NOVEMBER 22, 1963----Dallas, Texas---JFK's Motorcade in "Dealey Plaza"---a Grassy Knoll---a "Magic Bullet"---and Lee Harvey Oswald was the "Lone Gunman"?
I was in my drama class at U.S. Grant High School, in Van Nuys, California. Over the school's Public Address System, the Principal announced that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been shot. Stunned Silence in what was a noisy classroom. Upstairs, my history teacher with tears in his eyes.
Later, I heard somebody named Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested.
I woke-up, my parents were still in bed, I turned the television set on, I thought I was seeing Lee Harvey Oswald being transferred, but instead, I saw him murdered by Jack Ruby on live television.
Several days later, I received a letter from the "White House". The return address had my mother thinking I was being drafted. This was happening during the Vietnam War too frequently.
However, the letter was written and signed by JFK's Secretary, Evelyn Maurine Norton Lincoln. It said the President thanked me for applying for the open Cabinet Position of "Postmaster General". President Kennedy had kept offering it to qualified people, but nobody wanted the position. It became a major evening news story at the time. I realized, even at my age, I met the qualifications. So, a, 16 years old, High School student, sent a letter asking the President of the United States to become cabinet. Only days before the President was assassinated! The cabinet position had finally been filled.
My Great-Aunt Alice had a girlfriend named Judith Exner.
My aunt had been a major player in the California Democratic Party for years. The two were at a party, given by Frank Sinatra at his home, with President Kennedy in attendance. Sinatra introduced him to Judith Exner and this became one of the conspiracy theories revolving around JFK's assassination, because my aunt's girlfriend was also the mistress of Mafia Boss Sam Giancana. Who was caught on an FBI wire-tap speaking about Attorney General Robert Kennedy's war on the crime families!
On that wire-tap, Giancana, above, compared Robert Kennedy to the tail of a dog and his brother, John, to the head of the same dog. According to Sam Giancana, even if you cut off the tail of the dog, the head remains to bite you. Because, the tail only wags from instructions of the dog's brain in the head. However, if you cut off the head of the dog, the tail can't wag.
Of course, I became a JFK Conspiracy buff and collected many books on the subject. One of which I will shortly speak too.
Before Conspiracy Theories filled our lives about John, Bobby, Martin and somebody wrote a song about them. The newspapers and the World, had dubbed John and Jackie Kennedy, the new "King Arthur" and "Guinevere", living in composers Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowes, Broadway musical "Camelot". A mythic Presidency!
At that time, "Hollywood", first took Robert J. Donovan's book, "John F. Kennedy in World War II", and made a typical World War 2 heroic epic, "PT-109", starring Cliff Robertson as "Navy Lieutenant (j.g.) John F. Kennedy".
Above left, Cliff Robertson as "Lt. (j.g.) John Kennedy", and on the right, Ty Harden, as "Ensign Leonard J. Thom".
Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and Fredrick Lowe.
Everyone knows, that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy that November day in Dallas, Texas. Why? Because our government told us so and they would never lie to us!
The following link will take my reader, at the time of this writing, to the Dealey Plaza footage shot by Abraham Zapruder, as President Kennedy's motorcade passed him:
"Hollywood" and others would make motion pictures, or documentaries based upon the events of November 22, 1963. Some would be legitimate recreations, but others went into the world of "Conspiracy Theory". That it was either the Mafia, Fidel Castro, the Military Industrial Complex, or even Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson behind the assassination.
At the time of this writing, there are at least 30 motion pictures and television shows about November 22, 1963. That figure does not include films that used the Kennedy assassination as a dramatic plot point. Such as the 2000, Science Fiction motion picture, "Time Quest". About sending a person back in time to stop the events from happening, or the Comedy Horror film, 2003's, "Bubba Ho-Tep". Along with many dramas about people with a family member connected, somehow, to the event. Not to forget several biographical motion pictures about Jackie, Robert and Ted Kennedy, or LBJ.
One of these, was an episode of television's "Hawaii-five-0", from November 16, 2018. I recently saw as a rerun and gave me the idea for this article. The plot revolved around the possibility that President Kennedy's own cabinet was behind his assassination, because they didn't like his new policy toward South Vietnam, a theme expressed for decades.
