Mississippi Burning is an all-names-changed dramatization of the Ku Klux Klan's murders of three civil rights workers in 1964. Investigating the mysterious disappearances of the three activists are FBI agents Gene Hackman (older, wiser) and Willem Dafoe (younger, idealistic). A Southerner himself, Hackman charms and cajoles his way through the tight-lipped residents of a dusty Mississippi town while Dafoe acts upon the evidence gleaned by his partner. Hackman solves the case by exerting his influence upon beauty-parlor worker Frances McDormand, who wishes to exact revenge for the beatings inflicted upon her by her Klan-connected husband Brad Dourif. Many critics took the film to task for its implication that the Civil Rights movement might never have gained momentum without its white participants; nor were the critics happy that the FBI was shown to utilize tactics as brutal as the Klan's. The title Mississippi Burning is certainly appropriate: nearly half the film is taken up with scenes of smoke and flame. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Decent portrayal of the early Civil Rights years in a very backwards and prejudice South. A very interesting character study of the "bottom line" government worker from Washington, and the Southern lawman who understands and even sympathizes with many of the "ways of the South" town folks - who live and die by tradition - and don't embrace change in the least - especially from Yankees ! Tense movie - very effective.
It is sad that we use to live in a time like this. And now 40 - 50 years later very little has really changed. Sad, sad, sad times. A good look at the life of people in the 60's and all the racism in society. And it was such a great cast of actors from the 80's. So many good actors were in this film. I definitely recommend checking this movie out.
This movie was outstanding! It takes you back into time and allows you to see what actually happened in 1964 to three civil rights workers. It makes you realize that the world is not always such a pretty place for everyone who lives in it. And two FBI agents did everything in their power to rectify the situation. This is a soul stirring story and teaches a valuable lesson to those who break the law, there is always someone who will not just accept it and be silent!