An exploration of certain conspiracy theories surrounding the JFK assassination from Jack Ruby's perspective. Ruby owns a run-down strip club in Dallas, and does what he can for credibility... See full summary »
An exploration of certain conspiracy theories surrounding the JFK assassination from Jack Ruby's perspective. Ruby owns a run-down strip club in Dallas, and does what he can for credibility, both by giving information to the FBI and by doing the odd favor for his mafia contacts. When hitman Action Jackson is hit, Louie Vitali asks him to help get crime boss Santos out of a Cuban jail. When they get back, the bosses take his headliner Candy Cane under their wing to develop her career in Vegas. A mysterious government man named Maxwell expresses his displeasure to Ruby over his Cuban activities. Slowly all the pieces of a massive conspiracy begin to emerge to Ruby, who can do nothing to stop it. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
The character of Sheryl Ann 'Candy Cane' DuJean, portrayed by Sherilyn Fenn, is a fictitious character. However, she is a composite of several real-life women including stripper Candy Barr (who befriended Jack Ruby), Marilyn Monroe (of whom Candy Cane is a look-alike) and Judith Campbell Exner (who said she had affairs with both Sam Giancana and John F. Kennedy). See more »
Sheryl Ann DuJean:
I'm Candy Cane, fresh out of nowhere. An hour ago you billed me as Las Vegas hot sauce. Tomorrow you headline me as a virgin schoolgirl from Carolina. I'm whatever you say.
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I did not expect much of this movie, but as a (none too serious) collector of Americana I was pleasantly surprised. The movie Ruby reminded me most of and which might have inspired the script is John Cassavete's Killing of a Chinese Bookie which, in turn, might have been inspired by the life and times of the real Ruby. The biopic Hoffa, scripted by David Mamet, also comes to mind.
The one problem this movie seems to have is that it sits uncomfortably between mainstream cinema and art-house material. This becomes most apparent in the bombastic, completely unsuitable musical score which wants to make some kind of Godfather out of Ruby. But for the rest, this movie is well worth some time of the viewers attention.
It opens with a frontal shot of Ruby's face. He starts talking: You're sitting somewhere in a motel room, alone and miserable, and the telephone starts ringing". This introduction of a strip act in his club pretty accurately describes Ruby's circumstances. He is a kind of a displaced person who does not seem to belong anywhere, waiting for a call. His activities seem pretty incoherent, his grasp of what is happening around him uncertain. He is proud to be a member of the show business industry, where dreams come true.
Had this movie been less mainstream, I imagine that many scenes concerning the events before the assassination of the President would have had a more dreamlike atmosphere. I would like to believe that a lot of what is going on in the movie is going on uniquely in Ruby's head, the head of a lonely man who is about to loose his sanity and strives to gain a certain presence, a certain stature. The script accommodates such a viewpoint which probably comes closest to Ruby's motives for shooting the man who shot the President.
The acting is mostly very good. Danny Aiello's and Sherilyn Fenn's performances were brilliant, the good chemistry between them makes the relationship between Ruby and his dream woman" special and heartwarming. It also defines Ruby as someone who cares, probably another motive for his action. I am a big fan of Marc Lawrence who is absolutely terrific as the head mobster. He does not speak more than four or five sentences and yet his presence is awesome. The assassination of the President is reenacted with subtlety and tact much better than in Stone's JFK. I found the casual way in which the real locations in Dallas were introduced absolutely stunning. The editing between TV stock material and specially filmed details is masterful.
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