Henry is a lawyer who survives a shooting only to find he cannot remember anything. If that weren't enough, Henry also has to recover his speech and mobility, in a life he no longer fits ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Bobby DeLaughter goes to the men's room where he has his confrontation with De La Beckwith, the men's room door has an old Jim Crow era sign "White Men" painted over but the lettering is still visible. See more »
When Bobby's father calls to his grandchildren to come get some of the baby-back ribs he's cooking on the grill, the kids come running off the boat dock. They start running in age order, with the boy in the light orange shirt second. But when the camera changes, the boy in the orange shirt is suddenly first. See more »
[about Medgar Evers' widow pursuing the murder case for decades]
I think about her keeping this thing alive all this time. Imagine a woman loving a man so much.
Hell, I can't even get a woman to love me while I'm still alive.
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Rob Reiner's 'Ghosts of Mississipi' is based on a relatively less known (today) reopening of Medger Evers racially motivated murder case. Starting with the flaws of the film, I can see why many would comment that this is another 'white man rescues the oppressed black people flick'. To balance this out, the director could have portrayed more of Evers's life and the significance of what he did and also developed the story of his wife who's an integral part, show more of her (and the family's) struggle. Here the focus is almost entirely on Baldwin's DeLaughter and the obstacles he faces during the trial. The film also appears to be a tad glossy.
What does work, even though the story is predictable, is the level of suspense and tension which is very well maintained. You know what'll happen in the end but you still root for Delaughter to succeed every step. Alec Baldwin does a brilliant job as the lawyer who's taken by the injustice and brutality of the crime and seeks to bring justice to the family and community. Whoopi Goldberg wonderfully downplays her part. 'Wish there was more of her. Her character doesn't seem to have 'aged' in 27 years (except for the darker circles round her eyes). James Wood is great as the hateful De la Beckwith.
'Ghosts of Mississipi' could have been more if only more of the late Medgar and his wife's life was included but it certainly is a watchable film that reminds one of a forgotten important event in America.
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