Death of a Prophet


Drama / History

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 45% · 1K ratings
IMDb Rating 4.4/10 10 283 283

Plot summary

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.

September 18, 2023 at 03:00 PM


Woodie King Jr.

Top cast

Morgan Freeman as Malcolm X
George Harris as
Richard Gant as
Ossie Davis as Self
542.37 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 1 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by generationofswine 3 / 10

An Honest Review

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...'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 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.

Reviewed by rcou97 1 / 10

Inaccurate Mess

The DVD jacket says "Highlighted by newsreel footage and insightful interviews, Death of a Prophet is the tragic, truthful and awe-inspiring story of the last 24hours of Malcolm X." Now, wouldn't a reasonable person conclude this is a historically accurate account based on that description? I did, yet the cars are frequently from the 70's, "Malcolm" discuss the death of Dr. King with an elderly man, even though he died before Dr. King! I guess he really was a prophet! There are more examples, but you get the point.

This is really sloppy movie making. I'm surprised Morgan Freeman would associate himself with such a jumbled-up mess.

Reviewed by mark.waltz 2 / 10

Tries to be profound but is minus a purpose.

The magnificent Morgan Freeman was unknown when he starred as the spirit of Malcolm X in a Christ like return to Earth after his assassination. He seems to be business as usual but finds his mission has created conflict that even he does not comprehend. Through conversations, attempts to learn who this person really was becomes perplexing and does no advantage to the issue of racial peace.

It's beyond frustrating to watch, not just because it gives no answers, but it places blames without real justification and seems to end up nowhere. Malcolm X claims here to be fighting for equality within the confines of the law, but only ends up showing opposite intentions. Yes, this is inconsequential and most likely forgotten, but it's like a simmering volcano ready to explode yet cooling down just before the final blow.

There's also the unanswered theory of him regretting the actions of the past as he grows older, even after death. All this tells me is that the complex issues of racial tensions can't be lead by one person, one sect, one age group. It shows justification for anger and frustration, but gaining the needs of an entire race won't lead to any winners when hatred is the motivating factor.

It's ironic that almost immediately after this, Morgan Freeman was cast in a major role on the soap opera "Another World" which strived to equalize the ratio of white characters to blacks, and worked for a time. Freeman's career after that turned him into a much respected actor, but this little drama remains a mystery as to how it got made without really contributing anything but frustration over its lack of substance on a truly serious issue.

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