Mississippi Matinee an Exhibition of the State and the Silver Screen
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Introduction: Willie Morris(2)
Morris penned My Dog Skip in 1995 as both a remembrance of his faithful childhood companion and a tribute to an era of innocence now lost.  After reading the book, director Jay Russell claimed, "I first had to dry my eyes from crying and the second thing I did was call Willie Morris to inquire whether the rights were available."  Russell brought in Gail Gilchrest to write the screenplay adaptation and began filming in 1998.  By then, Yazoo City no longer retained all the early twentieth-century exterior location sites required by the film so the production also shot in Canton, Mississippi.  The cast consists of Frankie Muniz playing a young Willie Morris, Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane in the role of his parents, Luke Wilson as the neighbor Dink Jenkins, and six Jack Russell terriers alternately playing the roles of Skip, one of whom later appeared as "Eddie" in the hit television comedy Frasier.
Morris attended a limited pre-screening of My Dog Skip in New York in 1999, before final editing and release in 2000.  He loved the adaptation, calling it "an absolute classic."  Just a few days after returning home to Mississippi, Morris passed away after suffering a heart attack.    [go to page 3 >>]

Online exhibition © copyright 2006
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