Below, I have picked a small selection of these features for this article.
The non-fiction work, "Best Evidence: Disguise and Deception in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy", by David S. Lifton, published in 1981, was part of my book collection.
Lifton made no "Hollywood" movie, but there is a companion video for his book. That video contains the filmed interviews with Doctors and Others at Parkland Hospital, Dallas, Texas, and the Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Maryland. All his interviewees were part of the examination teams of the President's body, or required observers in the two operating rooms! In short, the actual back-up evidence to his theory.
Through "Freedom of Information" requests, Lifton had obtained copies of the X-Rays taken at both hospitals to further back-up his theory.
Lifton wasn't interested if it was Sam Giancanna, Fidel Castro, LBJ or "Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of Spectre", that was behind the President's assassination.
David S. Lifton's 15 years of research had led him to the one thing that should not have lied about the assassination, the body of the President itself!
His theory was simple:
The Doctor's at Parkland Hospital told the truth. When they said President Kennedy, was shot from the front. Either in line with the "Grassy Knoll", or from the sewer manhole ahead of the motorcade, as in some theories. For that matter, a combination of the two was not out of the question.
The Doctor's at the Bethesda Naval Hospital also told the truth: When they said President Kennedy, was shot from behind and at a high vantage point. Such as the determined, "Texas School Book Depository's" sixth floor window.
David S Lipton's conclusion was that the President's Body lied!
The real conspiracy was not to kill JFK, but to make the facts fit the "LGT (Lone Gunman Theory)" that Lee Harvey Oswald killed the President.
Lifton speculates, that under the orders of, the now, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, or Bobby Kennedy, still the United States Attorney General. The coffin the World saw being placed onto Air Force One with First Lady Jacqueline Lee Kennedy at its side, had no body in it.
The President's body was in a shipping container also on Air Force One. When the aircraft landed at Andrews Air Force Base, as the World saw the President Kennedy's coffin being removed and placed in a hearse.
On the opposite side, out of view of the television cameras and reporters, the shipping container was taken off the plane, brought to a helicopter and sent to Walter Reed Army Hospital.
There, a team of surgeons operated on the President's body, and altered the bullet's trajectory. The altered body was placed in another location and the World saw the President's casket arrive at Walter Reed.
Then, the body was moved to a new examination theater and in full view of witnesses/ A medical examination took place, that determined that President Kennedy was shot from behind and above his moving vehicle.
The purpose for the surgery, was to make President Kennedy's body conform to the "Lone Gunman Theory". Thereby, in the new President and Old Attorney General's eyes, avoid a national panic. Caused by the announcement, or speculation of a "Conspiracy", by unknown people, to assassinate President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
On January 19, 1981, writer Ed Magnuson, for "Time Magazine", wrote an article entitled, "Now, a 'Two-Casket' Argument: A bizarre new Kennedy assassination theory". His article was about David S. Lifton's just published work. Magnuson writes that Lifton's work was:
---meticulously researched. Preposterous? Absolutely. Yet there is virtually no factual claim in Lifton's book that is not supported by the public record or his own interviews, many of them with the lowly hospital and military bystanders whom official probes had overlooked".
Above, a later copy of the book "Best Evidence" and below the "Rhino Video" of the interviews.
Released one year after the assassination was a Academy Award nominated documentary.
FOUR DAYS IN NOVEMBER
Premiered on November 21 1964 in New York City with a running time of 122-minutes.
The opening credits informed the audience that:
Certain scenes have been recreated in the original locations by the actual participants.
The motion picture was Directed by Mel Stuart. This was Stuart's six documentary and he would direct seven more until his first motion picture, the 1969 comedy, "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium", starring Suzanne Pleshette. Stuart returned to documentaries until he Directed Gene Wilder, in 1971 classic family musical, "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory".
The "Four Days in November" was narrated by actor Richard Basehart. There are no actors used in this documentary.
