6.7/10
2,127
73 user 26 critic

Executive Action (1973)

Rogue intelligence agents, right-wing politicians, greedy capitalists, and free-lance assassins plot and carry out the JFK assassination in this speculative agitprop.

Director:

David Miller

Writers:

Dalton Trumbo (screenplay), Donald Freed (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... James Farrington
Robert Ryan ... Robert Foster
Will Geer ... Harold Ferguson
Gilbert Green Gilbert Green ... Paulitz
John Anderson ... Halliday
Paul Carr ... Gunman (Chris) - Team A
Colby Chester ... Tim
Ed Lauter ... Operations Chief - Team A
Walter Brooke ... Smythe
John Brascia John Brascia ... Rifleman - Team B
Richard Bull ... Gunman - Team A
Sidney Clute ... Depository Clerk
Deanna Darrin Deanna Darrin ... Stripper
Lee Delano ... Gunman - Team A
Lloyd Gough ... Charlie McCadden
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Storyline

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 duke1029

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Probably the most controversial film of our time. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Unternehmen Staatsgewalt See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wakeford / Orloff See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Once the film was pulled from release in December 1973, it didn't show up again until the late 80s when it finally started surfacing on TV. See more »

Goofs

At about 29 minutes in, Burt Lancaster's character says that in May (Oswald) was distributing "Fair Play for Cuba" literature in Dallas. The historical record shows that Oswald distributed leaflets for this organization in New Orleans, not in Dallas. See more »

Quotes

Foster: Ah well, it's only over. And there'll be nothing can we call our own but death. That small model of the barren earth which serves as paste and cover to our bones. For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in November 22, 1963: In Search of an Answer (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

This holds up very well
15 November 2002 | by zorro6204See all my reviews

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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