental Railroad had been completed. Therefore, during this period of time the trek to Utah consisted of hopping on the next train and riding it to the territory. The trek portrayed in the movie actually took place around 30 years earlier.

My next criticism is that the "Avenging Angel" as portrayed in this movie never existed. They are loosely based on a group of renigade Mormons that existed for a short time while the Mormons were living Northern Missouri in the late 1830's. This group was more commonly known as the Danites. The Danites did commit crimes against both Mormons and Non-mormons of the area. However, the Church never sanctioned their activities. As a matter of fact, the first that the then Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, had heard of the activities of the Danites was when the organization's leader and founder, Sampson Avard, gave perjurious testimony accusing Smith of having been complicit in their crimes. Avard gave this testimony in order to save his own neck. Once their activities became known, the Danites were disbanded and were never reconstituted.

Another inaccuracy is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints never sanction murder. There were several times that various groups used violence against members of the church and the Church sanctioned violence used by the members to defend them selves, but only in their defense, only when the Church?s enemies we in the act of physically threatening the saints.

Finally, their is no evidence the Orin Porter Rockwell (Coburn's character) was ever a member of the Danites. He was a bodyguard to both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young (Heston's character). He was a gun fighter reputed to have killed more men than Wyett Earp, Doc Holladay, Batt Masterson, and Tom Horn combined. He was fiercely loyal to the Church and its leaders. However, he was never party to cold-blooded murder.

In short, I think that this movie would have been better if they had just used wholly fictitious characters and settings. The mixture of real people with an otherwise whole fictitious story only serves to perpetuate false ideas about the society that existed in 19th-century Utah.

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