Number of Times Seen – At least 5 times (Cable in the 80’s and 90’s, 28 Feb 2012 and 4 Dec 2017)
Brief Synopsis – In 1964, two FBI agents are sent to Mississippi to investigate the murder of three civil rights workers.
My Take on it – This is such a great film because it gets so many things right about the whole issue of racism in the South during the 1960’s.
I love The characters played by Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe because they both have similar goals as partners but each has their own way of reaching those goals.
The chemistry between the two of them shines throughout.
The story presented here is quiet compelling and thrilling and they found the right way to keep things exciting the whole way through because we are waiting in anticipation to see what will happen next.
The cinematography is superb and it gives us a great idea of what the Deep South was like by making it seem like a character itself. and in some ways, the main character of the whole story.
The issues dealt with in this film are all about the burning questions about racism and how it could exist in the 60’s in the Deep South and they present them so well.
This, in turn says so much about the culture of the inhabitants of the North and South during these very turbulent times.
As things move along, we get a clearer idea as to how it was conceivable that such hatred still existed 100 years after the end of the Civil War and the Emancipation Act.
Truly deserving of its 7 Oscar nominations.
Unfortunately, it only won for Cinematography.
Bottom Line – Hackman and Dafoe work so well together because their characters are so different and use different methods to accomplish their goals. The story is quite compelling and thrilling and they easily keep us interested for the entire runtime of the film. The issues dealt with here are quite impactful and so much is said by the way they tell the story. They show us a great perspective on how it is possible that racism still existed in the South a century following emancipation. Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – At one point, Gene Hackman decided that he would no longer make more violent films, after seeing a brief and violent clip of his performance in this film (and taken out of context, he thought) at the 1989 Oscars. That stance prevented him from accepting a future job as director of The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and almost cost him the Sheriff role in Unforgiven (1992), which he reluctantly accepted after being convinced by Clint Eastwood, a role that earned great acclaim, and his second Oscar. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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