Rural Mississippi in the 1940s: Lucas Beauchamp, a local black man with a reputation of not kowtowing to whites, is found standing over the body of a dead white man, holding a pistol that has recently been fired. Quickly arrested for murder and jailed, Beauchamp insists he's innocent and asks the town's most prominent lawyer, Gavin Stevens, to defend him, but Stevens refuses. When a local boy whom Beauchamp has helped in the past and who believes him to be innocent hears talk of a mob taking Beauchamp out of jail and lynching him, he pleads with Stevens to defend Beauchamp at trial and prove his innocence. Written by
When Chick comes out of the water his hair is dry even though he had been completely under water. But, when he get to Lucas's cabin and takes off his wet clothes, his hair is wet. See more »
What I want to know is what chick and his buddy would have done if there had been a body in that coffin?
I don't know. I hadn't thought about it.
Uh, I did.
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This film was set, filmed, and premiered in Oxford, Miss., the hometown of W. Faulkner, the locale of the 1948 book. Most of the extras were locals. I've been to Oxford, and it has greatly changed. This film features Will Geer as the sheriff;he was later blacklisted. It was the writers and actors of social dramas such as this film, and Grapes Of Wrath, that were targets of the HUAC a few years later. I don't recall if the actor playing the young Mallison boy (Claude Jarman Jr) did anything after the TV series Centennial (1978), but he was terrific in this earlier film. And do not miss Elizabeth Patterson who later played in Little Women.
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