Director Alan Parker’s "Mississippi Burning" tells the real-life tale of three young Civil Rights workers murdered in deep-South Mississippi, focusing on the FBI agents (the great Gene Hackman and the wonderfully subtle Willem Dafoe) who arrive to investigate the crime. Also starring Frances McDormand and Brad Dourif, the film features a lacerating screenplay by Chris Gerolmo, Academy Award®-winning cinematography by Peter Biziou and a score by Trevor Jones.

  • 2 hr 8 minR
  • Dec 9, 1988
  • Drama

Cast & Crew

  • Gene Hackman

    Gene HackmanActor

  • Frances McDormand

    Frances McDormandActor

    Frances Louise McDormand was born on June 23, 1957 in Gibson City, Illinois. She was adopted by Canadian-born parents, Noreen Eloise (Nickleson), a nurse from Ontario, and The Rev. Vernon Weir McDormand, a Disciples of Christ minister from Nova Scotia, who raised her in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. She earned her B.A. in Theater from Bethany College in 1979 and her MFA from Yale in 1982. Her career after graduation began onstage, and she has retained her association with the theater throughout her career. She soon obtained prominent roles in movies as well, first starring in Blood Simple (1984), in which she worked with filmmaker Joel Coen, whom she married that year. She frequently collaborated with Coen and his brother Ethan Coen in their films. McDormand's skilled and versatile acting has been recognized by both the critics and the Academy and, in addition to many critics' awards, she has been nominated for an Academy Award five times - Supporting in Mississippi Burning (1988), Almost Famous (2000), and North Country (2005), and Lead in Fargo (1996) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), winning the Oscar for the latter two. Keenly intelligent and possessed of a sharp wit, McDormand is the antithesis of the Hollywood starlet - rather than making every role about Frances McDormand, she dissolves into the characters she plays. Accordingly, she has expressed some reservations about the iconic recognition she has gained from her touching and amusing portrayal of Police Chief Marge Gunderson, the quintessential Minnesota Scandinavian, in Fargo (1996). McDormand and Coen adopted a son, Pedro McDormand Coen, who was born in Paraguay, in 1994. They live in Manhattan, New York.
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  • Willem Dafoe

    Willem DafoeActor

    Having made over one hundred films in his legendary career, Willem Dafoe is internationally respected for bringing versatility, boldness, and dare to some of the most iconic films of our time. His artistic curiosity in exploring the human condition leads him to projects all over the world, large and small, Hollywood films as well as Independent cinema. In 1979, he was given a role in Michael's Cimino's Heaven's Gate, from which he was fired. Since then, he has collaborated with directors who represent a virtual encyclopedia of modern cinema: Kathryn Bigelow, Sam Raimi, Alan Parker, Walter Hill, Mary Harron, Wim Wenders, Anton Corbijn, Zhang Yimou, Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Oliver Stone, William Friedkin, Werner Herzog, Lars Von Trier, Abel Ferrara, Spike Lee, Julian Schnabel, David Cronenberg, Paul Schrader, Anthony Minghella, Scott Cooper, Theo Angelopoulos, Christian Carion, Robert Rodriguez, Phillip Noyce, Hector Babenco, John Milius, Roger Donaldson, Paul McGuigan, Lee Tamahori, Roger Spottiswoode, Paul Weitz, Daniel Nettheim, The Spierig Brothers, Andrew Stanton, and Josh Boone. Dafoe has been recognized with four Academy Award nominations: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Platoon, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Shadow Of The Vampire, for which he also received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Florida Project, for which he also received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations, and most recently, Best Leading Actor for At Eternity's Gate, for which he also received a Golden Globe nomination. Among his other nominations and awards, he has received two Los Angeles Film Critics Awards, a New York Film Critics Circle Award, a National Board of Review Award, an Independent Spirit Award, Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup, as well as a Berlinale Honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement. Willem was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, to Muriel Isabel (Sprissler), a nurse, and William Alfred Dafoe, a surgeon. He is of mostly German, Irish, Scottish, and English descent. He and his wife, director Giada Colagrande, have made three films together: Padre, A Woman, and Before It Had A Name. His natural adventurousness is evident in roles as diverse as the elite assassin who is mentor to Keanu Reeves in the neo-noir John Wick, in his voice work as Gil the Moorish Idol in Finding Nemo and as Ryuk the Death God in Death Note, and as the obsessed FBI agent in the cult classic The Boondock Saints, Sean Baker's The Florida Project and Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express. That adventurous spirit continues with upcoming films including James Wan's Aquaman, Robert Eggers's The Lighthouse, Edward Norton's Motherless Brooklyn and Julian Schnabel's At Eternity's Gate in which he stars as Vincent Van Gogh. Dafoe is one of the founding members of The Wooster Group, the New York based experimental theatre collective. He created and performed in all of the group's work from 1977 thru 2005, both in the U.S. and internationally. Since then, he worked with Richard Foreman in Idiot Savant at The Public Theatre (NYC) and most recently two international productions with Robert Wilson: The Life & Death of Marina Abramovic and The Old Woman opposite Mikhail Baryshnikov. He is developing a new theatre piece, directed by Romeo Castellucci, based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Minister's Black Veil.
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  • Brad Dourif

