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The Murder of Mary Phagan 

In early twentieth-century Atlanta, the murder of a young girl prompts strong reactions from the community, and ultimately leads to the arrest of a man who may actually be innocent.




Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
Jack Lemmon ...  Gov. John Slaton 2 episodes, 1988
Richard Jordan ...  Hugh Dorsey 2 episodes, 1988
Robert Prosky ...  Tom Watson 2 episodes, 1988
Peter Gallagher ...  Leo Frank 2 episodes, 1988
Kathryn Walker ...  Sally Slaton 2 episodes, 1988
Rebecca Miller ...  Lucille Frank 2 episodes, 1988
Paul Dooley ...  William Burns 2 episodes, 1988
Charles S. Dutton ...  Jim Conley 2 episodes, 1988
Kevin Spacey ...  Wes Brent 2 episodes, 1988
Cynthia Nixon ...  Doreen 2 episodes, 1988
Kenneth Welsh ...  Luther Rosser 2 episodes, 1988
Thomas Anderson Thomas Anderson 2 episodes, 1988
Dylan Baker 2 episodes, 1988
Daniel Benzali ...  Coroner 2 episodes, 1988
Nesbitt Blaisdell 2 episodes, 1988
Beeson Carroll Beeson Carroll 2 episodes, 1988
William C. Crawford William C. Crawford ...  Witness 2 episodes, 1988
David Cromwell David Cromwell 2 episodes, 1988
Loretta Devine ...  Annie Maude Carter 2 episodes, 1988
William Duff-Griffin William Duff-Griffin 2 episodes, 1988
Jennifer East Jennifer East 2 episodes, 1988
Barbara Eda-Young ...  Mrs. Phagan 2 episodes, 1988
Gwyllum Evans Gwyllum Evans 2 episodes, 1988
Carl Gordon 2 episodes, 1988
Sam Gray Sam Gray ...  Sigmond Montag 2 episodes, 1988
Richard Hamilton Richard Hamilton 2 episodes, 1988
Brent Jennings ...  Newt Lee 2 episodes, 1988
William H. Macy ...  Randy 2 episodes, 1988
Jordan Marder ...  Alonzo 2 episodes, 1988
Heather McAdam 2 episodes, 1988
William Newman 2 episodes, 1988
Owen Rachleff Owen Rachleff 2 episodes, 1988
Bill Raymond 2 episodes, 1988
Fred Sadoff 2 episodes, 1988
Raynor Scheine 2 episodes, 1988
Brian Smiar Brian Smiar 2 episodes, 1988
Kate McGregor-Stewart 2 episodes, 1988
Jimmie Ray Weeks 2 episodes, 1988
Nick Wyman Nick Wyman ...  Lund 2 episodes, 1988
Wendy J. Cooke ...  Mary Phagan 2 episodes, 1988


From a true story. In Atlanta in 1913, a 13-year-old girl is murdered in the factory where she works. The factory manager, a Jew named Leo Frank, is convicted and sentenced to hang. Georgia Governor John Slaton suspects that Frank may have been railroaded by public desire for revenge and hatred of Frank's religion and northern (US) ties. But as a rising politician, Slaton also knows that to violate such strong public opinion by questioning the judgment would be political suicide. Will his conscience overcome his ambition? Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | History


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

24 January 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Murder of Mary Phagan See more »

Filming Locations:

Petersburg, Virginia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Kevin Spacey and Peter Gallagher also appeared in American Beauty (1999) and Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962). The latter film also stars Jack Lemmon. See more »


Version of Murder in Harlem (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

A hidden treasure of non-fiction historial drama!
7 April 2004 | by HythlodaeusSee all my reviews

This was a spectacular movie. I don't know where to start. I saw this on TV back in 1988 and taped it and watched it over and over. It is a facinating true story about a Brooklyn born jewish man Leo Frank, who is accused of raping and murdering a young southern girl working in the pencil factory he manages in Atlanta.

The true case takes on epic proportions as a firery battle ensuses as political power, prejudice and fallout from the civil war, seek to destroy a man who is almost certainly innocent - and destroy anyone who tries to help him.

Even more intersting than the trial is the second half of the story. The Governor (Jack Lemon) tries to give Leo Frank a fair chance at justice and is forced to fight his lifelong friends who have political ambitions of their own - and may destroy his entire life in the attempt.

It's an excellent movie to show to children to teach them about character and doing what is right in the face of impossible odds - to show to history class and just for anyone who has any interst in history or drama!

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