6.7/10
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64 user 31 critic

Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)

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A Mississippi district attorney and the widow of Medgar Evers struggle to finally bring a white racist to justice for the 1963 murder of the civil rights leader.

Director:

Rob Reiner

Writer:

Lewis Colick
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alec Baldwin ... Bobby DeLaughter
James Woods ... Byron De La Beckwith
Virginia Madsen ... Dixie DeLaughter
Whoopi Goldberg ... Myrlie Evers
Susanna Thompson ... Peggy Lloyd
Craig T. Nelson ... Ed Peters
Lucas Black ... Burt DeLaughter
Joseph Tello Joseph Tello ... Drew DeLaughter
Alexa PenaVega ... Claire DeLaughter (as Alexa Vega)
William H. Macy ... Charlie Crisco
Ben Bennett Ben Bennett ... Benny Bennett (as Lloyd 'Benny' Bennett)
Darrell Evers Darrell Evers ... Himself
Yolanda King Yolanda King ... Reena Evers
Jerry Levine ... Jerry Mitchell
James Van Evers James Van Evers ... Van Evers
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Storyline

Ghosts of Mississippi is a real-life drama covering the final trial of Byron De La Beckwith, the assassin of heroic civil rights leader Medgar Evers. The movie begins with the murder on June 12, 1963 and the events surrounding the two initial trials which both ended in hung juries. The movie then covers district attorney Bobby De Laughter's transformation and alliance with Myrlie Evers, Medgar Evers' widow, as he becomes more involved with bringing Beckwith to trial for the third time 30 years later. Byron De La Beckwith was convicted on February 5, 1994, after having remained a free man for much of the 30 years after the murder, giving justice for Medgar Evers' family. Written by Joel Schesser <joelsd@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A forgotten crime. An impossible case. A final chance... for justice. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a strong scene of violence and for racial dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 January 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fantasmas del pasado See more »

Filming Locations:

Greenwood, Mississippi, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$168,012, 22 December 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,052,741, 16 March 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS (8 channels)| Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The radio station WMPR 90.1 FM, where Medgar Evers' brother Charles Evers was manager, still broadcasts from Jackson, Mississippi. See more »

Goofs

Although the film begins in 1989 and ends in 1994, the same child actors portraying Bobby DeLaughter's children are used from the beginning of the movie until the end, showing no signs of aging. See more »

Quotes

[Addressing the jury in summation]
Bobby DeLaughter: President John F. Kennedy in his landmark civil rights speech to the nation, delivered on the very night Medgar Evers was murdered, said: "We face a moral crisis as a country and as a people. Those who do nothing are inviting shame, as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right, as well as reality." Today, thirty years later, I'm asking you twelve ladies and gentlemen to act boldly; to hold this defendant accountable and find him guilty... ...
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Connections

Features The Partridge Family: A Man Called Snake (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Turn Me Loose
Written and Performed by Vince Gill
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
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User Reviews

Beautifully made
7 April 2004 | by MichaelOatesSee all my reviews

Strong performances from Alec Baldwin, James Woods, Whoopi Goldberg, Craig T. Nelson, Bill Smitrovich and William H. Macy makes "Ghosts Of Mississippi" one of the best movies I have seen. "Ghosts Of Mississippi" deserved an oscar in every single category that one can be given in because it was that good.

I never knew the story of Medgar Evers before I saw this film; but, I learned a lot through watching the film. I hope everyone has the same experience and opportunity I had when I saw this movie because it is one history lesson that should be seen rather than read in history books or newspaper archives. I was truly honored to watch this film.

There are several reasons this film is a success; one of them are the performances. "Ghosts Of Mississippi" is each actors best film of their career bar none. Alec Baldwin brings intensity, aggressiveness and never say die attitude to his role as Bobby DeLaughter. Whoopi Goldberg stars as Myrlie Evers, widow of Medgar Evers, who with relentless pursuit of justice re-opens this murder case. Finally, James Woods stars as Byron De La Beckwith, the defendant, who with great conviction and sincerity brings the essence of the real person to the surface.

As great as Baldwin and Woods are in this they do not hold a candle to Goldberg who gives not only the best performance in the film, year but I dare say the best performance of the decade of the 90's.

The second reason why this film remains on my short list of best films are the messages that brought up. For example, equality for all and the fact that any discrimination will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Another message I got from this film was under no circumstances should anybody underestimate the power of tenacity because it will make dreams come true every time.

This film was thought-provoking, brilliant and compelling. In addition, "Ghosts Of Mississippi" will move you to tears, put a smile on your face and anger you because these are the emotions I felt watching this movie. Combined with the excellent ensemble performances, brilliant script and messages this film had "Ghosts Of Mississippi" is one film you can't miss. Two thumbs way up.


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