×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nbc Sunday Night at the Movies in the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco

Filmed as the actual series of events was winding to its conclusion, "Ambush in Waco" examines the standoff between Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms agents and cult leader David Koresh. Film's an engrossing affair, with no signs of hasty production.

With:
Cast: Tim Daly, Dan Lauria, William O'Leary, Neil McDonough, Jeri Lynn Ryan, Clu Gulager, Gordon Clapp, Debra Jo Rupp, Lewis Smith, Marlee Shelton, Glenn Morshower, Susanna Thompson, Heather McAdam, Kris Kamm, Adrienne Stiefel, Julie Ariola, Cara Buono, Alana Austin, Juan Riojas, Miriam Byrd-Nethery, Dave Lowry, Anne Gee Byrd, Stephen Mailer, Robert Tekampe, David Cook, Kent Broadhurst, Carlease Burke, Richard McGonagle, Jimmy Marsden, Geoffrey Rivas, Brent Anderson , Gwyn Little, Staci Wilson, T.J. Mike Kennedy, Jeff Allin, Brad Farnsworth, Darryl Cox, Keith D. Allgeier, Milt Tarver, Alan Rawlins, Shawn Aaron Davis, Curtis Sprague, Greg Wilson.

Filmed as the actual series of events was winding to its conclusion, “Ambush in Waco” examines the standoff between Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms agents and cult leader David Koresh. Film’s an engrossing affair, with no signs of hasty production.

Telepic, sixth under “In the Line of Duty” banner, stars Tim Daly as smooth-talking renegade Seventh-Day Adventist Vernon Howell, who takes over Waco-based Branch Davidian religious community.

Story picks up with Howell (yet to start calling himself David Koresh) firmly in command, and ends with first ATF assault on the group’s compound, Mount Carmel, and hint of subsequent standoff.

Phil Penningroth’s script follows two young Branch Davidians, Adrian (William O’Leary) and Jason (Neal McDonough). Both enter the cult enthusiastically, believing that Howell is divinely inspired; before the show’s over, one of them has left the compound and given incriminating testimony to the Feds.

Second storyline plots ATF campaign against Koresh, who’s suspected of piling up illegal weapons and, later, of child abuse.

Included are a lot of fascinating (and presumably true) reflections of life at the compound, with its high-tech computers, shooting range and strict dietary laws, lack of heat or air conditioning (except in Howell/Koresh apartment), and Koresh’s interesting method of appropriating bed partners.

Acting throughout is top-notch, with Daly virtually unrecognizable as the guy from “Wings,” and Dan Lauria turning in a strong performance as a beefy bulldog cop.

Director Dick Lowry and crew turn in a commendable job and production designer Guy Barnes has worked up a convincing Mount Carmel in Oklahoma.

Picture stands as self-contained, but a sequel detailing the ATF-FBI/Branch Davidian standoff could certainly pack an equal amount of drama.

Nbc Sunday Night at the Movies in the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco

(Sun. (23 ), 9-11 p.m., NBC)

Production: Filmed in Oklahoma by Patchett Kaufman Entertainment in association with World Intl. Network. Exec producers, Kenneth Kaufman, Tom Patchett; producer-director, Dick Lowry; co-producer, Wendell Rawls; script, Phil Penningroth.

Crew: Camera, Frank Beascoechea; editors, Anita Brandt-Burgoyne, Jeff Cahn; production designer, Guy Barnes; art director, Chip Radaelli; sound, Dick Church; music, Mark Snow.

Cast: Cast: Tim Daly, Dan Lauria, William O'Leary, Neil McDonough, Jeri Lynn Ryan, Clu Gulager, Gordon Clapp, Debra Jo Rupp, Lewis Smith, Marlee Shelton, Glenn Morshower, Susanna Thompson, Heather McAdam, Kris Kamm, Adrienne Stiefel, Julie Ariola, Cara Buono, Alana Austin, Juan Riojas, Miriam Byrd-Nethery, Dave Lowry, Anne Gee Byrd, Stephen Mailer, Robert Tekampe, David Cook, Kent Broadhurst, Carlease Burke, Richard McGonagle, Jimmy Marsden, Geoffrey Rivas, Brent Anderson , Gwyn Little, Staci Wilson, T.J. Mike Kennedy, Jeff Allin, Brad Farnsworth, Darryl Cox, Keith D. Allgeier, Milt Tarver, Alan Rawlins, Shawn Aaron Davis, Curtis Sprague, Greg Wilson.

More TV

  • Syfy Cancels 'Nightflyers' After One Season

    Syfy Cancels 'Nightflyers' After One Season

    The George R.R. Martin drama “Nightflyers” has been canceled by Syfy after only one season. Based on the novella from the mastermind behind “Game of Thrones,” the show was seen as a big gamble for the NBCUniversal-owned cable network, as it represented the most expensive series it had ever developed. The network attempted to spark [...]

  • Batwoman Arrow

    The CW's 'Batwoman' Pilot Switches Directors, Adds Dougray Scott

    The CW has added veteran Scottish actor Dougray Scott to its “Batwoman” pilot as well as swapped in Marcos Siega for previous director David Nutter, Variety has learned. The pilot, which stars Ruby Rose as the eponymous caped heroine, is being helmed by DC TV head Greg Berlanti, and was penned by “Vampire Diaries” alum [...]

  • OG Review

    Review: 'O.G.' on HBO

    Jeffrey Wright, the most compelling reason to watch HBO’s new film “O.G.,” is among television’s best actors at switching between codes or manners of being. On “Westworld,” his timeline-toggling android swaps personae so delicately that his performance gains in resonance when recalled in retrospect. (Perhaps that’s why Wright has been so oddly underrated through the [...]

  • Nahnatchka Khan Writers Room

    Nahnatchka Khan Exits 20th Century Fox TV for Overall Deal at Universal

    Nahnatchka Khan has signed a four-year overall deal at Universal Television. The deal brings an end to the decade-plus Khan and her Fierce Baby Productions banner spent at 20th Century Fox Television. The move will see Khan exit from her role as showrunner on ABC comedy “Fresh Off the Boat,” which she also created. The [...]

  • David Ajala

    'Nightflyers' Star David Ajala Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'Under the Bridge'

    David Ajala has been cast in a lead role in the CBS drama pilot “Under the Bridge,” Variety has learned. In the project, when a scandal rocks the medical practice she runs with her husband and their friends, a surgeon rises to the occasion and takes the lead in trying to mend both the practice and [...]

  • A Man Walks Into the Cnn

    CNN Puts Former Sessions Aide in Newsroom Role

    Sarah Isgur Flores, a press aide to former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has been hired to help coordinate political coverage for CNN, a move that generated some pushback on social media Tuesday. Politico previously reported the CNN hire. Flores in the past has criticized CNN coverage, even going so far as to refer to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content