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Trial by Fire (2018)

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The tragic and controversial story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas for killing his three children after scientific evidence and expert testimony that bolstered his claims of innocence were suppressed.

Director:

Edward Zwick

Writers:

Geoffrey Fletcher (screenplay by), David Grann (based on The New Yorker article by)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jade Pettyjohn ... Julie Gilbert
Emily Meade ... Stacy Willingham
Jack O'Connell ... Cameron Todd Willingham
Laura Dern ... Elizabeth Gilbert
Chris Coy ... Daniels
Joshua Mikel ... Screaming Inmate
Jeff Perry ... Hurst
Carlos Gómez ... Fire Inspector
Jason Douglas ... John H. Jackson
Rhoda Griffis ... Darlene
Elle Graham ... Amber
Blair Bomar ... Sandy
McKinley Belcher III ... Ponchai
Wayne Pére ... George Gilbert
Tinsley Price ... Older Karmon
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Storyline

The film takes place in Texas. Cameron Todd Willingham is accused of triple killing of his children killed in a fire. The man denies his guilt and claims that he loved his daughters more than life. However, the court sentenced him to death. For eight long years, Cameron has been on death row, and soon he will be executed. His business is interested by Elizabeth Gilbert, who all her life leads an implacable struggle with the system. Written by Peter-Patrick76 (peter-patrick@mail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Stand for What's Right, Fight for What's True.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, some violence, disturbing images, sexual material and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Trial by Fire See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$78,817, 19 May 2019

Gross USA:

$148,504

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$148,504
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

During one of Elizabeth's visits to Cameron in prison, he states that his parents would never visit because it was a one way trip from Oklahoma of 1200 miles. That is near double the actual mileage from anywhere in Oklahoma to Huntsville. See more »

Quotes

Cameron Todd Willingham: Thanks to you, I have tried to make my peace. You showed me that love is always there if you just open yourself to it. You helped me to learn to enjoy the simple blessings of being alive.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Talking Dead: Do Not Send Us Astray (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Death row drama
13 August 2019 | by akcenatSee all my reviews

"Trial by Fire" is based on David Grann's 2009 New Yorker article of the same name and it dramatizes the tragic and controversial story of a case against the death penalty - by focusing on the real-life ordeal of a Cameron Todd Willingham, man executed in 2004, weeks after the emergence of definitive evidence attesting to his innocence.

Willingham is played by Jack O'Connell, who gives a very good performance. He was able to capture the man's initial naivety about the severity of these charges and gradually show a maturity which would have naturally occurred over the years he spent in prison. Laura Dern joins the film halfway through, as a playwright-turned-activist for whom this case becomes an obsession and who works to have his conviction overturned. The two parts, his and hers, never quite successfully merge on screen, though the few scenes the actors have together work nicely.

"Trial by Fire" is an intriguing, often hard to watch and surely not entertaining motion picture. As a film, it is is a tough but worthy reminder of the illusion of fairness in real life and that justice is not always served.

Rating: 7


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