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Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)

 -  Drama  -  3 January 1997 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 7,610 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 30 critic

The widow of murdered civil rights leader Medger Evers and a district attorney struggle to finally bring the murderer to justice.

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Title: Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)

Ghosts of Mississippi (1996) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
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Burt DeLaughter
Joseph Tello ...
...
Claire DeLaughter (as Alexa Vega)
...
Ben Bennett ...
Benny Bennett (as Lloyd 'Benny' Bennett)
Darrell Evers ...
Himself
Yolanda King ...
Reena Evers
...
James Van Evers ...
Van Evers
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Storyline

Ghosts of Mississippi is a drama covering the final trial of Byron De La Beckwith (Woods), the assassin of the 1960s civil rights leader Medgar Evers. It begins with the murder and the events surrounding the two initial trials which both ended in hung juries. The movie then covers District Attorney, Bobby De Laughter's (Baldwin) transformation and alliance with Myrlie Evers (Goldberg), the widow of Medgar Evers, as he becomes more involved with bringing Beckwith to trial for the third time 30 years later. Some of the characters are played by the actual participants in this story. Written by Joel Schesser <joelsd@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1963 civil rights leader Medgar Evers was murdered in his own driveway. For 30 years his assassin has remained free. Is it ever too late to do the right thing? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a strong scene of violence and for racial dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fantasmas del pasado  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ITL 233,067,000 (Italy) (28 February 1997)

Gross:

$13,052,741 (USA) (14 March 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(8 channels)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his speech heard at the beginning, President John F. Kennedy uses the word "delay" twice. "Delay" is the character's Byron De La Beckwith's nickname, used by his friends and acquaintances throughout the film. See more »

Goofs

When Bobby Delaughter is on the phone to Myrlie Evers and Charley attempts to interrupt him with the news that Byron was quoted of having confessed to killing Evers years earlier, Bobby is wearing his wedding ring. Shortly thereafter when he's in the hospital for his eldest son's injury (and first meets the doctor, his second wife), he is not wearing wedding ring. See more »

Quotes

Bobby: Grandpa Russell had guns all over his house and we don't have any guns.
Drew: I have a gun.
Bobby: Well, yours is a nuclear powered lasergun. I'm talking about handguns and rifles.
See more »

Connections

Features Presumed Innocent (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
Music by Billy Taylor
Lyrics by Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas
Performed by Dionne Farris
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

A story worth telling, well told
15 July 2001 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Based on fact and directed by Rob Reiner, Ghosts recounts the investigation, and retrial in 1994 - after two mistrials in the 60s - of Byron de la Beckwith for the racist shooting in 1963 of Medgar Evers, an NAACP activist. The film has gained renewed topicality with the recent conviction of another white supremacist for the Birmingham, Alabama, Baptist Church bombing, also in 1963.

Alec Baldwin gives a solid, and sometimes stolid, performance in the central role of prosecuting DA, Bobby DeLaughter (pronounced DeLaw), himself from Mississippi's white uppercrust, whose marriage hits the rocks because of his pursuit of the case. James Woods, convincingly made up to look over 70 for most of the movie, is electrifying as the arrogant, hateful Beckwith. Whoopi Goldberg portrays Medgar's widow with a lot of dignity and even a touch of humour, but it would have been understandable if she had also displayed a little more bitterness.

The movie is possibly not as powerful as Reiner hoped, partly no doubt because he was restricted by the facts. In particular, the retrial seems to have thrown up little or no new evidence, thus making the courtroom action less dramatic than in a fictional movie. Perhaps a greater criticism is that the intense focus on Baldwin/DeLaughter, who is in almost every scene, tends to turn him into the hero of the movie; whereas it should be Medgar Evers, who as a civil rights activist in one of the most bigoted areas of the USA deserves everyone's undying admiration.

Despite the movie's flaws, it is gripping for most of its 130 minutes, and this was certainly a story worth telling.


18 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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