    Brad DourifActor

  • Gailard Sartain

    Gailard SartainActor

  • Michael Rooker

    Michael RookerActor

    Michael Rooker was born on April 6, 1955 in Jasper, Alabama. When he was thirteen, his parents divorced and he went with his mother to live in Chicago. He caught the acting bug while attending college, and began appearing in local stage productions. On first breaking into film, his intensity and "don't-mess-with-me" good looks were highlighted to chilling effect as he title character in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), filmed in 1986 but, due to its controversial nature, not released until 1990. Since that widely noticed and highly praised performance, much of his career has been spent playing brutes, villains and psychopaths. However, his occasional turns as a "good guy" are always well-acted and a welcome change for a talented actor too often typecast. 2017 marks an exciting time for Rooker, as he starred in two films premiering just two months of each other. On March 17, audiences saw Rooker in Blumhouse Tilt's indie horror thriller The Belko Experiment (2016). The film is the terrifying yet humorous look at a group of employees that become guinea pigs in a company-wide experiment that leads them to either kill their fellow employees or be killed themselves. Returning to his indie roots, Rooker starred as maintenance worker, Bud Melks, one of the employees trapped in the office building, who may or may not be able to kill his fellow staff member. On May 5, Rooker reprised his role as Yondu in the highly anticipated sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017). The film follows the same group of galactic underdogs saving the universe to a stellar soundtrack. Rooker's breakout performance earned him critical acclaim, as audiences were introduced to a more dramatic Yondu. The film went on to earn over $145 million domestically its opening weekend and has surpassed its predecessor by grossing over $850 million worldwide. Rooker made his film debut, playing the title role in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), a film based on the confessions of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. It was here that audiences were first introduced to Rooker's impeccable ability to channel a character's idiosyncrasies and subtleties. He has also starred in some of the most iconic films, such as Mississippi Burning (1988), Sea of Love (1989), JFK (1991), Tombstone (1993) and Jumper (2008) to name a few. In August 2014, Rooker starred in one of the most memorable franchises in the Marvel Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), as Yondu, the blue-skinned renegade space pirate and surrogate father to Peter Quill. The film went on to gross over $700 million at the worldwide box office and spent five weekends atop the box office, more than any other film in the Marvel Universe. On the television front, Rooker is best known for his series regular role as Merle Dixon on AMC's hit series The Walking Dead (2010). Audiences loved to hate the ill-tempered redneck hunter and were sad to see him killed off the series in season three. Rooker has completed a variety of stints on some of the most prominent series on television: Criminal Minds (2005), CSI: Miami (2002), Las Vegas (2003), Law & Order (1990) and Archer (2009), among others. Additionally, Rooker's talents go beyond both film and television. He adds his voice to various video games, including The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and Lollipop Chainsaw.
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Cast & Crew photos provided by TMDb.