MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,822 this week

Incendiary: The Willingham Case (2011)

7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 39 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 20 critic

In 1991, Cameron Todd Willingham's three daughters died in a Corsicana, Texas house fire. Tried and convicted for their arson murders, Willingham was executed in February 2004 despite ... See full summary »

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 61 titles
created 08 Mar 2011
 
a list of 600 titles
created 01 Sep 2012
 
a list of 133 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 72 titles
created 1 month ago
 
a list of 81 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Incendiary: The Willingham Case (2011)

Incendiary: The Willingham Case (2011) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Incendiary: The Willingham Case.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

When I Walk (2013)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 2006, 25-year-old Jason DaSilva was on vacation at the beach with family when, suddenly, he fell down. He couldn't get back up. His legs had stopped working; his disease could no longer ... See full summary »

Director: Jason DaSilva
Stars: Alice Cook, Jason DaSilva
Documentary | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A conservative Oklahoma family is shattered when their gay teenage son commits suicide after a bitterly controversial town meeting discussing a proposal for Gay and Lesbian History Month. ... See full summary »

Directors: Jeremy Stulberg, Randy Stulberg
Stars: Eric Eisenbrey, Nancy Harrington, Austin Harrington
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

On June 22, 1954, two teenage girls Pauline Yvonne Parker and Juliet Marion Hulme murdered Honora Parker, the mother of Pauline in Victoria Park outside of Christchurch, New Zealand. This ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Roman
Stars: Alice Drewitt, Amanda Jones, Brenna Lorraine
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An urban mystery unfurls as one man pieces together the surreal meaning of hundreds of cryptic tiled messages that have been appearing in city streets across the U.S. and South America.

Director: Jon Foy
Stars: Justin Duerr, Marc Duerr, Kevin Riley
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Unblinking and unsettling, this documentary lays bare a mysterious process that goes on all around us - what happens to people who die with no next of kin.

Directors: Grover Babcock, Blue Hadaegh
Documentary | Animation | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a legendary escape artist comes up for parole after 30 years behind bars, a chance for freedom must be weighed against his infamous past.

Director: Gabriel London
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Parking Lot Movie is a documentary about a singular parking lot in Charlottesville, Virginia. The film follows a select group of parking lot attendants and their strange rite of passage... See full summary »

Director: Meghan Eckman
Stars: Patrick Baran, John Beers, Chris Farina
Children of the Grave (TV Movie 2007)
Documentary | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Uncovers the shocking truth, history and haunting of Ghost Children, Poltergeist Kids, Haunted Orphanages and Crybaby Bridges through untold stories of unmarked graves.

Directors: Christopher Saint Booth, Philip Adrian Booth
Stars: Keith Age, John Zaffis, Troy Taylor
Destressed (2014)
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  

A heartfelt look at the medical, psychological and holistic reality of the effect of stress on the human body and mind.

Director: Garry Pastore
Stars: Garry Pastore, Frank Amoruso, Shellia Baldwin
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A small-town murder in New England became one of the highest-profile cases of the twentieth century. As the first fully televised court case, the Pamela Smart trial rattled the ... See full summary »

Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Stars: Joyce Maynard, Stanley M. Brooks, Pamela Smart
Crime | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Oscar-winning documentary that documents a murder trial in which a 15-year-old African-American is wrongfully accused of a 2000 murder in Jacksonville, Florida.

Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
Stars: Ann Finnell, Patrick McGuinness, James Williams
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middleclass Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.

Director: Andrew Jarecki
Stars: Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman, David Friedman
Edit

Storyline

In 1991, Cameron Todd Willingham's three daughters died in a Corsicana, Texas house fire. Tried and convicted for their arson murders, Willingham was executed in February 2004 despite overwhelming expert criticism of the prosecution's arson evidence. Today, Willingham's name has become a call for reform in the field of forensics and a rallying cry for the anti-death penalty movement; yet he remains an indisputable "monster" in the eyes of Texas Governor Rick Perry, who ignored the science that could have saved Willingham's life. Equal parts murder mystery, forensic investigation and political drama, INCENDIARY documents the haunted legacy of a prosecution built on "folklore." Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Politics in Texas can be murder. See more »


Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 2011 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Biased
1 August 2011 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

Here's a brief overview of the case that is the subject of this documentary: Cameron Todd Willingham was convicted of murder by arson of his three daughters in 1991 and put to death in 2004. Since then, a number of death penalty advocates have claimed his innocence by criticizing the evidence presented in 1991.

Before watching the film, I had been following the case very closely and read everything I could about the case. As such, I knew at the conclusion of this film that the filmmakers had presented only one side of the story.

Notably, the entire film is based on, and only on, interviews with Todd Willingham's defense - the most notable interviews are with Willingham's defense attorney at trial, David Martin, and the expert, Gerald Hurst, who claims the state's arson is flawed (based on over 10 years of hindsight). What is absent is an interview with a prosecutor, judge, witness, jury member, state expert, or even a neutral expert to balance the audience's perspective. Instead, the film represents the state with some choice footage which appears to be intended to cast current state politicians (no one who was actually involved in the trial, mind you) in a bad light.

At one point the film cuts to "The State's Case" (or something like that). Who presents "The State's Case?" Not the prosecutor (or any prosecutor for that matter). Rather, the state's case is presented by the same guy advocating for the defense, Gerald Hurst, the expert who calls Willingham "innocent" based on retrospective findings that the arson evidence was inconclusive (Calling someone innocent based on inconclusive findings seems contradicting in itself but the filmmakers never seem to question Hurst's declarations).

This one-sided presentation leaves Martin, Willingham's defense attorney at trial, to defend the state's case because Martin has no doubt that Willingham is guilty. Since when does the defense attorney become the best guy to defend the state's case? Even so, Martin makes a couple of points that strike home - for instance, he points out that Willingham's fire took a very unnatural 90-degree turn into the three girls' bedroom. This point is never refuted. Also, the filmmakers present footage of Willingham's ex-wife (and mother of the dead children) making a public declaration in 2009 or 2010 that Willingham told her he did it. And finally, the most interesting footage of the movie involves Martin stating that there may be other reasons why he believes Willingham is guilty but those reasons are protected by attorney-client privilege...

Despite a few interesting parts like that, I found myself very disappointed in the objectivity of this film. The film never addresses the confession that Willingham supposedly made to a jail-house snitch, Willingham's violent and drug-riddled history, the fact that Willingham kept changing his story as to what happened, Willingham's incriminating behavior during and shortly after the fire, or aspects of the fire that indicated arson (other than Martin's point). Instead, the film seems focused on presenting Willingham's detractors as the bad guys.

The film's unilateral presentation is disappointing because this case could have made for a very educational and interesting case study.


7 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
can this be watched online? craig-msn
Rick Perry ewayne61
Discuss Incendiary: The Willingham Case (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page