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Mississippi Burning (1988)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  27 January 1989 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 56,467 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 165 user | 35 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

Two FBI agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

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Title: Mississippi Burning (1988)

Mississippi Burning (1988) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mrs. Pell
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Sheriff Ray Stuckey
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Lester Cowens
Badja Djola ...
Agent Monk
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Agent Bird
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Eulogist
Thomas B. Mason ...
Judge (as Tom Mason)
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Rick Zieff ...
Passenger
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Storyline

Two FBI agents investigating the murder of civil rights workers during the 60s seek to breach the conspiracy of silence in a small Southern town where segregation divides black and white. The younger agent trained in FBI school runs up against the small town ways of his former Sheriff partner. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

1964. When America was at war with itself.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 January 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Three Lives for Mississippi  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$34,603,943 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the extras participating in Clayton Townley's speech scene were actual members of the Klu Klux Klan and used their clan membership cards as ID (according to Stephen Tobolowsky in Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party (2005)). See more »

Goofs

When Agents Ward and Anderson are fighting outside the hospital where Mrs. Pell is after being beaten by her husband, Ward pulls a gun on Anderson. We hear Ward cock his revolver. In a subsequent shot, while Ward still has his gun pointed at Anderson, we can see the hammer has not been pulled back as the sound effect would have indicated. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Driver: Uh, oh.
Passenger: What is it?
Passenger: [seeing the car behind them] What do they want?
Driver: I don't know... just pass me... pass me...
Driver: [trying to identify the following car] Is it a cop?
Passenger: I can't see.
[they are hit from behind]
Driver: What the fuck are these jokers playin' at?
Rear passenger: Oh, they ain't playin', you better believe it.
[...]
See more »

Connections

References The French Connection (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Walk on by Faith
Words and Music by James Cleveland
Performed by Lannie Spann McBride
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
1964 - The year America was at war with itself!
6 September 2006 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

1964 - The year America was at war with itself! Thats a pretty good tag-line. The promotion for this film seemed to pitch it as a thriller or a buddy movie. It is neither. This is a very mature investigation of a racist Mississippi town where the brutal murder of three civil rights activists took place in 1964. The film is inspired by real-life events.

Dafoe and Hackman play the two FBI agents sent to investigate. Their differing styles of pursuing the case and Dafoe's belated admiration for Hackman's "method's" is an interesting layer of flesh added to the structure of the film.

You will see some really nasty racist characters played by familiar faces like Brad Dourif, Lee Ermey and an especially violent Michael Rooker. All are excellent. Frances McDormand really steals the movie as the wife of racist Dourif.

This film is far more intelligent than some of the Stanley Kramer movies of the 60's which dealt with racism. It does not shy away from showing the seriousness (and sickness) of the racial mindset without being excessively preachy. It is in fact very watchable - largely due to a colorful and humorous Hackman whose character was himself a Mississippi small-town Sheriff at one time and understands the pitfalls of the Hoover boys going in all guns blazing.

Highly recommended!


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Recent Posts
Is this not what has happened a lot in Britain and Denmark? robert-macc
The South nowadays ravviann
best line in the film... HapppinessAZ
Wake up, people! sassysweethart64
Anderson and Mrs. Pell sarajasmine8
He was my brother. mel-pearce47
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