John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums (1965)

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Credited cast:
Offscreen Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
(German narrator)
Claus Toksvig ...
(Danish narrator)


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independent film | See All (1) »


A Special Act of Congress Makes It Possible For You to See This Special Motion Picture!







Release Date:

1 March 1965 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Anni di luce giorno di lutto  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film, produced by the United States Information Agency, was not intended for general public viewing, but it received such good advance notices that the agency eventually let Embassy Pictures release it to theaters. A soundtrack album, featuring both music and narration, was made in both mono and stereo by Capitol Records. See more »


Offscreen Narrator: And it was true the President was killed. But it was also true that the assassin missed his target, for he wanted John Kennedy to die, and that he was unable to do. For no man can take away years of lightning with a single day of drums.
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1,000 days of the JFK Administration and one day of his burial
23 November 2003 | by (Munich) – See all my reviews

Bruce Herschensohn's documentary covers the remarkable 1,000 days of the JFK Administration and the day of the young president's burial. Along with domestic highlights such as Kennedy's White House speech to the first Peace Corps volunteers, the Civil Rights crisis and the space race, there are the dramatic international moments: the Cuban crisis, Berlin crisis — "if war begins, it begins in Moscow, not Berlin" — his journey to Costa Rica, his speech at the Berlin Wall and his visit to the Kennedy ancestral home in Ireland. Interspersed between these segments are poignant scenes from the 1963 funeral. The sense of grief and hope lost is palpable.

Gregory Peck's narration is at times stern, at times wistful: "History will pick up its cold pen and book, and write in chronological order the events of the day with the date and time and the city. But history will be wrong, for there wasn't one date, or time, or city." Produced by the United States Information Agency, Herschensohn's film is historically important as one can witness the process by which JFK the man becomes JFK the myth.

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