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Ghosts of Mississippi


Roger Davidson

Ghosts of Mississippi
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One of the highly anticipated films of the winter season (and a major front runner for the Oscars this year), the story is about the attempt to convict the killer of civil rights activist Medger Evers, nearly thirty years after the fact. The prosecuting attorney (Alec Baldwin) and Evers' widow Myrlie (Whoopi Goldberg) are the major players in the re-opening of the case against white supremacist Byron de la Beckwith (James Woods). The thing is that much of the evidence from the original trials in the 1960's have disappeared in the 1990's. These facts give the smug Woods a reason to dare the opposition to just try and convict him of something that happened back in 1963.

The film is good, but not great. It's hampered by the fact that it's overlong, which, in turn, aren't helped by the dull courtroom scenes. But that's in the last 20 minutes. Much of the rest of the film is extremely well done, with a very suspenseful story (even for the ones who know how it turned out in real life) and three powerful performances by Goldberg, Baldwin and especially Woods as the hateful Beckwith. It's better than most of the dreck that has come out in the winter of 96/97.

My Rating = Three Stars

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