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Carolina Skeletons (1991)

After a long time in the Army, an African-American soldier returns to his hometown, where, years ago, his brother was executed for the rape and murder of two white girls. The commando ... See full summary »


John Erman


David Stout (novel), Tracy Keenan Wynn (teleplay)

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1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis Gossett Jr. ... James Bragg
Bruce Dern ... Junior Stoker
Melissa Leo ... Cassie (as Melissa Chessington Leo)
Paul Roebling Paul Roebling ... T.J. Campbell
Bill Cobbs ... Elijah Crooks
Henderson Forsythe Henderson Forsythe ... Judge Brickstone
Clifton James ... Dexter Cody
Richard Jenkins ... Redy
Kenn Michael Kenn Michael ... Linus Bragg (as Kenny Blank)
G.D. Spradlin ... Hiram Stoker
Rosanna Carter Rosanna Carter ... Mother Bragg
Trazana Beverley Trazana Beverley ... City Clerk
Mary Nell Santacroce Mary Nell Santacroce ... Secretary
Marc Macaulay ... Deputy Bryant
Kate Bernsohn Kate Bernsohn ... Cindy Lou


After a long time in the Army, an African-American soldier returns to his hometown, where, years ago, his brother was executed for the rape and murder of two white girls. The commando believes his brother to have been innocent, and seeks a proof for that, but there are some people in the town who will stop at nothing to hide the secrets of their past. Written by Jaromir Król <jaromirk@kr.onet.pl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carolina Skeletons See more »

Filming Locations:

Crawfordville, Georgia, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Partially based on the true story of the 1944 execution in the electric chair of George Junius Stinney, Jr., a fourteen-year-old African-American boy convicted of the rape and murder of two young white girls in South Carolina. He is, as of 2012, the youngest person ever executed in the U.S., and as of 2017, has been proven to have been innocent of the crimes, for which he was executed. See more »


In the flashback scene, when Sheriff Hiram Stoker is trying to get Linus to sign the confession, he asks Linus at one point if he knew where the stick used to kill the Ellerby girls was. If the murder weapon had not been recovered at this point, Sheriff Stoker would have had no way of knowing a stick of wood was the murder weapon. Only the killer could have known this. The kind of head injuries the Ellerby girls likely sustained could have been caused by any blunt object. See more »

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User Reviews

Superbly done
16 August 2013 | by star_in_the_zenith_79See all my reviews

I agree with the other person's review that this would have done well at the box office and on the big screen. Its a shame that it was not. Its dark and disturbing, but very entertaining. The opening scene is a flashback scene thirty years before most of the movie took place, and its one of the most chilling and dramatic I ever saw. Witnessing one of the most heinous acts that could take place on planet Earth gets you into the movie from the start, a mysterious figure comes and destroys three young lives and shatters innocence. Lou Gossett Jr is in great form here, and his character's quest for the truth has all the classic entertainment of the who done it type mystery, brilliantly enhanced by the chilling opening scene. Not only that but it also instills empathy in the audience for the woes faced by the black community in the early years of the civil rights movement. In my humble opinion much more so than a film like A Time To Kill, which to me was entirely over the top. This is a superior film and much more realistic set in a time when this stain on American society was much more real and not the exaggerated exploitation it is today. Bruce Dern does his usual competent job in support, as does the rest of the cast. A must watch for anyone in any walk of life.

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