Crazy in Alabama is a 1999 comedy-drama film directed by Antonio Banderas, written by Mark Childress (based on his own 1993 novel of the same name), and starring Melanie Griffith as an abused wife who heads to California to become a movie star while her nephew back in Alabama has to deal with a racially motivated murder involving a corrupt sheriff. The movie was filmed primarily in and around Houma, Louisiana with locations in Schriever, Chackbay, and New Orleans, Louisiana as well as Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
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In 1965, Peter Joseph Bullis (also known as Peejoe) lives in a small town in Alabama, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. He becomes involved with a group of black students protesting the town's racially segregated municipal swimming pool, leading to a protest that explodes into deadly violence. The young black boy, Taylor Jackson, is killed by the town sheriff; and Peejoe, the only witness, is pressured by the sheriff to keep it quiet. But Peejoe has gotten a crash course in standing your ground and following your path from his free-spirited Aunt Lucille Vinson, who has killed her abusive husband and is headed for Hollywood, where she is convinced that television stardom awaits her.
Lucille takes her husband's head everywhere she goes in a black hat box (in the film; lettuce crisper in the book), and looks forward to the future Hollywood promises. When the head is discovered by the hostess of a party, Lucille tries to get rid of the head by throwing it off the Golden Gate Bridge. Two policemen, thinking she is about to jump over herself, open the hat box and discover the head inside. She is arrested and escorted back to Alabama for her trial, where she is given a warm welcome by her town. After being convicted of first-degree murder, Lucille is sentenced to twenty years in prison.
However, the sentence is suspended, and she is put on a five-year probation with the condition that she seeks psychiatric help. Lucille, her children, and all her friends joyfully exit the courtroom while the sheriff (through Peejoe's testimony) is put under arrest for Taylor's murder.
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