• Mississippi Burning (1988)

Mississippi Burning

Release Date: December 9th, 1988

DVD Release Date: May 27th, 1998

R |2 hr 5 min

Plot Summary

When a group of civil rights workers goes missing in a small Mississippi town, FBI agents Alan Ward (Willem Dafoe) and Rupert Anderson (Gene Hackman) are sent in to investigate. Local authorities refuse to cooperate with them, and the African American community is afraid to, precipitating a clash between the two agents over strategy. As the situation becomes more volatile, the direct approach is abandoned in favor of more aggressive, hard-line tactics.

Cast: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif, R. Lee Ermey, Gailard Sartain, Stephen Tobolowsky, Michael Rooker

Director: Alan Parker

Genres: Crime drama , Mystery

Production Co: Orion Pictures

Keywords: Revenge, Pursuit, Small town, Wife, 1960s, Tense

Ratings & Reviews

  • 63
    San Francisco Chronicle

    Parker recreates the hate-and-fear-filled atmosphere in that small Southern town with broad brush strokes. But in the end, all of his spectacular fires send out a lot more heat than light. [13 Jan 1989, p.E1]

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    Apart from its pure entertainment value - this is the best American crime movie in years - it is an important statement about a time and a condition that should not be forgotten. The Academy loves to honor prestigious movies in which long-ago crimes are rectified in far-away places. Here is a nominee with the ink still wet on its pages. show more

  • 100
    USA Today

    A powerful drama about the murder of three civil-rights workers in the South. Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe are FBI men investigating. A legitimate Oscar contender. [6 Jan 1989, p.5D]

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Nominated Film Editing
Nominated Best Director - Motion Picture
Nominated Actress in a Supporting Role
Winner Sound
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1989)
Winner Cinematography
Nominated Achievement in Direction
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1989)
Nominated Sound
Nominated Original Film Score
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1989)
Winner Editing
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1989)
Nominated Directing
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Actor in a Leading Role
Winner Cinematography
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1989)
Nominated Best Picture