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Executive Action (1973)

PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, History  |  7 November 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,529 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 23 critic

Rogue intelligence agents, right-wing politicians, greedy capitalists, and free-lance assassins plot and carry out the JFK assassination in this speculative agitprop.



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Farrington
Robert Foster
Harold Ferguson
Gilbert Green ...
Gunman (Chris) - Team A
Operations Chief - Team A
Walter Brooke ...
John Brascia ...
Rifleman - Team B
Gunman - Team A
Sidney Clute ...
Depository Clerk
Deanna Darrin ...
Gunman - Team A
Lloyd Gough ...
Charlie McCadden


A dramatization about how the high level covert conspirators in the JFK assassination might have planned and plotted the assassination based on the data and facts of the case. It posits that a covert group of rogue intelligence agents, ultra-conservative politicians, unscrupulously greedy business interests, and free-lance assassins become increasingly alarmed at President Kennedy's policies, including his views on race relations, winding down the Vietnam War, and ending the oil depletion allowance. They decide to terminate him through an "executive action" utilizing three teams of well-trained snipers during JFK's visit to Dallas and place the blame on supposed CIA operative Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Their Goal...Assassination. November 22, 1963...Accomplished! See more »


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 November 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Unternehmen Staatsgewalt  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although Donald Sutherland is credited with having the initial idea for the film, and was indeed attached to star, he withdrew from it as it neared production in order to go off and concentrate on other projects. Sutherland would of course go on to have a pivotal role in Oliver Stone's take on the same subject - JFK (1991). See more »


At about 29 minutes in, Burt Lancaster's character says that in May (Oswald) was distributing "Fair Play for Cuba" literature in Dallas. The historical record shows that Oswald distributed leaflets for this organization in New Orleans, not in Dallas. See more »


James Farrington: Tell me, sir, to what do you acribe your great good health?
Ferguson: Hard liquor and soft women.
[they laugh]
See more »


Featured in Conspiracy Theorists Lie (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

did it really happen this way?
5 July 2002 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

This movie was made almost twenty years before Oliver Stone's JFK so of course people are going to say that it is trite, inferior and dated. I really enjoyed it though because it is a good thriller. Was the Kennedy assassination planned by a group of disgruntled rich guys who didn't want him to obtain cival rights and pull out of Vietnam? Burt Lancaster and Robert Ryan are both superb as the big bosses. They honestly believe they are doing the country a favor by killing Kennedy. They believe they are being true patriots. Its really suspenseful watching the plot unfold and come together. The liberal use of newsreel footage adds to the realism and the scenes leading up to the assassination are particularly good and suspenseful. You can feel your pulse raising as the president rides to his doom. Sadly, Ryan died shortly after this film came out. Also, its fun seeing Will Geer, the lovable Grandfather Walton, in a slightly sinister role.

31 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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