Two actors portrayed John F. Kennedy with archive footage of the actual American President John F. Kennedy himself bringing the total to three JFK personas appearing in the movie. Willie Garson played JFK in the Dallas scenes whilst Gérard David, billed as Gerard David, portrayed JFK in the Las Vegas scenes.
The film was made and released about five years after its source stage play "Love Field" by Stephen Davis had been first performed at the Bush Theatre in London, England in 1987. Davis also penned the screenplay for the picture. A movie called Love Field (1992) was released in the same 1992 year as Ruby (1992) but it was not based on Davis' stage production.
On the morning of November 24, 1963, while being transferred from a jail cell to an interrogation office, Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner, allegedly acting out of rage and anguish over the death of the president. Ruby was tried and found guilty of murder (March 14, 1964) and was sentenced to death. In October 1966 a Texas appeals court reversed the conviction, but, before a new trial could be held, Ruby died of a blood clot, complicated by cancer (Jan. 3, 1967).
At his trial, Jack Ruby claimed that he killed ;Lee Harvey Oswald' to spare Jacqueline Kennedy the anguish of having to testify at her husband's murder trial. Later he recanted the statement, saying that his lawyer had put him up to it. On 14th March 1964, he was convicted of Oswald's murder and sentenced to death. That conviction was later overturned but he died of lung cancer in 1967 before he could get a new trial.
Jack Ruby opened The Carousel Club in 1954 and kept ownership until he went to jail in 1963. He built up a friendly relationship with the Dallas police chiefly because he was running an establishment that they could easily close down, one of the reasons being Ruby's alleged ties to organized crime figures. This relationship allowed him access to come and go at police headquarters and is how he was able to have access to the garage on the day he murdered Lee Harvey Oswald.
Joe Viterelli played Joe Valachi (aka Joseph Valachi) in this movie which was first released in 1992 which was the 20th Anniversary year of when Charles Bronson had portrayed Valachi in The Valachi Papers (1972) which had debuted in cinemas in 1972. Bronson was the first actor to play Valachi on the big screen with Viterelli being the second.
This movie takes it title from the last name of Jack Ruby, who is the film's title character, portrayed by actor Danny Aiello. As one of the picture's taglines declares: "The man who shot the man who shot J.F.K. was Ruby". JFK is the abbreviated nick-name of former assassinated American president John F. Kennedy whilst the man who is considered to have shot JFK was Lee Harvey Oswald whom Ruby shot a soon time after the assassination of JFK.
According to the Wikipedia website, "Ruby (1992) was not a financial success at the box office, perhaps overshadowed by the release of JFK (1991) previously. The film was released to mixed to negative reviews from critics . . ."
Jack Ruby, during his trial, the head of his team of defense lawyers was the San Francisco-based Melvin Belli. One of Belli's assistants was Sam Brody, who switched his focus from murder to divorce, handling the divorce proceedings of Jayne Mansfield and Matt Cimber that began on July 20, 1966 (when Ruby was still alive). The famous couple's divorce was still pending on June 29, 1967 when Brody and Mansfield, romantically involved, died in a car accident that also killed a 20-year-old African American man named Ronnie Harrison. Harrison was driving the couple and three of Mansfield's children, including Mariska Hargitay, from Biloxi, Mississippi to New Orleans where Mansfield was scheduled to appear on a locally broadcast TV show. An urban legend has Sam Brody bringing with him in the car a briefcase filled with secrets about the JFK assassination. That is false.
An actual life quote by Jack Ruby says: "I have been used for a purpose, and there will be a certain tragic occurrence happening if you don't take my testimony and somehow vindicate me so my people don't suffer because of what I have done."
The picture ". . . points a finger at organized crime and rogue elements within the CIA as the parties responsible for bringing Camelot to a crashing end" according to show-business trade paper 'Variety'.
The quotation appearing during the movie's closing credits states: "The world will never know the true facts of what occurred, my motives . . . because unfortunately the people who had so much to gain . . . will never let the true facts come out aboveboard to the world" - Jack Ruby, Dallas County Jail, 1965.
The film's closing credits disclaimer states: "While certain characters and events are based on real people and actual events, other characters and incidents are purely fictional. Fictional characters include, among others, the character Candy Cane and all incidents involving Candy Cane are fictional. Any similarity between fictional characters and living persons is unintended and coincidental".