Movies Filmed in Vaiden
Where is Vaiden, Mississippi?
Ode to Billy Joe -- 1975
Notice that the song and movie are spelled differently. The
to Billie Joe” and the movie is spelled “Ode to Billy Joe.”
ODE TO BILLY JOE TRAILER
Ode To Billy Joe Cast List
Vaiden Sawmill (Cross Lumber Company)
of Location Depicted in Movie Where Billy Joe Jumped In
Rising Sun, MS Location of the Bridge Used in the Movie
NOTE: In 1986-87, this bridge
replaced the one used in the movie
(All Trademarks/Copyrights are those of the respective
Money Bridge Collapses, Greenwood Commonwealth, 06/20/1972, P. 1 (with 2 pictures)
“MONEY – The Tallahatchie
here collapsed between 11:30 and midnight Monday and presumably joined Billy
Joe MacAllister in the muddy waters of the Tallahatchie.
Leflore County Deputy Sheriff Ricky Banks said he received
a call from Sheriff Rufus Freeman about 12:15 a.m. today telling him the
bridge had collapsed.
Leflore County Second District Supervisor Ray Tribble had called Sheriff Freeman earlier when two boys
who had been fishing discovered the bridge had collapsed.
The two boys reportedly had gone upstream to fish and upon
returning to Money found they couldn’t get over the collapsed span in the Tallahatchie River.
Tribble and his county road
foreman Homer Hawkins then blocked the bridge off at the approaches on each
side to prevent anyone from driving into the river.”
[Caption under photos] – “BRIDGE OUT AT MONEY – The
middle section of the Tallahatchie river bridge at Money tilted towards its
upstream side as it collapsed Monday night. The steel suspension bridge was
built in 1927. Staff Photos by Steve Bailey.”
[Ed. Note: Pictures will be available when a non-distorted
copy can be obtained.]
November 10, 1967 Life Magazine
cover – The index shows that the
article is on P. 99 and says: “Music:
Down Home with Bobbie Gentry. With a Gusty Voice and a Grim Song She is an
Links to Ode to Billy Joe
“Lost” Lyrics to Ode to Billie
Joe, as found at: http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/matinee/filmedinms1.htm
ONE THING TO REMEMBER: There was never a
mention in the song that Billy Joe DIED when he jumped off the bridge. In the
movie, Max Baer exercised poetic license and showed Billy Joe’s body being
pulled from the river. However (in the
movie), his body was pulled from the river on the north side of the bridge.
The current flows south. In reality, he would have been found downriver.
Burning -- 1988
Links to Mississippi
-- Selected Bibliography from UC Berkeley Library
Filming the Movie in Vaiden
One More -- Gene
When Mr. Hackman had stopped signing autographs, we asked
for "one more." This is what we got.
Photos of the Filming of Mississippi Burning
Scenes Filmed in the Vaiden Courthouse for Mississippi
Burning" -- The Book By Joel Norst
Director Alan Parker's Commentary About
the Vaiden Courthouse
From the Mississippi Burning DVD
"We found this courthouse, again, we looked all over Mississippi, looking
for exactly the right place. I mean, there's a feel to it and, that is, uh, I
suppose, fits the rest of the film. Way I remember, it was, uh, quite a drive
This is an overnight stay, this courthouse. It's very difficult to find one
close enough to Jackson
just to drive everyday. So, uh, this one was a couple of hours away."
. . . .
"The black onlookers in the gallery was really,
uh, from [Chris] Gerolmo's original script."
Note About Alan Parker’s Mississippi Portrayal
It was a joy to watch the filming of the movie Mississippi Burning in
Vaiden. I do have a few comments, however. They are as follows:
 All Mississippians are NOT rednecks.
We are NOT trailer trash. All of us are not illiterate. These feelings
applied in 1964, as well as today. While it is true that a part of Mississippi was
against desegregation and wanted to instill hatred to non-Arian races, all of
us were NOT that way.
 All of us were NOT supportive of the
Ku Klux Klan. Most of us never affiliated with the Klan or its members in any
way. When I was a kid, the Klan would ride by and toss the
"newsletters," "updates," or whatever they called them
into our driveways. These little "tidbits" of information on Klan
activity always came in handy, because, since we were allowed to burn our
garbage back then (in 55 gallon drums), they made great "kindlin'" for the fire. I never opened ONE of them.
I had better things to do.
 Most of us DID NOT hate coloreds,
blacks, negroes, African Americans, or whichever name was "politically
correct" at the time. We didn't go around calling them by the derogatory
names such as Nig**r, Darkie, C**n, or whichever of those terms was
"popular." We left that up to the rednecks and Klan. When I was
growing up, I had great friends that were black. I still do. I realized then
what a lot of us don't know now. My friends were people too.
 In the movie Mississippi
Burning, whether you saw it at the theater, or saw/purchased it on VHS or DVD,
there is NO MENTION WHATSOEVER of the name Vaiden, Mississippi,
or any other town the movie was filmed in. It is amazing how Hollywood can come to a small town and film
a movie and, after 10 minutes of end credits (telling who the director's
dog's water-boy was), they can't be gracious or thankful enough to simply
mention the names of the towns used in the film. Vaiden was paid $ 5,000.00
for the use of the courthouse in Mississippi
Burning. You'd think that, with all the money they saved, they could mention
the name of the town. The movie ends with the following:
"We would especially like to thank:
Governor Ray Mabus
The Mississippi Film Commission
The Alabama Film Commission
and the people of Mississippi and Alabama for
their kind cooperation in the making of this film."
You would think that, with all of the
credits, the movie-makers could have taken just a few minutes to list all of
the towns in Mississippi and Alabama, that were used in their films.
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