IMDb > The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till (2005)

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till (2005) More at IMDbPro »

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The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till -- Never-before-seen testimony is included in this documentary on Emmett Louis Till, who, in 1955, was brutally murdered after he whistled at a white woman.
The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till -- Clip: CNN - Last Minute
The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till -- Clip: Re-Opening Of Case
The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till -- Clip: Jim Crow Era


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Never-before-seen testimony is included in this documentary on Emmett Louis Till, who, in 1955, was brutally murdered after he whistled at a white woman. | Add synopsis »
3 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Wolf-whistling as a capital crime See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)
Mamie Till ... Herself (as Mamie Till Mobley)
Wheeler Parker ... Himself (as Rev. Wheeler Parker)
Simeon Wright ... Himself
Ruthie Mae Crawford ... Herself

Al Sharpton ... Himself
Charles Evers ... Himself
Raymond Lockett ... Himself (as Dr. Raymond Lockett)
Roosevelt Crawford ... Himself
Mose Wright ... Himself (archive footage)
Roy Bryant ... Himself (archive footage)
J.W. Milam ... Himself (archive footage)
Willie Reed ... Himself
Mary Johnson ... Herself
H. Clarence Strider ... Himself (archive footage) (as Sheriff H. Clarence Strider)
George Smith ... Himself (as Sheriff George Smith)
Charles Hayes ... Himself - UPWA-CIO (archive footage)
Alma Spearman ... Herself
Roy Wilkins ... Himself (archive footage)
Dan Wakefield ... Himself
Gerald Chatham ... Himself (archive footage)
Medgar Evers ... Himself (archive footage)
Carolyn Bryant ... Herself (archive footage)
Charles C. Diggs Jr. ... Himself (archive footage) (as Congressman Charles Diggs)
Juanita Milam ... Herself (archive footage)
Sidney Carlton ... Himself (archive footage)
Henry Lee Loggins ... Himself
R. Alexander Acosta ... Himself (archive footage)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Raymond Brown ... Himself
Frank Reynolds ... Himself - Interviewer (archive footage)
Emmett Till ... Himself (archive footage)

Directed by
Keith Beauchamp  (as Keith A. Beauchamp)
Produced by
Ceola Beauchamp .... executive producer (as Ceola J. Beauchamp)
Edgar Beauchamp .... executive producer (as Edgar E. Beauchamp)
Keith Beauchamp .... producer (as Keith A. Beauchamp)
Steven C. Beer .... associate producer (as Steven Beer)
Ali Bey .... executive producer
Yolande Geralds .... co-producer
Ronnique Hawkins .... associate producer
Steve Laitmon .... executive producer (as Steven J. Laitmon)
Jacki Ochs .... executive producer
Original Music by
Jim Papoulis 
Film Editing by
David Dessel 
Production Management
Jason Stoff .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Carmen Borgia .... audio post supervisor
Margaret Crimmins .... sound editor
Greg Smith .... sound editor
Kevin Wilson .... sound re-recording mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Rondrick Cowins .... camera operator
Scott Marshall .... camera operator
Sikay Tang .... camera operator
Editorial Department
John Rehberger .... on-line editor
Bill Stokes .... colorist
Other crew
Markus Janner .... digital team
Maurice Lauchner .... vocals by
Odetta .... vocals by
Caryl Papoulis .... vocals by
Keith Yurevitz .... digital team
Peggy Scott Adams .... special thanks
Olywashola Ajewole .... special thanks
Muhammad Ali .... special thanks
Devery Anderson .... special thanks
Andrea Banks .... special thanks
Selina Banks .... special thanks
Tyrone Banks .... special thanks
Walter Banks .... special thanks
David T. Beito .... special thanks (as Dr. David Beito)
Linda Beito .... special thanks (as Dr. Linda Beito)
A.R. Bernard Sr. .... special thanks (as Rev. A.R. Bernard Sr.)
Donald Burger .... special thanks
Iris G. Butler .... special thanks (as Iris G. Butler)
Al Caldwell .... special thanks
Christina Chan .... special thanks
Ben Chaney .... special thanks
Sri Chinmoy .... special thanks
Vajaya Claxton .... special thanks
Joyce Conner .... special thanks
Blanche Weison Cook .... special thanks
Tracey Cook .... special thanks
Sam Cotto .... special thanks
Clare Cross .... special thanks
Constance Curry .... special thanks
Leroy Davis .... special thanks (as Mayor Leroy Davis)
Kimberly Dawkins .... special thanks
James Dellatacoma .... special thanks
Kathy Ewa .... special thanks
Jason Geralds .... special thanks
Scott Gilly .... special thanks
Patrice Glen .... special thanks
Linda Goldstein .... special thanks
Edward Gregory .... thanks
Deloris Gresham .... special thanks
Keith Gunthorpe .... special thanks
Claudia Hayden .... special thanks
Nathalie Hazan .... special thanks
David Holmberg .... special thanks
Letitia James .... special thanks (as Leticia James)
Doria Johnson .... special thanks
Frank Ku .... special thanks
Horatio Lee .... special thanks
Jimmy Lewis .... special thanks: Miss Butch Records
Rosalind Lichter .... special thanks
Alene Lockett .... special thanks
Raymond Lockett .... special thanks
Mike Maggiore .... special thanks
Levell Malloy .... special thanks
Bernard T. Mason Jr. .... special thanks
Chenoa Maxwell .... special thanks (as Chenoa Maxwell Peak)
Kim Maxwell .... special thanks
Saudia Muwwakki .... special thanks
Susan Norget .... special thanks
Major Owens .... special thanks (as Rep. Major Owens)
Morgan Pehme .... thanks
Deviak Persaud .... special thanks
Charles Rangel .... special thanks
Crystal Robinson .... special thanks
Nettie Robinson .... special thanks
Bobby Rush .... special thanks (as Congressman Bobby Rush)
Bernice Ruth .... special thanks
Jerry Saltzman .... special thanks
Chuck Schumer .... special thanks
Derek Showard .... special thanks (as Grandmixer DXT)
Ed Smith .... special thanks (as Alderman Ed Smith)
Brent Staples .... special thanks
Pricilla Sterling .... special thanks
Ken Sunshine .... special thanks
Alvin Sykes .... special thanks
Sikay Tang .... special thanks
Mamie Till .... in loving memory (as Mamie Till-Mobley)
Ed Towns .... special thanks (as Rep. Ed Towns)
Lorraine Townsend .... special thanks
Scott Wigdor .... special thanks
Rosa H. Williams .... special thanks (as Dr. Rosa H. Williams)


