A Time to Kill

Synopsis: In Canton, Mississippi, 10-year-old Tonya Hailey is viciously brutalized by two white racist rednecks -- James Louis "Pete" Willard and Billy Ray Cobb. Almost immediately after Tonya is found and rushed to a hospital, Pete and Billy Ray are found at a roadside bar, where they had been bragging about what they did to Tonya. Tonya's understandably distraught and enraged father, Carl Lee Hailey, remembers a case from a year ago, when four white men raped an African-American girl in a nearby town, and got acquitted. Carl is determined to not let that happen in this case. While deputy Dwayne Powell Looney is escorting Pete and Billy Ray up a flight of stairs to a court room, Carl emerges from the building's basement with an assault rifle, and he kills Pete and Billy Ray for what they did to Tonya. Carl is later arrested at his house by African-American sheriff Ozzie Walls, and Carl is scheduled to be placed on trial. Despite the efforts of the NAACP and local African-American leaders to per
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Joel Schumacher
Production: Warner Home Video
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
149 min

Free Carl Lee!

Free Carl Lee!

Free Carl Lee!

Free Carl Lee!

Free Carl Lee!

Beautiful day, isn't it?

There he is.

Any word on Bud?

Ethel's still with him.

Thank you for coming.

Well, well, well.

The Pillsbury Dough Boy.

Still practicing exploitative law?

Thought you were dead.

I'm trying. What do we have here?

I'd like to introduce--

Lucien Wilbanks, third white man in

Mississippi to join the NAACP...

...permanently disbarred

by Superior Court...

...for attacking police who busted

a picket line in an oil strike.

It is a pleasure, Ms. Ark.

Everyone, jury selection begins today.

To win this case we need a

sympathetic jury willing to acquit...

...and a jury that can use the

insanity plea as an excuse to do so.

I need a drink.

No drinking.

What do you mean?

It's my building, leased to

you for a reasonable rent...

...and I want a drink.

Ms. Ark, I have all the

respect in the world for you.

I believe in your right to equal pay,

your right to bear a child...

...or to abort one.

You should be treated like a man.

Since you are a law clerk...

...genderless in my eyes...

...I think you should be

the one to go buy the beer.

ERA, 'she' woman. That would be

an excellent activity for you.

No drinking. Not today.

Noose selects this panel randomly.

Too many bad candidates and we're sunk.

Luck of the draw.

What you need...

...is young fathers who want

to do what Carl Lee did.

Agreed. We need young

men with families here.

I'd prefer no one over 50.

Less bigotry with youth.

So we stay away from women,

rednecks and old men.

Citizens, thank you.

Counsel, you each have 12

challenges. Let's begin.

The state challenges jurors #6...


...and 32.

Your Honor, the defense

strikes jurors 1, 4...

...8 and 2.

And 31.

Your Honor, the defense also

strikes jurors 22 and 29.

That's it, then.

You're out of challenges.

Jurors, you will be

sequestered starting tonight.

Opening statements begin tomorrow.

That's a jury of my peers?

God bless America.

My name is Stump Sisson...

...and I'm proud to be a Grand Dragon...

...for the Invisible Empire...

...of the Ku Klux Klan!

What the hell?

I'm here to say...

...that the law-abiding

whites of this state...

...are sick and tired

of n*ggers stealing...

...raping, killing, and

getting away with it!

We demand justice!

We demand this n*gger...

...be convicted...

...and his black ass

sent to the gas chamber!

Who's a n*gger?!

You pointy-headed...

...white-faced, no-good


Shut up, you wild animal.

I'll drag your ass out of here!

You're the animal!

Open the gate!

Turn around.

Know what?

Just take off your pants.

Come on, do I look that easy?

Afraid I'll see your underwear?

With Carla gone, the laundry's

piling up. I'm not wearing any.

I haven't worn any in years.

I'm not going to watch, I promise.

Now, strip, please.


What I need from you...

Do tell.

Is a way to discredit the

State's shrink, Dr. Rodeheaver.

Unless you discredit the shrink...

Carl Lee does not have a chance.



He's got a good chance.

There. You'll live.


Good butt.

What do you do to blow off steam...

...besides trying to kill each other?

You got a disco...

...strip bars...

...or malls...

...to go to?

Stump's dead.

He's dead.

Come on. Let's go home.

It's all over.

It ain't near over.

I'll be right back.

Here are your mud bugs.

Anything else?

A couple of...

...specials and some fried dill pickles.

-You got it.

-Thanks, sugar.

That wasn't sexist. Really,

I never order my own food.

I can't do another shot.

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Akiva Goldsman

Akiva J. Goldsman (born July 7, 1962) is an American film and television writer, director, and producer. He received an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the 2001 film, A Beautiful Mind, which also won the Oscar for Best Picture. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "A Time to Kill" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Oct. 2023. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_time_to_kill_21930>.

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