Ghosts of Mississippi

Synopsis: Ghosts of Mississippi is a real-life drama covering the final trial of Byron De La Beckwith, the assassin of heroic civil rights leader Medgar Evers. The movie begins with the murder on June 12, 1963 and the events surrounding the two initial trials which both ended in hung juries. The movie then covers district attorney Bobby De Laughter's transformation and alliance with Myrlie Evers, Medgar Evers' widow, as he becomes more involved with bringing Beckwith to trial for the third time 30 years later. Byron De La Beckwith was convicted on February 5, 1994, after having remained a free man for much of the 30 years after the murder, giving justice for Medgar Evers' family.
Genre: Drama, History
Director(s): Rob Reiner
Production: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
130 min

It is better to settle

these matters in the courts...

... than on the streets.

And new laws are needed

at every level.

But law alone cannot make

men see right.

We are confronted primarily

with a moral issue.

The heart of the question is...

... whether all Americans are

to be afforded equal rights...

...and equal opportunities...

... whether we treat

our fellow Americans... we want to be treated.

If an American,

because his skin is dark...

...cannot eat lunch

in a restaurant open to the public...

...if he cannot send his children...

... to the best public school


...if he cannot vote

for the officials who represent him...

...if, in short, he cannot enjoy

the full and free life...

... which all of us want...

... then who among us

would be content...

... to have the color

of his skin changed?

Who among us would then be content...

... with the counsels

of patience and delay?

One hundred years

of delay have passed...

...since President Lincoln

freed the slaves...

... yet their heirs, their grandsons

are not fully free.

They are not yet freed

from the bonds of injustice.

They are not yet freed

from social and economic oppression.

That looks like a police car.

And this nation, for all

its hopes and all its boasts...

... will not be fully free

until all its citizens are free.

We preach freedom

around the world and we mean it.

And we cherish our freedom

here at home.

Are we to say to the world...

...and much more importantly,

to each other...

... that this is a land of the free,

except for the Negroes?

That we have no second-class citizens,

except Negroes?

That we have no class

or caste system... ghettos, no master race,

except with respect to Negroes?

Now the time has come for

this nation to fulfill its promise.

The events in Birmingham

and elsewhere...

...have so increased the cries

for equality that no city...

...or state or legislative body

can prudently choose...

... to ignore them.

The fires of frustration

and discord...

...are burning in every city,

North and South...

... where legal remedies

are not at hand.

Redress is sought in the streets.

We face a moral crisis

as a country and a people.

It cannot be met

by repressive police action.

It is a time to act

in the Congress... your state

and local legislative body...

...and above all,

in all of our daily lives.

A great change is at hand...

...and our task...

...our obligation is to make

that revolution, that change...

...peaceful and constructive for all.

Those who do nothing...

...are inviting shame

as well as violence.

Those who act boldly

are recognizing right... well as reality.


-Get down!

-Get the baby!


Oh, my Gosh!

Daddy! Daddy!

Daddy, I love you!

Daddy, don't die!

I want my daddy!

Turn me loose.

Turn me loose.

Medgar Evers believed in this country.

It now remains to be seen

whether his country believed in him.

The Citizens Council's raised

thousands for your defense.

Money's pouring in

from all over the South.

Nice likeness.

What do you think, boys?

Mr. Beckwith, glad to see you.

Mighty glad to be here.

And isn't it true

your husband was the first... attempt to integrate

the University of Mississippi?

At the time of his death,

he was involved in a lawsuit... integrate the public

school system, wasn't he?

Your husband must've had quite

a few enemies, would you agree?

Yes, he did.

Your eldest boy,

his name is Kenyatta, isn't it?

Darrell Kenyatta Evers.

Kenyatta's a Mau Mau name, isn't it?



Isn't it true that over 100 people

were arrested during a demonstration...

...that your husband

organized boycotting...

...a department store in downtown

Jackson known as Kennington's?

Who's that?

Ross Barnett.

You're kidding.

Nope. You don't see that

every day of the week.

A former governor shaking hands

with an assassin in front of the jury.

There's not a court in America

that would stand for that.

What's America got to do

with anything?

This is Mississippi.

Byron De La Beckwith.

-You live in Greenwood, Mississippi?

-Y es, sir.

My mother was a Yerger.

Her mother was Susan Yerger...

...a close personal friend

of Mrs. Jefferson Davis.

You shoot Medgar Evers?

No, sir!

Your Honor, may l?

Mr. Beckwith, is this your rifle?

Let's see.

Well, it bears a similarity...

...but I couldn't say for certain.

I don't record the

serial numbers of my weapons...

...and my gun was stolen

from my home several days before...

...this whole business.

How do you feel, Delay?

I got tears in my eyes.

For Dixie, huh?

In summation...

...not only did surveillance cameras

provide us with a visual record...

...of the crime being committed...

...but four eyewitnesses observed

the defendant removing his mask...

...upon exiting the convenience store.

Short of you ladies and gentlemen

attending the actual event...

...we don't feel the state

could have a stronger case.

Thank you.


Hey, Bobby. How'd it go?

Through a combination

of superior lawyering...

...and a less than stellar performance

by our criminal, I got a conviction.


My rape victim's reluctant to testify.

Can you handle the Harrison motion?

-You bet.

-You're a lifesaver.

-DeLaughter, your wife just called.

-What'd she want?

To remind you you're having lunch with

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Lewis Colick

Lewis Colick is an American screenwriter born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Baruch College in New York and got his MFA in Theatre Arts from the UCLA Film School. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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