On November 22, 1963, president John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested for the crime and subsequently shot by Jack Ruby, supposedly avenging the president's death. An investigation concludes that Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby acted alone in their respective crimes, but Louisiana district attorney Jim Garrison is skeptical. Assembling a trusted group of people, Garrison conducts his own investigation, bringing about backlash from powerful government and political figures. Written by
Rated #5 of the 25 most controversial movies of all time. Entertainment Weekly, 16 June 2006. See more »
During the RFK shooting broadcast, Garrison is in the kitchen making a sandwich. On the counter is a jar of Hellmann's mayonnaise with a blue plastic lid. Hellmann's mayo had a metal "twist-off" lid in the '60s, not a plastic "screw-off" one. See more »
"To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of men." - Ella Wheeler Wilcox
...We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. And to do this three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishement. We annually spend on military security alone...
January, 1961. President Dwight D. Eisenhowers's Farewell Address to the Nation.
...This conjunction of an immense military establishment and arms industry ...
[...] See more »
Closing dedication: Dedicated to the young in whose spirit the search for truth marches on See more »
I have stated many times that Oliver Stone is an incredible film maker whose films sizzle with excellent cinematography, good acting, and original storyline. He makes controversial films that are sometimes unappreciated by the public and the critics. I said and believed all this even before I watched "JFK".
"JFK" is a film that stars many A-list actors in major and minor roles, but they give deep imprints nonetheless. Tommy Lee Jones, the Oscar nominated actor of the film, gives a performance that I almost missed due to my not recognizing him. Jones plays Clay Shaw, a powerful figure in New Orleans and a secret homosexual who knew about the plot to kill the president. Gary Oldman is fantastic as the widely publicized murderer, Lee Harvey Oswald. Joe Pesci, fresh from his Oscar in "Goodfellas", as Dave Ferrie, a man who is struggling to cope with the heavy accusations and mysteries of the JFK murder. Donald Sutherland in an Oscar-worthy performance, as an informant that talks to Jim Garrison, played wonderfully by Kevin Costner. Other great appearances include Kevin Bacon, Sissy Spacek, Michael Rooker, and even Walter Matthau in a bit appearance.
Many of these fine performances were worthy of Oscars, but if there is one man that deserved an Oscar more than anyone else, it would have to be Oliver Stone, who did not win Best Director OR Best Picture. Who did he lose to? "Silence of the Lambs". While I do consider the film to be an excellent thriller featuring one of Anthony Hopkins' greatest performances, I must say that in terms of scope and daring, "JFK" was a far superior film. The cinematography was far more varied and ambitious, as well as the subject matter itself. I can understand why "JFK" was passed over, but the reasons are not fair to the extraordinary film given to us.
The appearance of "JFK" is astounding. You are taken to a time of much distrust, horror, confusion, corruption, and cover-up. The murders of JFK, Martin Luther King, and RFK all influenced the time periods and the peoples. Many people tried not to think about it, or else they were scared into silence. Some, like Jim Garrison, tried to present the truth of "JFK", and their efforts are being felt even now.
Before I saw this film, I had seen Oliver comment that "JFK" was a movie in which he got all the crazy theories and presented them. He was not implying that everything was true, and some of it isn't true. But after seeing this film, I am convinced there was definitely more to the story than was originally told, as I believed even before I saw "JFK". This gave me a knowledge of the period, and awareness of the people participating in the drama of the time.
The point of the film is not entirely based on the story of the JFK assassination. It is an outcry from Oliver Stone to remind us that truth is never simple, nor is it always presented by the government. People must struggle to find the truth sometimes, and if it is covered up, it could be lost forever. The film is an attempt to show us that the murder of President Kennedy was a time of much confusion and mix-up. So what was true and what was not? Many eye-witnesses gave conflicted views, while other circumstances were strange in their origins and happening. And while he gave us this, Oliver Stone also presented us with the best film that he has yet made, and his resume is incredible as it is.
I have seen the films "Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July": films that Oliver Stone won Best Director for. Why did he not win for "JFK"? Why did it only win 2 Oscars? For me, it is another example of how disappointing the Oscar results can be. I urge all to see this epic film of mystery and deceit, of truth and lies, the work of a master film director known as Oliver Stone.
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