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Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)

PG-13 | | Drama, History | 3 January 1997 (USA)
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2:09 | Trailer
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
Reviews
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:

Ghosts of Mississippi 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

Gross USA:

$13,323,144

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,323,144
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

Byron de la Beckwith was then residing in the county jail, not a half a mile from where they were filming the courtroom scenes. No one went to visit him, and he knew they were there. Rob Reiner claimed to have gotten a look at his cell, and said it was full of white supremacist literature Beckwith was still reading. See more »

Goofs

When DeLaughter is brushing his son's hair in the bathroom, the child actor looks off-camera (either at his parent, the director, or a cue card). See more »

Quotes

Byron De La Beckwith: The point is you ain't never, ever gonna get twelve people to convict me of killing a nigger in the state of Mississippi. No, sir. Hell son, I don't even have to take the stand. A couple more days, I'll be back in my home in Signal Mountain, Tennessee, where I'll just sit on my porch and live out my days in peace and prosperity. What are you gonna do, Mr. DeLaughter? What are you gonna do? Free at last, free at last... Great God Almighty, I'm free at last!
See more »


Soundtracks

The Thrill is Gone
Written by Rick Darnell and Roy Hawkins
Performed by B.B. King
Courtesy of MCA Records
By Arrangement with MCA Special Markets and Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Inaccuracies in the film
23 September 2001 | by richard.fuller1See all my reviews

Recalling it all as it happened, I think Whoopi herself commented on how challenging it was to portray Myrlie Evers, who waited thirty years for that justice and resigned herself to never seeing it. The final actual moment when Myrlie screamed 'Yay, Medgar, Yay' on the news after the verdict, she still held back and composed herself, something Whoopi obviously could not grasp. Myrlie Evers had clearly supressed all feelings on her husband's murder for the sake of her children's lives and future and to move on with her own life. I worked as an extra for two days on this film. An entire speech Whoopi delivered after the verdict was cut (which I might add, I don't think Myrlie delivered at the newscast). Most inaccurate about the film is that much of what is credited to Bobby DeLaughter (who is now a judge) was actually carried out by Ed Peters, Craig T. Nelson's character. And the men's room encounter between DeLaughter and De La Beckwith never occurred. I have no idea De La Beckwith said or did back in the sixties, but his news appearances and statements in the early-mid nineties didn't help his case any in the public's eyes. Medgar Ever's actual son played himself in the movie with Goldberg in the courtroom and Martin Luther King's daughter appeared as Ever's daughter. Ironically enough, De La Beckwith and Ever's son both died within a month of one another.


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