Learn from History
Neil Turner | Annapolis, Maryland | 01/29/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Louis Gossett, Jr. is the star of Carolina Skeletons and gives his usual excellent performance as a man returning to his small South Carolina town in 1964 who is asked by his dying mother to prove that his older brother executed thirty years previous was wrongly accused. Carolina Skeletons is a made-for-television movie that is somewhat lacking in some of the production values of more expensively produced films. It has several scenes that come to a dramatic climax and then fade to black. I found myself expecting commercials. The movie is worthy of attention because it reminds us of the unjust treatment of African Americans in our country - especially in the South. As citizens, we must always be aware of injustice in order that it be identified and vanquished."
QUIETLY POWERFUL FILM
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 05/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Made for TV back in 1991, CAROLINA SKELETONS is based on the book by David Stout, and inspired by a true story. Set in the 1960's South, the story focuses on the execution of a 14 year old African-American lad who supposedly brutally slaughtered two little girls. Thirty years later, the boy's brother, now a colonel in the Green Berets, has come home to visit his dying mother who asks him to find out who really killed the girls. While the movie has its share of cliches and stereotypes, it nonetheless has some powerful and tragic scenes. The execution of the little boy in itself is terrifying, but even more so is the sheriff's insistence that his own son (a closet friend of the condemned) witness the execution is ghastly. Lou Gossett Jr. brings a stoic strength in his role as the Green Beret, whose search for the truth uncovers those Carolina Skeletons. Bruce Dern is very good as the sheriff, who is the little boy forced to witness the execution; he too wants to find out from his now institutionalized father, what really transpired. Melissa Leo gives an effective performance as Dern's daughter who aids Gossett in his quest for the truth, and Richard Jenkins is vile as a good old boy out to stop Gossett from finding the truth. No special effects, no intense action sequences, CAROLINA SKELETONS brings home the sad truth of a country riddled with hate, and is tragic in its exposition of such truth."