Mississippi Matinee an Exhibition of the State and the Silver Screen
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Introduction: Willie Morris(1)
Although born in Jackson, Mississippi, Willie Morris spent most of his youth in Yazoo City, on the edge of the Mississippi Delta.  His childhood there would provide the basis for many of his future publications. 
A film adaptation of Morris' memoir Good Old Boy:  A Delta Boyhood (1971) was released under the same title for television in 1988 and issued on VHS in 1994 as The River Pirates.  In the film, a group of ruffians terrorizes Yazoo City.  Unwilling to wait for the police to solve the mystery and end the crime spree, a young Willie Morris and friends head into the swamp in search of the river pirates.  The cast includes Ryan Francis as Morris, Richard Farnsworth as his grandfather, Maureen O'Sullivan as Aunt Sue, and Anne Ramsey as the hag. 
Morris served as an historical consultant for Rob Reiner film Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), on the 1994 trial of Byron De La Beckwith for the 1963 murder of civil rights activist Medgar Evers.  Based on the 1995 history by Maryanne Vollers, the film stars Alec Baldwin as district attorney Bobby DeLaughter, James Woods as Byron De La Beckwith, and Whoopi Goldberg as Evers' widow, Myrlie Evers.  Two years later, Random House published Morris's Ghosts of Medgar Evers: A Tale of Race, Murder, Mississippi, and Hollywood (1998) which expounds on the trial and discusses Morris' involvement with the film.    [go to page 2 >>]

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