The film features notable performances from Jamie Foxx as Willie E. Gary, Tommy Lee Jones as Jerry O’Keefe, Jurnee Smollett, Bill Camp, and Alan Ruck. The story is a testament to the resilience and determination of two individuals from different backgrounds who come together to fight for justice.
Is ‘The Burial’ Based on a True Story?
“The Burial” is indeed based on a true story. It revolves around the real-life events involving Jeremiah “Jerry” O’Keefe, a funeral home director from Mississippi, and Willie E. Gary, an attorney. The film depicts their unlikely partnership and friendship, as well as their legal battle against the large funeral company, The Loewen Group.
The events depicted in the movie take place during 1995 and 1996, and the story evolves from a case sealed with a handshake deal into a $100 million civil case. This legal battle tested the mettle of not only Jerry and Willie but also involved Jerry’s wife Annette and the corporate tycoon Raymond Loewen.
“The Burial” is based on a true story that revolves around Jerry O’Keefe, a funeral home director, and Willie E. Gary, an attorney. The events depicted in the movie, set during 1995 and 1996, are indeed real.
Jerry O’Keefe faced financial difficulties with his funeral home business and entered into a handshake deal with Raymond Loewen, the CEO of the Loewen Group. When Loewen failed to honor the agreement, Jerry decided to sue him, leading to a precedent-setting legal battle.
Jerry hired Willie E. Gary, a personal injury lawyer who later transitioned into contract law. Despite facing ups and downs during the case, Jerry and Willie remained friends even after the trial. Their friendship, which was unusual for the time and place, lasted for close to twenty years.
Following the trial, Willie Gary continued to work in the field of contract law, earning a reputation as a “giant killer” for his success in taking on major corporations. He also became a significant supporter of HBCUs and established a scholarship in his name to help aspiring lawyers.
The portrayal of the bond between Jerry O’Keefe and Willie Gary in the movie is not just a work of fiction; it reflects a genuine connection that persisted beyond the courtroom. Their story is one of resilience, friendship, and the pursuit of justice.