Among the "recreated" scenes were:
Lee Harvey Oswald's co-worker, Buell Wesley Frazer, below, narrating with his sister Linnie Mae Randle, the event of Frazer driving Oswald to work at the "Texas School Book Depository". With what was suppose to be "curtain rods" in a package in his car's back seat, but in reality the murder weapon.
Cab Driver William Whaley, below, narrating his portion of the recreation of Lee Harvey Oswald's actions after the assassination that ended with dropping him off near the "Texas Theater".
Below the "Texas Theater" at which Oswald was captured.
Richard Basehart narrated the route Jack Ruby's took from his apartment to the Dallas Jail to kill Oswald.
The documentary used footage shot by people on the motorcade route including:
Orville Nix's footage of the motorcade entering Dealey Plaza, his footage of the fatal shot and of Secret Service Agent Clint Hill climbing onto the back of the Presidential limousine. In later interviews, Hill would always blame himself for being too slow to reach JFK and prevent the fatal shot.
Not mentioned in the documentary, is that those believing in a conspiracy. Have made the claim that Nix's footage contains a shot of the real assassin on the "Grassy Knoll".
Then there is, Mary Moorman's photo taken a fraction of a second after the fatal shot.
Again, not mentioned in the documentary, but going to the conspiracy theorists. Is the claim that in the background near the trees, in Moorman's polaroid photo, are the images of three, possibly four men. They include the alleged "Badge Man", because he's dressed as a Dallas Police Officer in an area the Dallas police were not located.
Bob Jackson's photo of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald would become famous.
The counter to "Four Days in November", was the first conspiracy documentary based upon a best seller.
RUSH TO JUDGEMENT
Released in the United Kingdom on January 29, 1967 and June 2, 1967 in the United States with a running time of 98-minutes
Mark Lane, was a Attorney, New York State Legislator, Civil Rights Activist, and Viet Nam War Investigator and a major conspiracy writer.
Published in August 1966, was Lane's book, "Rush to Judgement: A Critique of the Warren Commission's Inquiry into the Murders of President John F. Kennedy, Officer J.D. Tippit, and Lee Harvey Oswald". This was the first mass-marketed conspiracy book on the assassination and went right to the top of all the best seller lists.
Only four weeks after the assassination, Mark Lane published his first conspiracy article in the "National Guardian", a left-wing newspaper. In his article, Lane listed 15 questions regarding public statements by officials pertaining to the murders of the President and Officer Tippit.
"Rush to Judgement" was a actually part of a conspiracy within a conspiracy book. At least, according to former KGB Officer, Vasili Mitrokin, in his 1999 book, "The Sword and the Shield". Mitrokin states that unknown to Mark Lane, the KGB gave him $2,000, in 1964, to write his book. The funds came through journalist Genrikh Borovik. Lane claims this never happened, but if true. The KGB may have been leading Lane to a certain conclusion.
Mark Lane's theory concentrated on the "Grassy Knoll" and claimed the shots were from that location and not the "Texas School Book Depository".
Similar to David S. Lifton's supporting videos. Mark Lane's 98-minute documentary, was all interviews with people supporting his books claims. Below are some of the images from the film.
The first "Hollywood Conspiracy Motion Picture" also came from Mark Lane.
Released November 7, 1973 with a running time of 91-minutes.
Lane and Freed would also novelize the screenplay for "Executive Action" and it would be released in paperback.
The actual screenplay was by an interesting writer, Dalton Trumbo. Trumbo was a Communist and a target of the "House Committee on Un-American Activities". Among Trumbo's work are, both 1940's, "A Bill of Divorcement", starring Maureen O'Hara and Adolphe Menjou and the same years, "Kitty Foyle", starring Ginger Rodgers. In 1943, Dalton Trumbo wrote the screenplay for the comedy, "I Married a Witch", starring Frederick March and Veronica Lake. In 1944, it was "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo", starring Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson.
Trumbo was brought before the House Committee in October 1947, and refused to reveal names of other Movie Industry Communists. He served eleven months in a Federal Prison and was "Blacklisted". Trumbo left for the United Kingdom and wrote to Academy Award winning screenplays, 1953's, "Roman Holiday", starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn and 1956's, "The Brave One", about a little boy and his pet bull. Neither film had his name on it and "His Fronts", whose names appeared as the screenplay writers, would accept his Oscars. In 1960, Producer Kirk Douglas shocked the motion picture industry. By giving Dalton Trumbo full on-screen credit for "Spartacus".
