7.8/10
70,085
184 user 53 critic

Mississippi Burning (1988)

Two F.B.I. Agents, with wildly different styles, arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
3,336 ( 1,407)

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Sheriff Ray Stuckey
...
...
...
Lester Cowens
...
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

Official Sites:

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

Interior shots in the Sheriff's office, courtroom, and stairs from the courtroom were filmed in the old Carroll County courthouse in Vaiden, Mississippi. Built in 1905, the building was in such disrepair, that crew and extras had to dodge falling bricks during filming. Though slated for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, the courthouse has been demolished. See more »

Goofs

In one shot during the attempted lynching of Vertis Williams, the "noose" becomes detached on one side and flops from his neck while he is suspended in the air. 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

Featured in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 14 March 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

When We All Get to Heaven
Words by Eliza E. Hewitt
Music by Emily D. Wilson
Performed by Lannie Spann McBride, Barbara Gibson, Alisa R. Patrick
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!


39 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?