Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till (2005)



Critic Consensus: Without sensationalism or flinching from the brutality of the crime, this documentary is an eye-opening call for justice.

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Movie Info

In August 1955, Mamie Till-Mobely of Chicago sent her only child, 14-year old Emmett Louis Till, to visit relatives in the Mississippi Delta. Little did she know that eight days later, Emmett would be abducted from his great uncle's home, brutally beaten and murdered for one of the oldest southern taboos: addressing a white woman in public. The murderers were soon arrested but later acquitted of murder by an all-white, all-male jury. However, Emmett did not die in vain. His horrific, senseless death sparked media attention when his mother insisted on having an open casket funeral. Her decision was controversial, but her reason was simple. She defended her decision by stating, "I want the world to see what they did to my son." Till's death sparked the Black Resistance of the South which later became known as the American Civil Rights Movement. Scholars and historians have studied the murder of Emmett Till ever since, and the case has even made its way through African-American folklore, spanning five decades. People continue to be fascinated by the murder of Till. Many books have been written revealing the incongruous facts surrounding the influential case and controversial jury decision. But, the true story has never been revealed.
PG-13 (for some violent images.)
Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:


Critic Reviews for Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (18)

Beauchamp, who worked on his film for nine years, dutifully reinterviews the surviving witnesses, and more effectively than any previous documentary or return look at the case, re-creates the atmosphere of a 1950s Mississippi.

February 17, 2006
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

This well-focused, short (75 minute) film will be an eye opener for those who didn't live through the era. For those who did, it will be all too familiar.

February 9, 2006
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Untold Story is a documentary of compassion and urgency, a film that cries out, as virtually every film and story on this subject does, for justice, something that didn't happen in 1950s Mississippi.

January 12, 2006
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Potent and searing.

December 2, 2005
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

You leave the theater feeling moved by a mother's courage, sickened by the crime and a little frustrated, wondering if this unquiet moment in our history will ever rest easy.

Full Review… | October 14, 2005
Washington Post
Top Critic

Beauchamp expertly excerpts long stretches from the extensive television coverage of the 1955 events, juxtaposing them with present-day interviews with the people who lived though these traumatic happenings.

Full Review… | October 13, 2005
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till


Tragic...yet amidst the horror a mother takes a brave stand and brings humanity to the civil rights movement forever...

Shawn Miller
Shawn Miller

Can't believe this was only a few decades ago. A good doc about injustice and racism.

Wu Chouin
Wu Chouin

Super Reviewer

Probably the most compelling and disturbing documentary I have ever seen! It truly opened my eyes as to racial injustices in the Southern states of the U.S. prior to the 1960s. Emmett Louis Till was a catalyst to the American Civil Rights Movement, and as such, I believe virtually everyone should spare some time to see this.

Janice :d
Janice :d

Super Reviewer

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