Recounting the chaotic events that occurred in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, Parkland weaves together the perspectives of a handful of ordinary individuals suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances: the young doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital; Dallas' chief of the Secret Service; an unwitting cameraman who captured what became the most watched and examined film in history; the FBI agents who nearly had the gunman within their grasp; the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald, left to deal with his shattered family; and JFK's security team, witnesses to both the president's death and Vice President Lyndon Johnson's rise to power over a nation whose innocence was forever altered. Written by
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The movie was based on Helter Skelter (1976) prosecutor/author Vincent Bugliosi's book "Four Days in November: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy". That book, as noted in the credits, was an excerpt from his book "Reclaiming History", in which he takes a prosecutorial approach to prove that Lee Harvey Oswald carried out the assassination alone, and systematically debunk conspiracy theories. He began the book after serving as the "prosecutor" in the British documentary On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald (1986), which conducted a jury "trial" of Oswald. See more »
The Presidential Limousine has two inboard red headlights. The real limo did not have these type lights until after it was rebuilt in 1964. See more »
On November 22, 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President on the United States, made a political trip to Dallas, Texas with his wife, Jacqueline, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Less than an hour after landing in Dallas, Kennedy was assassinated.
This story is based on the true events that took place on that day, and the three that followed.
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Although based on a true story and depicting real-life people the end credits state: "All characters in this film are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental." See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. Fifty years of investigation and research have spawned an endless number of theories about what happened, how it happened, and why it happened, that tragic day in 1963. President John F Kennedy and his lovely wife Jacqueline had captured the hearts of many Americans, and on a trip to Ft Worth and then Dallas, the streets were lined with eager citizens who just wanted to catch a glimpse ... hoping some of that Camelot magic would rub off. Instead, a city and a country, went spinning off into feelings of anger and devastation. Rather than show us what we already know, this is a peek at a few individuals impacted in ways you might not have previously thought about.
Vincent Bugliosi made a name for himself as the prosecutor in the Charles Manson Family murder case, and then penning the corresponding book Helter Skelter (subsequently made into a movie). This movie is based on Bugliosi's book "Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy".
The main stories we follow are that of Abraham Zapruder (Paul Giamatti), Lee Harvey Oswald's brother Robert (James Badge Dale), their mother Margueritte (Jacki Weaver), Secret Service Agent Forrest Sorrels (Billy Bob Thornton), local FBI Agent James Hosty (Ron Livingston), and the emergency room doctors and nurses who treated JFK and Oswald (Zac Efron, Colin Hanks, Marcia Gay Harden). You might think that's too many stories for a single movie, and you are probably correct. However, it's fascinating to see the frenetic pace and immediate fallout of just how these people were impacted. Sure, we would like more details and backstory, but that's not the approach this film takes. It just provides a taste of the gut-wrenching decisions Mr. Zapruder has to make while grieving for his beloved President; and the shock of Oswald's brother as reality hits; the stomach-churning delusions of Oswald's mother; the absolute frustration of the CIA and FBI agents knowing their historic failures will be their legacy; and the disparate emotions that enter the operating rooms with Kennedy and Oswald.
The film doesn't take any stance on the grassy knoll, CIA involvement, LBJ involvement, or number of shooters. This is not a crime solving story or research into conspiracy theories. No, this is a look at real people in extraordinary situations that no amount of preparation can pacify. There are so many little details revealed ... one of the most powerful occurring at the Lee Harvey Oswald funeral, and another as the JFK casket is loaded onto Air Force One just prior to LBJ taking the oath. So many little things you have probably never before considered.
If you were alive at the time of the assassination, you understand the impact. If you have read any of the stacks of books written about that day, you understand what happened and the messy investigation that followed. Bugliosi and director Peter Landesman effectively mix news reels from the day with dramatizations of the fallout, and the actors do a tremendous job of showing just how personal this affected those at the time. A different perspective brings with it interesting discussion ... and a big thanks if your mother is nothing like Oswald's!
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