Additional Details

Rated PG-13 for some violent images
USA:70 min

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27 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Wolf-whistling as a capital crime, 21 October 2005
Author: CIMC from United States

The murder of Emmett Louis Till and and subsequent sham of a trial for his murderers were key catalysts for the American civil rights movements. After the brutal lynching, Mamie Till- Mobley put her son in an open casket because she wanted "the world to see what they did to my son." Keith A. Beauchamp's investigative documentary powerfully captures the moment remarkably well, along with posing questions about the continuing lack of justice for Till, and by extension, other victims of racism.

Emmett Till was a 14-year-old boy when he went to Mississippi to visit his uncle Moses Wright and cousins in 1955. A trip to the grocery store led to Emmett wolf-whistling at shopkeeper Carolyn Bryant. Emmett's cousins took him quickly away from the scene fearing that Mrs. Bryant was going to get a gun. Her husband Roy and his friend J.W. Milam decided that Emmett's action was not only a crime, but a capital offense. Till was taken by the two, in the company of others unnamed, from Wright's house in the middle of the night of 28 August. At some point during the night, Till was killed. His body was dumped in the Tallahatchie River, bound to a cotton bale with barbed wire. After a few days his grossly mutilated body was recovered and after some difficulty, returned to Chicago where it was view in an open casket by thousands of mourners. The graphic photos of Till mutilated corpse shocked much of the nation as much of white America saw images of crimes they were normally able to ignore.

Bryant and Milam were caught and put to trial for murder and kidnapping. Despite the NAACP and black newspapers finding several witnesses for the prosecution an all white, all male jury released them after deliberating for less than one hour. Bryant and Milam then proceeded to confess to author William Bradford Huie in national monthly Look, double jeopardy preventing the confessions from being cause for retrial. All this is recounted in a straightforward manner in the film. The case is not an unfamiliar one for people with any interest in civil rights or the history of the civil rights movement and the film presents only a few new insights into the crime itself. One important and depressing fact uncovered by Beauchamp is the participation of a few African-American youths in the original kidnapping, though not the torturing and killing, of Till. Till's surviving cousins relate and react to the information with a visible distaste of knowing something yet not wanting to accept it.

Where the film truly succeeds is in composing an understanding of conditions in the South at the time. Mamie Till-Mobley recounts how friends and family in Chicago helped prep the Till boys on how to behave in the South, kind of a How to Survive Amongst Violent Racists course. Reporter Dan Wakefield, who covered the trial for The Nation recalls his surprise not so much at the crime, but at how the people of the town didn't see what the big deal was. Virtually everybody involved expresses something approaching awe for Moses Wright, who fingered Bryant and Milam in their trial. This at a time when testifying against a white man was as dangerous as it was ineffective. More than the narrative of the crime, it is these and other similar details that give us the most insight into the case and the conditions of African- Americans in the US South.

The investigation by Mr. Beauchamp has uncovered more participants and led to the Justice Department reopening the case. 50 years is a long time to wait for prosecution given that most figures involved in the case are long dead. It is however, a testament to how profoundly the legacy of Emmett Louis Till resonates today.

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