"Executive Action" was Directed by David Miller. Miller had been Directing either Documentary films, or short subjects since 1935. His first feature film was the 1941 Western, "Billy the Kid", starring Robert Taylor and Brian Donlevy. Among David Miller's other films are, 1960's, "Midnight Lace", starring Doris Day and Rex Harrison, the 1961, third version of authoress Fannie Hurst's novel, "Back Street", starring Susan Hayward and the Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands, modern Western drama, 1962's, "Lonely Are the Brave".
The Three Leads:
Robert Ryan portrayed "Robert Foster". "Executive Action" would be Ryan's final picture. He had passed away on July 11, 1973.
The screenplay opens with a narrator stating that in a program about, President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Johnson was asked about the Kennedy Assassination and the "Warren Report". He expressed doubt about the Commission's findings. The narrator adds that Johnson's response was edited out of the program on LBJ.
At a gathering in June 1963, a group, presented as consisting of, "Shadowy Industrial Company Owners", "Fringe Political Figures" and "U.S. Intelligence Agency, name not mentioned, Figures", are having a secret meeting. Their problem is with changes under discussion within the Kennedy Administration toward South Vietnam. The meeting is being held at the home of the lead conspirator, "Robert Foster". The meetings purpose is to convince oil magnate, "Harold Ferguson", to join the conspiracy to kill JFK.
Speaking, is "Black-Ops" specialist "James Farrington". Who tells the group about the assassinations, or attempts, on President's, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and FDR. According to "Farrington", all these were carried out by "Lone Fanatics" and he has the perfect patsy to carry out the assassination of JFK.
To "Farrington", this is a needed "Executive Action", but "Ferguson" isn't convinced that such an action is necessary.
While awaiting a final decision by "Ferguson". "Farrington" already is setting up his "Fall Guy", Lee Harvey Oswald. A imposter, played by James MacColl, is being used to establish Oswald's communist leaning background. Additionally, "Farrington" starts the training of two teams of shooters.
The assassination is carried out and the immediate aftermath discussed by "James Farrington" and his assistant "Tim", played by Colby Chester.
"Tim" is sent to nightclub owner "Jack Ruby", played by Oscar Oncidi, and he is ordered to kill Lee Harvey Oswald.
The picture ends with a photo collage of 18 material witnesses to the assassination. The opening narrator states that all, but two died of unnatural causes within 3 years of the assassination. The narrator mentions that an actuary of the British, "Sun Times Newspaper", figured the odds of that happening as 100,000-trillion-to-One!
Skipping a couple of decades ahead was another Hollywood motion picture going over the same territory, but with a big budget and even more star-power for the time.
Premiering on December 19, 1991 in Dallas, Texas, with a running time of 188-minutes in General release and 206-minutes for the Directors Cut.
The motion picture was Directed by sometimes controversial Oliver Stone. Stone's two previous films were the excellent biographical, 1989, "Born on the Fourth of July", starring Tom Cruise as paralyzed Vietnam War vet, "Ron Kovic", and 1991's, "The Doors", starring Val Kilmer as "Jim Morrison". He would follow this feature with the Vietnam War biography, 1993's, "Heaven and Earth", about "Le Ly Hayslip", and her experiences in country.
The screenplay was based upon two "JFK Conspiracy Books", "On the Trial of the Assassins", by New Orleans, Louisiana, DA, Jim Garrison, and, "Crossfire: The Plot to Kill Kennedy", by Jim Marrs.
The actual screenplay was written by Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar. Sklar was a Professor of Journalism in New York City's, "Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism". He had met Jim Garrison and was asked to read the District Attorney's manuscript. It was Zachary Sklar, that had Garrison changed the dull narrative into a "Detective Story". That was about Jim Garrison tracking down the killers of the President.
There are 17 real life roles in this screenplay and 18 other speaking factious roles.
Featured in cameos are actors, Jack Lemmon, Ed Asner, Sissy Spacek, Walter Matthau, Kevin Bacon, and John Candy.
