Civil Rights
Mississippi Burning
Review by Ross Anthony

Set in 1964 Mississippi, two FBI agents investigate three missing civil rights activists. In a town reluctant to give up its racist segregationist ways these two outsiders begin their questioning. The KKK responds by burning crosses, houses, and otherwise battering its "colored" citizens.

This is a powerful drama that reminds us all how ugly racism can be. And (I hope) what good progress this country has made since 1964 with regards to race relations.

The story itself is engaging enough, but the writers have scripted in meaty characters as well. For openers, the two agents come from vastly different backgrounds. Willem Defoe plays the younger by-the-book nearly finessesless agent. He disciplines a radical anger towards this kind of inhumanity with a strict application of law. Gene Hackman, on the other hand, plays a good 'o' boy himself. He's keen to the Southern style and smooth talks his way around town. But he balances that sweet tongue with an ominous threat to the local mentality. He likes to say, "I like baseball -- it's the only time when a black man can wave a stick at a white man and not cause a riot."

These two agents often butt heads with each other while working to flush out the bad guys, these two conflicts drive the film fervor. Well-acted, compelling, good script. Good message.

(Viewed on Cable)


  • Mississippi Burning. Copyright © 1988.
  • Starring Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand. Directed by Alan Parker.
  • Screenplay by Chris Gerolmo.
  • Produced by Frederick Zollo, Robert F. Colesberry at MGM

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

Copyright © 1998-2012 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:35 PDT