Mississippi Burning Movie Behind The Scenes

Making Mississippi Burning

Mississippi Burning Picture
Hackman and Willem search for the truth


Go behind the scenes on the 1988 Drama movie starring Gene Hackman, Willem DaFoe, Frances McDormand More Cast

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Thanks to Everett Thrall
Being a "struggling" actor in the 1980s, I fondly remember MISSISIPPI BURNING as being my first commercial acting job in the business. I had the singular honor or being the last credited character, (E.A. Thrall) - Agent Tubbs, when the Cast List rolled - Considering I had NO lines, just one of Hackman's "southern agents", I managed to work with the cast about four weeks and earned a nice salary (still receiving residuals today)

-I have often wondered why the following "outtake" has not turned up in the numerous blooper and outtake sites... Perhaps the producers felt pity for me... It was a bit embarrassing...

It was my first big scene that occurred late in the movie - Hackman's men are costumed as KKK people and chased across a dark farm field by myself and other agents. I remember the director, Alan Parker, speaking in his distinctive British accent, instructing me and several other "agents" NOT to breathe as we ran across the field - the scene was suppose to be taking place in the late summer - but in actuality it was early Fall, and he didn't won't our breath to be visible.

It was about a 200 yard sprint across the field... I was extremely nervous... Here were my fellow actors, extras, cameramen, Gene Hackman, Defoe... All kinds of "technicians, gofers, etc... And I was about to be directed in my first professional film by a "world-class" Director...

The scene was shot about 4am in the morning. The production company had set up gigantic crane mounted lights all around the farm field. Also the entire field had been re-planted with cotton to coincide with the correct date and time of the event - The plants were sitting atop several inches of loose, moist top soil. Very slippery and muddy... A fact not relayed to us prior to shooting... At any rate, I recall focusing on holding my damn breath with several other "agents" awaiting director Parker's "ACTION"... Praying not to screw up...

Then the call came - ACTION!! I galloped immediately across the field, my "blank filled" revolver blasting away - and nose-dived after my first step on the damp, slick planted field... Totally covered with mud and cotton plants... Totally halted the production (god knows what it cost). I was summarily transported back to Jackson, Mississippi to be re-costumed and made-up... As I shuffled my muddy ass off of the set, Alan Parker snickered a bit and commented something about "watching that first step..."

Alas, such was my first entry into "Professional" film production!!! Hope you enjoy the story!

Next Section: Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes

There are often scenes cut from the final version of a movie. Sometimes these will have been seen by preview audiences, or be included in Blu-ray or DVD extras etc.

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Next Section: Alternate Versions

Alternate Versions

Sometimes, there will be several versions of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may release a special cut of the movie on Blu-ray or DVD.

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Jump To: Filming Locations
1988 MGM/UA
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