The Main Roles:
Above Kevin Costner and below, Jim Garrison. Garrison had a cameo in the picture as "Chief Justice Earl Warren"
Above, Tommy Lee Jones and below, Clay Shaw.
Gary Oldman portrayed "Lee Harvey Oswald". Oldman was appearing on British television and would follow this picture with a 1991, British biography of Welsh poet, "Dylan Thomas", and in 1992, Francis Ford Coppola's version of Bram Stoker's, "Dracula".
Above Gary Oldman and below, Lee Harvey Oswald.
Above Joe Pesci and below, David Ferrie.
Brian Doyle-Murphy portrayed "Jack Ruby". Doyle-Murphy had been appearing in the television series "Get A Life", and followed this feature with 1992's, "Wayne's World".
Above, Brian Doyle-Murphy, and below, Jack Ruby.
Next, the screenplay switches to the 1963 initial investigation by New Orleans District Attorney "Jim Garrison". His investigation leads to the arrest of a pilot named "David Ferrie". However, the Federal Government interferes and forces "Garrison" to let "Ferrie" go after "Jack Ruby" kills "Lee Harvey Oswald" on national television. Keeping the "LGT" in place!
The screenplay moves forward to 1966 and "Jim Garrison" reading the "Warren Report". He believes the report contains several inaccuracies. "Garrison" now starts a second investigation and this is what the film is about.
"Jim Garrison" and his team is seen interviewing several people, but many are fictional characters to move the story along. By 1968, he believes a man named "Clay Bertrand" is involved with the assassination, but he needs more proof. "Garrison" and his staff go to Dealey Plaza and attempt to recreate the assassination. He determines that "Lee Harvey Oswald" was to poor a shot to kill JFK.
"Jim Garrison" now meets a supposedly high-level Washington, D.C. figure the screenplay calls "Mr. X", played by Donald Sutherland. Sutherland had originally planned to produce and star in the movie "Executive Action", but couldn't get funding.
"Mr. X" knows a lot of things about the assassination and passes it on to "Jim Garrison" on several occasions!
According to "Mr. X", JFK was assassinated, because he wanted to pull the United States out of South Vietnam and dismantle the CIA. Implication is again made, that "President Lyndon Baines Johnson", may have been involved and the name of businessman "Clay Shaw" comes up. "Garrison" discovers that "Shaw" is Bertrand".
Meeting with "Clay Shaw", the businessman denies being involved, or knowing anyone named "Ferrie". "Ferrie" now tells the District Attorney he's being followed and it's because he knew "Lee Harvey Oswald".
Move to 1969, "Jim Garrison" puts "Clay Shaw" on trial for the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and reenacts the events in Dealey Plaza. This is the first time the "Abraham Zapruder" film was publicly seen.
The real members of the jury believed there was a conspiracy, but that "Garrison" didn't provide enough evidence to convict "Clay Shaw". "Shaw" would die in 1974 from lung cancer.
In 1979, the Director of the CIA, under Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard Helms, admitted that Clay Shaw was a "Part-Time-Contact" in the CIA's "Domestic Contact Division".
There was a documentary that was the counter to Oliver Stone's star-studded story of Jim Garrison's investigation.
THE JFK ASSASSINATION: THE JIM GARRISON TAPES
First released at the Noir Film Festival in Italy, June 1992, with a running time of 96-minutes.
The documentary was written and Directed by Canadian, John Barbour. Barbour was a television actor, writer, and producer. This was the sixth of his seven writing credits and the first of only two films he directed.
First shown on the "National Geographic Network", November 10, 2013 with a running time of 92-minutes.
The production was Directed by Nelson McCormick. McCormick started out as a combat camera man covering military action around the world and moved to television Directing in 1995.
Kelly Masterson adapted the O'Reilly and Dugard book into a screenplay, Among his work are, the South Korean Science Fiction film, 2013's, "Snowpiercer", and now 20 episodes of the 2020 television series of that name. Masterson also Produced "Killing Kennedy".
The Main Cast:
Rob Lowe portrayed "John Fitzgerald Kennedy". At the time, Lowe was appearing on the television series "Californication".
