An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story 

Documentary | English | 92 minutes


In 1987, Michael Morton, an inventory clerk for a grocery store chain, was arrested and indicted for the brutal beating and murder of his wife. The case gained additional notoriety when the slaying supposedly occurred in the presence of the couple’s three-year-old son. Firmly maintaining his innocence, Morton refused a parole as it required  he admit to the slaying. John Raley and Barry Scheck of the New York based Innocence Project took on the case  and started an investigation. They found the prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence, the most egregious being a video recording of Morton’s son stating  the slayer was not his dad but a monstrous intruder. Raley also ordered a DNA examination of a bloody bandana found nearby. The DNA indicated the blood was not Morton’s and pointed to the real murderer. These efforts by the Innocence Project exonerated Morton, but only after he served 25 years in prison. 

Major Participants:
Michael Morton
Ken Anderson
John Raley
Barry Scheck
Why Stream This Film?
During any trial, mistakes can be made. But when the prosecution deliberately withheld exculpatory evidence that would have convinced a jury not to convict Michael Morton, that’s unconscionable. An Unreal Dream  also shows the extraordinary work of the New York-based Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization working to reverse wrongful convictions. Their dogged investigation in the Morton case uncovered the wrongs committed by the prosecution.  So far, the work of the Innocence Project has  resulted in freeing  over 700 innocent prisoners.  
  • SXSW Film Festival: Winner, Best Documentary
  • Houston Film Critics Society Awards: Nominated, Best Documentary

Now streaming on:

Documentarian Al Reinert effectively recounts an outrageous miscarriage of justice without a trace of manufactured melodrama or visual hyperbole.
Joe Leydon


In recounting Michael Morton’s wrongful conviction for murder and his eventual exoneration  after 25 years in prison, filmmaker Al Reinert gets up close and personal. He fills this all-too-familiar story of injustice and absolution with a uniquely generous, moving spirit.
Robert Faires

The Austin Chronicle

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