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 <email@example.com>
Medgar Evers' two sons Darrell and James Van Evers played themselves in this film. His widow Myrlie Evers was also one of this film's consultants. See more »
When DeLaughter is brushing his son's hair in the bathroom, the child actor looks off-camera (either at his parent, the director, or a cue card). See more »
I don't see what difference it makes if a man was bushwhacked yesterday, today, or 27 damn years ago. Murder is murder. And it's still my job to bring the son of a bitch to justice. And it's still your job to help me.
No! I did my job. I testified against the Klan. They shot out my windows, blew up my car, they hunted and harassed me for twenty five years. Don't that get me even for the wrong I done?
We never get even for the wrong we've done.
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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.
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