Ginnifer Goodwin portrayed "Jackie Kennedy". At the time, Goodwin was providing voices on the two animated series, "Electric City" and "Robot Chicken".
Will Rothhaar portrayed "Lee Harvey Oswald". Rothhaar had just been seen in 2013's, "Line of Duty", and was appearing on the comedy television series, "Sloppy Tacos".
The "National Geographic Magazine's" motion picture, attempts to cover all of President Kennedy's political and private life. Along with the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, including his relationship with his mother, before the two finally converge in Dallas, Texas. As a result, everything seems like reenacted sketches rather than factual history.
Then there was a Hollywood look at the events after JFK had been shot.
First shown at the Venice, Italy, Film Festival, on September 1, 2013 with a running time of 93-minutes.
Vincent Bugliosi was a Los Angeles District Attorney, who became known for his prosecution of Charles Manson and the Manson Family. His 1974 book, about that killings of actress Sharon Tate, Beverly Hills Hair Stylist, Jay Sebring, Folger Coffee heiress, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Steven Parent on the property being rented by Tate and her husband Roman Polanski and at another location, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, "Helter Skelter", became a Worldwide best seller.
In May 2007, Bugliosi published another book entitled, "Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy". Which was a very detailed examination of the assassination. The original publication ran to 1,612 pages, and came with CD-ROM. The ROM contained 958 pages of end notes, and 170 pages of source notes. In the end, Vincent Bugliosi came to the same conclusions as the 26 Volume, "Warren Report".
An abridged version of Vincent Bugliosi's book, under the title of "Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy", became the basis of this screenplay.
The screenplay for "Parkland", was by the film's Director, Peter Landesman. This was Landesman's second of six motion pictures he wrote the screenplays for and as a director, this was his first of four.
All the following characters are actual people:
James Badge Dale portrayed "Robert Oswald", the older brother of "Lee Harvey". Dale was in the 1990 motion picture version of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies". Basically, a television actor, in 2013, besides this motion picture, he was in "Iron Man 3", "World War Z", and "The Lone Ranger".
Zac Efron portrayed "Dr. Charles James 'Jim' Carrico". Efron was known to many young fans for the original Disney "High School Musical" films, and the 2007 musical, "Hair Spray". Although, he also starred in the 2004 television series, "Summerland".
Marcia Gay Harden portrayed "Nurse Doris Nelson". Harden is primarily a television actress and appeared in several made-for-television motion pictures, besides guest starring on different dramatic series.
Jacki Weaver portrayed Lee Harvey Oswald's mother, "Marguerite Oswald". Weaver had just been seen with Nicole Kidman in 2013's, "Stoker", and would follow this picture with the Horror movie, 2013's, "Haunt".
Paul Giamatti portrayed "Abraham Zapruder". Giamatti was in 2013's, "12 Years a Slave", and followed this film with the 2013, version of William Shakespeare's, "Romeo and Juliet".
"Parkland" is a taunt documentary style recreation of events revolving around the days prior to the assassination and the events of November 22, 1963.
As the motorcade goes by the "Texas School Book Depository", shots rings out, "Abraham Zapruder" is shooting his film, and the Secret Service reacts by taking the President to Parkland Hospital.
The film switches to Parkland Hospital's trauma room and now follows the doctors and nurses that attempted to save the President.
"Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson" is sworn in as President, "Lee Harvey Oswald" is captured and murdered by Jack Ruby, and "Robert Oswald" is overlooked, but has to deal with his family and the publicity alone.
The above isn't correct, Robert Oswald died at age 83 in 2017. Below is a photo, not used in the motion picture, of Robert, in the center, Lee's wife, Marina, on his left, and his mother on his right. The photo was at Lee's funeral on November 25, 1963.
The screenplay was written by television series writer John McGreevey and his son Michael McGreevey. A one-time child actor turned television writer.
