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Cross of Fire 1989
Description: Storyline of the rise and fall of 1920s' Ku Klux Klan leader D.C. Stephenson.
Released: 05 Nov 1989 Director: Paul Wendkos Writers: Robert Crais Actors: John Heard, Mel Harris, David Morse, George Dzundza Genres: Biography, Drama
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See CROSS OF FIRE 1989 DEEL 1.

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See NeoSlave - Cross Of Fire (Offi.

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Cross of Fire Reviews:

John Heard and Mel Harris both shine like fresh cash in this perfect tv movie about a tiny known American creature D. C. Stephenson who was the leader of the KKK in 1920s Indiana. This is a boy who was like Jim Jones in so many ways. He was utterly evil and without feelings BUT he was very charming and brilliant. I only learned of Stephenson's monstrous crime a several years ago watching a History channel unique on the origins of the KKK. It is difficult to trust that at one mission in the 1920s, there were over 6 million members of the hooded order. Stephenson abducted Madge Oberholtzer (Harris's character) and repeatedly raped and brutalized her. He literally chewed her body like a cannibal. The doctor told it looked like a package of wolves had mauled her. Heard is so chilling as this creature that you just pray for them to search him guilty. He honestly believes that he is above the law.


Most three hour movies, another than classics like "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly", tend to be so padded that they become tedious. I suggest "Cross of Fire'" as one of those rarities that maintains interest for the whole 185 minutes. John Heard gives a performance second only to his wonderful hero "Alexander Cutter" in "Cutter's Way". This movie is easy divided into two parts, the first with megalomaniac Heard rising to power within the Klu Klux Klan. The second, his trial for the rape and murder of an Indianopolis school teacher. The trial ultimately not only decides the fate of Heard, but of the Klan itself. - MERK


D.C.Stephenson was the stereotypical Alabama redneck who moved to Indiana and with his racist beliefs as his driving force formed the Hoosier chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. He used thugs to force local businessmen to join his "organization" (or he would wreck their businesses, livelihood and reputations). Stephenson bought a huge home in the east Indianapolis neighborhood of Irvington and had it remodeled to look like a southern plantation home, finished with tall columns in front. In an effort to create the KKK look like a "charitable organization" he funded the building of an orphanage, (which still stands as a school very near the then home of the Oberholzer family).The acting is nice in this movie and is an effort to say an necessary storyline about a terrible chapter in our Nation's history, but IMHO not enough effort was made to present the features of how Klan cash had bought the favors and even membership of local politicians into the Klans' tentacles. Anybody wanting to know things about the Klan could see this film, and understand that in the Twenties, the Klan was in it's zenith and held curb to curb marches even in our Nations' Capitol!



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