A dramatization about how the high level covert conspirators in the JFK assassination might have planned and plotted the assassination based on the data and facts of the case. It posits that a covert group of rogue intelligence agents, ultra-conservative politicians, unscrupulously greedy business interests, and free-lance assassins become increasingly alarmed at President Kennedy's policies, including his views on race relations, winding down the Vietnam War, and ending the oil depletion allowance. They decide to terminate him through an "executive action" utilizing three teams of well-trained snipers during JFK's visit to Dallas and place the blame on supposed CIA operative Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin.Written by
Although Donald Sutherland is credited with having the initial idea for the film, and was indeed attached to star, he withdrew from it as it neared production in order to go off and concentrate on other projects. Sutherland would of course go on to have a pivotal role in Oliver Stone's take on the same subject - JFK (1991). See more »
Post 1963 cars can be seen in the background throughout the film. See more »
Before his death, former President Lyndon. B. Johnson gave a three hour filmed interview to a well-known television commentator. On May 2, 1970, when this interview was shown on a national television network, it included the message that certain material had been deleted at President Johnson's insistence. It has been revealed that in the censored section, Johnson had expressed misgivings about the finding that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone, and that, in fact, he suspected that ...
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I forgot about this movie until I saw it on tape in a cut-out bin. I don't know why it isn't a well-known film, it's very good. The cast is excellent, and the straight-forward tone is unique. There's no judgement provided by the movie makers on the plotters, who are on one hand presented as earnest men doing what they believed to be in the best interest of the country, and on the other as lunatic facists, discussing eliminating "excess population" as if it were an everyday thing.
The purpose of the movie is to educate, it seems, presenting a lot of facts or what are presented to be facts, about Oswald as a patsy. I've read enough to know that not all of what is presented as factual is true (the phone system being cut out in D.C. is a well-known canard, repeated in "JFK"), but the movie uses this approach to lay out a very logical scenario regarding how it could have been done. The political background, and the details of the lapses of the Secret Service are used to good effect.
Finally, there is the presence of JFK himself as a counterpoint throughout the movie. Films of some of his best lines combined with the haunting musical score lend an air of melancholy appropriate to the subject matter, a feeling that is shared by the plotters. There is a quote from Shakespeare given by Robert Ryan that sums it up; ". . . and nothing can we call our own but death . . . let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings." It's one fine moment of many in a well-crafted film.
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