The Three Main Roles:
Like other films, "Ruby and Oswald", uses stock footage of the arrival of President Kennedy, the First Lady, the Vice President. the Second Lady and the assassination
Journalist Jeremiah Aloysius Patrick O'Leary, who was in the basement of the "Dallas Municipal Building", when Oswald was shot by Ruby. Wrote for the, February 8, 1978, issue of "The Washington Times":
The actors and the director succeeded only in making a bore of a weekend that was as exciting as it was horrible.
The screenplay tells the audience that "Jack Ruby" was just a warm-hearted, patriotic night-club owner, that just loved "John Kennedy". While, "Lee Harvey Oswald", was a troubled loner looking for a way to become famous.
"Oswald" gets his wish by killing the President of the United States. While, "Ruby" kills "Oswald" out of a great love for JFK.
There appears to be different edits of this motion picture. As I stated, the initial television film ran 180-minutes. However, there's a version, as of this writing, on-line, at a 104 minutes, and I located comments about a 90-minute version. Part of the answer comes from the fact this was originally a two-part mini-series. It was common practice to reduce the running times of a mini-series for European theatrical showings. Which for one, removed the footage used to recap the previous episode.
The screenplay was by British playwright, Stephen Davis, and based upon his play of the same name.
The motion picture was actually a co-production of the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan. Rank Films distributed the picture in the U.K. and Triumph Releasing in the United States.
The above poster says it all. This piece of Conspiracy fiction hits all the buttons.
The title role the story revolves around, is portrayed by actor Danny Aiello. Ailello began his motion picture career with the 1973, baseball drama, "Bang the Drum Slowly" with the still unknown Robert DeNiro. He was back with DeNiro, in Francis Ford Coppola's, 1977, "The Godfather, Part II". In 1981, the actor had 4th billing in Pau Newman's, "Fort Apache the Bronx", and in 1984, Danny Aiello was in Italian Director Sergio Leone's counter to "The Godfather" trilogy, "Once Upon a Time in America", about Jewish and not Italian gangsters.
This screenplay seems to be set in acts and begins with the voice of "Jack Ruby" setting the scene and tone:
Lookin' back at it now. What can you say? It feels like it was a dream. Yeah, that's it, a dream. Maybe none of it never happened. Because when I look back on it today, this is the best sense I can make of itAs the audience sees a bloody body hanging upside down on a meat hook.
Switch to the "Carousel Club", Dallas, Texas, in 1962. "Ruby" looks at a almost empty house as an aging stripper, "Telephone Trixie", played by actress Veronica Hart using the on-screen name of Jane Hamilton, does her performance. "Ruby" leaves through a back door to an alley and meets two corrupt Dallas Police Officers to supply them with narcotics.
Switch to an attractive blonde sitting in front of mirror applying make-up to hide the bruises apparently given by her sleeping husband on the bed.
Switch to "Jack Ruby" entering an all-night-diner and seeing the same young blonde woman. He offers to buy her a meal and a place to stay. It's obvious he's just being kind and does not expect to have sex with "Sheryl Ann DuJean". She will become one of the "Carousel Club's" more known strippers, "Candy Cane". "Ruby" introduces "Candy" to the bartender, "Diego", played by Maurice Bernard, a Cuban exile. Later, "Ruby", will threaten "Candy's" husband, if he comes near her again.
Switch, to see "Jack Ruby" take "Candy Cane" to Communist Cuba, on a "Black-Bag-Job", set up by the mob. "Ruby" is to get imprisoned Sicilian mobster, "Santos Alicante", played by Marc Lawrence, out of the country. Actually, "Ruby" is the hit man sent to kill "Alicante". However, "Ruby" double-crosses "Louis Vitali", played by Joseph Cortese, who ordered the hit. He kills "Vitali" instead and frees "Alicante".
"Ruby" now contacts his old Chicago Mob friend, "David Ferrie", played by Tobin Bell, to get the necessary papers to permit "Santos Alicante" to return to the United States. While, "Ruby" and "Candy" return to Dallas.
"Santos" now establishes himself and opens a Las Vegas Hotel. Ruby is contacted by a man named "Maxwell", played by Arliss Howard, to spy on "Santos" for "Maxwell's" employer. "Ruby" figures that's the CIA.
