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Interview with the Assassin (2002)

R | | Drama | 9 May 2002 (USA)
Almost forty years after the John F. Kennedy assassination, an ex-Marine named Walter Ohlinger has come forward with a startling claim.

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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dylan Haggerty ...
Ron Kobeleski
...
Sharon Kobeleski
Kelsey Kemper ...
Karen Kobeleski
Dennis Lau ...
Steven Wu
Sonny Franks
Jared McVay ...
Jimmy Jones
...
Babysitter
...
Nurse
...
Walter's Ex-Wife
Jack Tate ...
John Seymour Jr.
Nicolas Mize ...
Gary Deetz
James Hiser ...
Alan Delvecchio
...
John Seymour Sr.
Evan O'Meara ...
Secret Service Agent #1
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Storyline

Out of work TV cameraman Ron Kobelski is approached by his formerly reclusive neighbor Walter Ohlinger. Ohlinger claims that he was the mysterious "second gunman" that shot and killed President Kennedy. Ohlinger has kept quiet all these years, but has decided to tell his story now that he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Kobelski is skeptical of his neighbor's story, after his investigations provide ambiguous answers. His attitude changes, however, after he receives threatening messages on his answering machine, and spots shadowy figures in his backyard. Is Ohlinger telling the truth? Or is there a bigger conspiracy at work? Written by Mike Konczewski

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Winner of Best American Film 2003 Avignon Film Festival See more »

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Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

9 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Kennedy-gyilkosság - Interjú a merénylővel  »

Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,716 (USA) (22 November 2002)

Gross:

$47,329 (USA) (6 December 2002)
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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Interviewer: How did you meet Walter Ohlinger?
Ron Kobeleski: I met Walter 'cause he lived down the street from me. Somehow he knew that I was a camera man at KXBC, that I did the news there. Actually I'd just been laid-off, but he didn't know that. Any way, he said he'd committed a crime many years ago, never been caught, and he wanted to talk about it.
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Connections

Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Maybe-second gunman of JFK gets a cameraman interested in his confession, and then matters escalate
16 March 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Interview with the Assassin" is both original and a curiosity.

It starts off with a TV cameraman telling us, in the past tense, how he came to be associated with his neighbor, a 62-year old man with terminal cancer, who wants to be interviewed. His claim is that he was a second gunman who shot JFK in Dallas from the grassy knoll while behind a fence.

To verify this claim, the cameraman explores the evidence, which includes a rifle shell that his neighbor has locked up in a safety-deposit box. They also visit Dallas.

At first the pace is rather slow, but at some fairly early point it picks up and we also invisibly cross the line between the story's being told in the past tense and instead occurring now in real time. The flashback quality vanishes and we are tagging along with the cameraman as the self-declared assassin tries to show him the proof of his deed. They visit his former wife. They visit his superior (in the Marines) who set him on this job. We understand his motivation.

As the investigation deepens and their travels widen, the cameraman becomes a participant (or accomplice) in events beyond his and our expectation. This is what adds another whole layer of interest to the movie that goes beyond plausibly reconstructing a second gunman theory. The possibility that the confession is coming from a man who has constructed a delusion is raised, so that we who have been following along what we know to be a fictional account now might realize that it is a fiction within a fiction! But we cannot be sure, anymore than can the cameraman, who has been beset with various positives as well as ambiguities. The theme of truth being mixed with fiction and being impossible to verify looms larger as the movie proceeds.

At the end of the movie, we seem to be in real time, with the cameraman unwilling to detail his story to his lawyer, for fear that it will not help the predicament that he is in. Nevertheless, we know what has happened. In addition, before the credits, we are told the fates of the main characters, again as if this were all in the past.


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