In 1998, a stunning crime thrust Jasper, Texas into the spotlight. What happened on that summer evening - the death of black hitchhiker James Byrd, Jr. by three white men - became a flash-point for the state of race relations in America.
Jeffrey W. Byrd
Roy T. Anderson,
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I was shocked
This actually isn't that bad of a movie, considering the fact that it... 1.) has no stars I have even really heard of, except for a few I don't care for. 2.) was not just a movie-of-the-week, but was a miniseries, which aired on my TV it's entirety (though I only saw most of the second part) and # 3.) is flawed by a few hokey parts, such as people cheering loudly in a courtroom.
But every movie has its flaws, and "Cross of Fire" actually had some good points as well. It covers the rise of Ku-Klux-Klan leader D. C "Steve" Stevenson, who eventually became so powerful in his town, that he could pretty much get away with doing whatever he wanted, or so he thought.
Now court cases appear frequently in these kinds of movies, and often the cases are much more dramatized than they would ever be in the real world. This case had it's dramatic moments, some of them touching, others quite silly, but hey, D. C Stevenson was supposed to be a prominent figure, so it wasn't totally off-the-wall. I also enjoyed Madge's lawyer-friend, who proved to be not the wimp everybody thought he was. I am not certain of the actor who played this fellow, but he was actually quite well-cast, as was Lloyd Bridges as Steve's veteran lawyer. Mel Harris, as Madge, was actually somewhat touching in her own sense, and the man who played Steve nailed down a pretty hateful character, who only rarely over-acted.
Well, while I don't exactly think I would watch "Cross of Fire" again and again, but it's rare when a miniseries is able to rise above the usual silliness. I'm not saying it's perfect, but it's...alright.
14 of 27 people found this review helpful.
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