At the Vegas Hotel, "Ruby" sits with several men and "Santos" as they plan to kill "Fidel Castro", "Santos" wants "Jack Ruby' to smuggle some poisoned cigars into Cuba for the "Hit" on "Castro". In the parking lot, "Ruby" reports to "Maxwell", who says he has a new assignment for him. "Ruby" assumes it has something to do with "Fidel Castro".
"Ruby" now meets another old friend, "Lenny Doyle", played by John Solari. "Doyle" informs him that to take out a target like "Castro". A "Hit" would involve two to three shooters and a "Patsy" to take the fall.
While this is happening, "Diego" meets "David Ferrie" and the two go to New Orleans to speak to "Lee Harvey Oswald", played by Willie Garson, about a job they want him in on.
Now, in Dallas, "Jack Ruby" meets with "Sam Giacanna", played by Carmine Caridi, "Santos", and some of their men. "Giacanna" informs "Ruby" that the contract to take out "Castro" has been cancelled and a more important one has come up. The CIA is having trouble with "President Kennedy" over their operations in Cuba and the President wants to reveal the true nature of the CIA in that area. After, "Jack Ruby' leaves, "Giacanna" goes out and meets with "Maxwell".
At this point, "Jack Ruby" has decided that the Mob and the CIA work together on certain high value targets. "Ruby" tells his own boss, "Proby", played by Richard C. Sarafian, but is told that makes no sense and to leave it alone. Because, if true, that is one large conspiracy going into high places.
On November 22, 1963, "Maxwell" meets "Oswald", "Diego", and two other henchmen. "Maxwell" now gives each of the four their assignments and sends them on their way. "Ruby" is seen at the newspaper office buying a new ad for his club. "Candy" is seen at home watching the motorcade on television.
Switch to the sixth-floor sniper's nest at the "Texas School Book Depository". The audience sees "Lee Harvey Oswald" not as the shooter, but the "Handler" of "Diego". Who makes the initial shot! While, the second shooter and his handler actually make the kill shot from the "Grassy Knoll" of Dealey Plaza.
After watching the events on television, "Ruby" is visited by "Proby". Who has not yet heard of the assassination, that their enemies have won. "Proby" has no idea what "Jack" is talking about.
The following day, "David Ferrie" meets "Jack Ruby" at the "Carousel Club". They watch a broadcast about the arrest of "Lee Harvey Oswald" for the "Kennedy" assassination and the murder of Dallas Police Officer "J.D. Tippet". "Ferrie" advises "Ruby", who he calls a small-time hood, to forget they ever met.
The next day, "Ruby" goes to the Dallas City Jail and shoots "Lee Harvey Oswald".
"Ruby" believes that "Maxwell" and the CIA are behind the denial to take him to Washington.. "Jack Ruby" appeals the verdict, but is sure that the conspirators have been monitoring and blocking everything.
Months later, as "Jack Ruby" sits in jail, "Candy" comes to give him moral support. He thanks her, but tells "Candy" not to visit him again. As time passes, "Ruby" is convinced the conspirators are slowly killing him with the injections he is being given.
The picture ends with the disclaimer that "Jack Ruby Died, on January 3, 1967, from Cancer".
The obvious motion picture to end this article is about the biggest conspiracy of all, or may not be. It depends upon your point of view!
Released November 7, 2003 with a running time of 102-minutes.
This docudrama was written and Directed by Mark Sobel. This was the last of the 41 films Sobel directed. It was only his second, but final film he wrote.
The screenplay used the transcripts of the "President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy", known simply as the "Warren Commission", to create the dialogue and action of the motion picture.
On the left of the table starting closest, are, Corbin Bernstein as "Representative Gerald R. Ford", Joe Don Baker as "Representative Hale Boggs", and Don Moss as "Senator John Sherman Cooper".
In the center is Alan Charof as "Chief Justice Earl Warren".
On the right of the table starting closest, are, Jack Bettis as "Allen Dulles", Martin Landau as "Senator Richard Russell", and Lloyd Bochner as "John J. McCoy".
The Shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired from the sixth-floor window at the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository.
There is no credible evidence that the shots were fired from the Triple Overpass, ahead of the motorcade, or any other location.
The shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald.
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