American Experience: Season 15, Episode 6

The Murder of Emmett Till (20 Jan. 2003)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
7.4
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A documentary examining the 1955 murder of a 14-year-old black boy from Chicago while visiting relatives in Mississippi, and the broad impact of his death, his funeral, and the subsequent ... See full summary »

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(as Marcia A. Smith)
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Title: The Murder of Emmett Till (20 Jan 2003)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pat Antici ...
Kidnapper
Oudie Brown ...
Himself
Harry Caise ...
Himself, Mortician
Magnolia Cooksey-Mathious ...
Herself, Emmett Till's Classmate
Tony Czech ...
Kidnapper
Clara Davis ...
Herself, Mississippi Resident
Warren Hampton ...
Himself, Mississippi Resident
Richard Heard ...
HImself, Emmett Till's Classmate
John Herbers ...
Himself, Journalist
Rose Jourdain ...
Herself, Journalist
Moses Newson ...
Himself, Journalist
Wheeler Parker ...
Himself, Emmett Till's Cousin
Betty Pearson ...
Herself, Mississippi Resident
Willie Reed ...
Himself, Mississippi Resident
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A documentary examining the 1955 murder of a 14-year-old black boy from Chicago while visiting relatives in Mississippi, and the broad impact of his death, his funeral, and the subsequent trial and acquittal of his accused killers. Written by Anonymous

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20 January 2003 (USA)  »

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Hard to Believe This Happened Not So Long Ago
4 April 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

The American Experience: The Murder of Emmett Till (2003)

**** (out of 4)

Hard-hitting documentary taking a look at 14-year-old Emmett Till, a Chicago boy who went to Mississippi for the summer and when there he whistled at a white woman. He mutilated body was then pulled from a river a short time later and this would start an important part of the Civil Rights movement. Over a dozen people are interviewed about this historic murder and trial case that would follow and even though this runs a short 52-minute it really gives one a terrific idea of the events surrounding the murder as well as the times that all of this took place. The documentary starts off talking about what life was like for blacks in a place like Chicago and Mississippi. We learn about what type of person Till was and why his ways in Chicago simply weren't going to work where he was going. The documentary is so chilling because it has testimony from people who were actually involved with the case including someone like Richard Heard and Wheeler Parker, a friend and cousin to Till. We also get an interview with Till's mother Mamie who recalls the news of her son being killed and the hatred she received from those in the town when she showed up for the trial. It's also incredibly heart-breaking hearing her discuss seeing her son's mutilated body and explaining the various things wrong with it including the eye being out of the socket and his tongue hanging out from where he was choked. We also see graphic images of his body as well as other photos of people who were hung so these certainly are going to be unsettling for most. We also get to hear from Willie Reed, the one witness brave enough to testify at the trial. THE MURDER OF EMMITT TILL is an incredibly hard film to watch and I do wish it had gone on a bit longer but if you're interested in the case then this is a great way to get the basic information of what happened.


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