5 user

Cross of Fire (1989)

Story of the rise and fall of 1920s' Ku Klux Klan leader D.C. Stephenson.


Paul Wendkos


Robert Crais

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »




Credited cast:
John Heard ... David 'D.C.' Stephenson
Mel Harris ... Madge Oberholtzer'
David Morse ... Klell Henry
George Dzundza ... Boyd Gurley
Donald Moffat ... George Oberholtzer
Kim Hunter ... Mrs. Oberholtzer
Caroline Kava
Keith Szarabajka
Ed Wiley
Dakin Matthews ... Hiram Evans
Douglas Roberts
William Schallert ... Reverend
Dion Anderson ... Sen. Monroe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Buzz Barton Buzz Barton ... Mayor of Addis
Lloyd Bridges ... Lawyer


Story of the rise and fall of 1920s' Ku Klux Klan leader D.C. Stephenson.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1920s | indiana | rape | assault | lawyer | See All (43) »


Biography | Drama


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 November 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cross of Fire Deel 1 See more »

Filming Locations:

Lawrence, Kansas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Leonard Hill Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (2 parts) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During defense testimony, a character witness testifies to holding several World War I decorations, such as the Silver Star, Purple Heart, and Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster. None of these awards were in existence in the 1920s when the film is set (the Silver Star and Purple Heart were first issued in 1932). In the case of the Bronze Star, the medal did not exist until 1944. See more »

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User Reviews

Historical tale of a corrupting influence during the Twenties
2 March 2017 | by HoosierBobSee all my reviews

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 purchased a large home in the east Indianapolis neighborhood of Irvington and had it remodeled to look like a southern plantation home, complete with tall columns in front. In an effort to make 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 good in this film and is an effort to tell an important story about a bad chapter in our Nation's history, but IMHO not enough effort was made to show the details of how Klan money had purchased the favors and even membership of local politicians into the Klans' tentacles. Anybody wanting to know things about the Klan should 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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