Anyone who still believes that Lee Oswald killed President Kennedy should rent Oliver Stone's masterpiece. My opinion or 'rule' about movies is that they should first entertain...if I want a history lesson I'll go back to school. This 1991 movie is one exception to my rule. (The other one is All the President's Men, the 1976 film about Watergate.)  JFK is more of a history lesson than an entertainment vehicle, yet it's the most important movie ever made. Until it was released, all of the assassination files were kept classified until the year 2029. The 1992 Assassination Materials Disclosure act changed that. Little by little the files are being made public. We don't have to wait that long to learn the truth, thanks to the determination of Oliver Stone, and Jim Garrison, the New Orleans District Attorney who wrote the book, On The Trail of the Assassins on which Oliver Stone based the film. The film is long (three hours), and the Director's cut DVD has an added 17 minutes. One thing I did not know until I watched this movie was that the Zapruder film (the most damaging piece of evidence) was never seen by the public until Jim Garrison subpoenaed it in the trial of Clay Shaw.
The film opens with footage of President Eisenhower essentially stating that the military industrial complex must not become too powerful. The significance of this becomes apparent in the later half of the movie. Then there is footage of the 1960 election, President Kennedy's inauguration, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and the assassination in Dallas, with voiceover by Martin Sheen. Walter Cronkite announcing that Kennedy died is interspersed with the reactions of D.A. Jim Garrison (COSTNER) and his office staff, and other patrons of Napoleon's bar, who are watching a TV set. Garrison becomes involved in the case because of Oswald's connection to New Orleans. He had spent the summer there passing out pro-Castro Cuba flyers right under the noses of Naval Intelligence and the FBI. Guy Banister, a local private investigator who had been head of the Chicago FBI office and before that Naval Intelligence, had an office at 544 Camp St. That same address was stamped on Oswald's communist propoganda flyers. Several witnesses named New Orleans locals Dave Ferrie (PESCI) and Clay Shaw(JONES) as associates of Oswald. With mounting evidence and encouragement from Senator Russel Long (WALTER MATTHAU), Garrison in 1966 re-opened the case. He discovers that Oswald was not really a communist at all but CIA, and a scapegoat. "They put Oswald together from Day one, like a dummy corporation in the Bahamas."
There is such overwhelming evidence that the U.S. military and the CIA killed Kennedy that I would run out of megabyte allocation on this website if I listed even half. In the Zapruder film there is a man along the motorcade route with a black umbrella open on a sunny, hot day. He is standing in front and to the right of Kennedy's car at the moment JFK is shot in the throat. There is speculation that the man was concealing a gun under the umbrella. Most people are familiar with the "magic bullet" theory attributed to Senator Arlen Specter who I'm ashamed to say was a senator in my own state of Pennsylvania. Of course the whole Warren Commission was a joke and the biggest rip-off of taxpayer money. Oswald who was a lousy marksman could not possibly have pulled off the shooting with the rifle he was using. However the most significant conspiracy clues come from the character played by Donald Sutherland. He is called Mr X in the film, but since the movie was released he has made his identity public as Fletcher Prouty, the chief of CIA/military Special operations during the Kennedy years. (For a comprehensive rundown on all of the conspiracy evidence, visit the website www.prouty.org.) He tells Garrison that the key to who actually did the shooting lies in WHY Kennedy was killed. "If you know the why you'll know the who. Kings are killed, Mr. Garrison."
There are so many big stars in this movie with such high box-office appeal that they don't need to look at scripts: Ed Asner, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, John Candy, Donald Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Sissy Spacek. It's obvious they appeared in this movie because they believed in Oliver Stone and his mission. The best performances were delivered by GARY OLDMAN as Lee Oswald and JOE PESCI as David Ferrie. Ferrie is one colorful character. This is a somber movie, but the portrayal of him by Joe Pesci, whether it was Stone's intention or not, is hysterically cartoonish.
Eventually within our lifetime we should be able to walk into any public library and read all of the assassination files. Read them! Find out what really happened on November 22, 1963, and then let's try to come together and make sure it doesn't happen again. I urge you as Jim Garrison did to "Show the world that this is still a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It's up to you."
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