7.8/10
66,173
176 user 51 critic

Mississippi Burning (1988)

Trailer
1:34 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
3,259 ( 328)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Billy Hayes, an American college student, is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins
Angel Heart (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Harry Angel is a private investigator. He is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer called Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An intellectually nonconformist friar investigates a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Stars: Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
JFK (1991)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield
Birdy (1984)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After two friends return home from the Vietnam War one becomes mentally unstable and obsesses with becoming a bird.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage, John Harkins
The Firm (1993)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young lawyer joins a prestigious law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman
No Way Out (1987)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A coverup and witchhunt occur after a politician accidentally kills his mistress.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Sean Young
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A professional hit man and hit woman fall in love.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Robert Loggia
Edit

Cast

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

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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

1964. When America was at war with itself.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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:

(DeLuxe)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Kevin Dunn. See more »

Goofs

When agents Anderson and Ward first arrive in town, the air in the street in front of the courthouse is full of dust clouds. However, when they park and leave their car, the air is clear. 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

Referenced in Ghost (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Take My Hand Precious Lord
Words and Music by Thomas A. Dorsey
Performed by Mahalia Jackson
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The film succeeds by being gripping, emotional, and disturbing…

Mississippi Burning is set in 1964 when three civil rights activists are murdered in a small town by the Ku Klux Klan… Two of them were white and one of them black…

Based on actual events in Philadelphia, the screenplay centers chiefly on the hostility relationship between the two FBI agents (Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe) sent down to the small Mississippi town to seek information about the vanishing of the three victims… Immediately upon their arrival, they are greeted with hostility by the local law enforcement and the town in general…

Dafoe's Ward— in charge of the case—comes off as the embodiment of everything those men in the south dislike about the "Yankees" who are coming down there commanding them how to act…

Anderson(Hackman), who was once a Mississippi officer himself, has a special feel for how to settle things with Southerners… He uses his charm to win the confidence of the friendly wife of a Klansman deputy, whom he suspects holds the key to unravel the details of the case…

The scenes between McDormand and Hackman are the best of the film… They dramatize how quickly two lonely people can match...

The film succeeds by being gripping, emotional, and disturbing… Alan parker graphically explores the hatred, motivations and mentality that were once flaming through the American society in the 60's.


32 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I Do Not Think Pell Deserved The Beating In The Barbershop, Agree? matoschi
Did Pell Deserve The Beating In The Barbershop? matoschi
The South nowadays ravviann
best line in the film... HapppinessAZ
Wake up, people! sassysweethart64
Anderson and Mrs. Pell sarajasmine8
Discuss Mississippi Burning (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?