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Kill the Messenger (2014)

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Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb. The film takes place in the mid-1990s, when Webb uncovered the CIA's past role in importing huge amounts of cocaine into the U.S. that was ... See full summary »

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1,542 ( 914)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Quail's Girlfriend
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L.A. Sheriff
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DEA Agent
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Bob
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Eric Webb
Parker Douglas ...
Christine Webb
Kai Schmoll ...
Sacramento Journalist
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Rich Kline (as Josh Close)
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Rafael Cornejo
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Storyline

Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb. The film takes place in the mid-1990s, when Webb uncovered the CIA's past role in importing huge amounts of cocaine into the U.S. that was aggressively sold in ghettos across the country to raise money for the Nicaraguan Contras' rebel army. Despite enormous pressure not to, Webb chose to pursue the story and went public with his evidence, publishing the series "Dark Alliance". As a result he experienced a vicious smear campaign fueled by the CIA. At that point Webb found himself defending his integrity, his family, and his life. Written by Milena Joy Morris

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Based on a story that needs to be told. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

9 October 2014 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Secret d'état  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$941,809, 10 October 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,450,846, 27 January 2015
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

| (archive footage)| (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the late 1980s, Gary Webb had returned with his family to his home state of California, joining the staff of the newspaper the San Jose Mercury News. Webb was already a respected journalist. Furthering his reputation at the latter paper, Webb was in 1990 one of six Mercury News reporters to win a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the Loma Prieta Earthquake. A few years later, in the summer of 1995, he received the phone message that would alter his life forever. The message was from a woman named Coral Baca. Webb had done a Mercury News story on the U.S.A Government's seizures of property from suspected drug dealers, and Baca had read the piece with considerable interest, since her boyfriend, Rafael Cornejo had been in prison for three years on cocaine-related charges. Webb, who chased down every lead and contact, returned the call and met with his unlikely source. Baca told Webb that Cornejo had never been tried but that the government had seized all of his physical property anyway. Webb didn't know what to make of her account until she told him that the government's chief witness against her boyfriend was a drug lord named Danilo Blandon, responsible for smuggling tons of cocaine into the U.S.A, and that she had documents to prove his affiliation with the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). A year of intense investigation, both in the U.S.A and abroad, followed for Webb, who then broke the story which would eventually break him. Webb's August 1996 series of three articles for the Mercury News was entitled "Dark Alliance". The three pieces ran simultaneously in print and online, with unprecedented website supplements of videos and documents. Webb reported that drug traffickers working with the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras were importing massive amounts of cocaine into Los Angeles in California, USA where dealers flooded the streets during the crack epidemic, most damagingly in South Central L.A. The articles' bigger revelation was that profit from the drug sales was used to fund the Ronald Reagan White House supported Contra militia fighting a civil war in Nicaragua, which was in clear violation of the Boland Amendment prohibiting support of the war. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the film, it is dated as 1996. Later, when Gary is washing his motorcycle in the parking lot of the apartment complex, the tags on his bike show Oct '95. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Richard Nixon: Public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.
Gerald Ford: For nearly a year, I have been devoting increasing attention to a problem which strikes at the very heart of our national well-being: Drug abuse.
Jimmy Carter: I did not condone any drug abuse, and we'll do everything possible to reduce this serious threat to our society.
Ronald Reagan: Drugs are menacing our society. They're threatening our values and ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Just before the closing credits, there is a short video showing the real Gary Webb at home with his children. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Filmbarátok Podcast: Episode #1.59 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Curly Fries
Written by Kenny Cambre
Performed by Kenny Cambre & Kings County Caravan
Courtesy of Sublimity Records
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User Reviews

 
Gripping and Important
13 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

"Kill the Messenger" is both a very gripping film and an important film. Even though I know what our government was up to in those days (as if things have changed), I could hardly breathe, anticipating what would come next in the movie. My only concern about the film is the speculation that those who are ignorant of what occurred in those days would grasp that the money from drug sales went to buy weapons (it was almost glossed over). The acting in this film is superb, with one exception (the person who played Coral Baca--way overdone and not convincing). Knowing that the film is based on true events gives it amazing heft. I think it's an unforgettable portrayal of how our government can go astray--it's history but also a warning for those of us who have been demoralized by the current state of politics and who tend to trust certain names in the media. The film should be required viewing by every member of Congress, by every high school student, by those who call themselves journalists.


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