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JFK, SOTM/Burt Lancaster and that day


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i was looking over the schedule and noticed a commemoration for JFK on Nov 21. since Burt Lancaster is SOTM, i hoped Executive Action w/Lancaster (1973) would be shown sometime this month. however, no chance.


Executive Action may be a bit too strong for this Nov's remembrances, but an evening should be taken to air Hollywood's curious looks at the greatest murder mystery of the 20th Century. Oliver Stone's JFK (1991) misses the mark widely, but there are other movies that can be shown besides Stone's.


btw, John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums (1965) got skipped, too. but Four Days in November (1964) gets an airing at Midnight, est, Thur/Fri, Nov 21/22.

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I got a DVD of *Executive Action* four years ago - it cost me all of $5.79 at Amazon. I bought about 15 DVDs that day as they were all the same price - it was as if Warner Home Video was having a surplus sale.


I was feeling all sorts of satisfied until my brother told me he picked up four of the same titles at Big Lots for $3.98.

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I don't want to turn this into a political thread which would probably get locked down, but I can't keep silent about your comment that JFK "misses the mark widely". This is merely your opinion. I think the film does a terrific job of pointing out just how odd Oswald's life was and how many bizarre connections he had (including, probably, Jack Ruby). Also that the Warren Commission was a rush job with a lot of holes and one whose findings had already been decided upon before any investigation actually began.

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See, I had a bigger problem with his use of the phrase "murder mystery".


I was born in 1972, and for a long time I've been sick of the romanticizing of the Kennedy era and family, and how so much of what goes on in our (political) culture has to be compared to events that happened between Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination of John Kennedy and the resignation of Richard Nixon.


Can we finally get rid of the !%$&^%@ "-gate" suffix already?

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With regards to Stone's JFK I wonder what 'mark' needed to be hit.


To me the issue is those that view JFK or any non-documentary about historical events with the requirement that they represent historical facts.


But I can understand why JFK may be viewed differently since it is filmed liked it is a documentary.

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I find it fitting that Lancaster is star of the month, being that he was friendly with JFK.


As for what is the best movie about the assassination, I'd say none yet I would watch any and all as each brings up interesting facets of the crime. Being that they really are done as entertainment, I cannot bring myself to seriously consider as fact things like Stone's "JFK" yet I like the fact that he presents a film that questions all the legendary situations inherent in the crime and enjoy it in that context.


The best on film reportage of the assassination that I've seen, was a European documentary of about six parts called I think..."The Men Who Killed Kennedy", that has amazing episodes about many of the tangential issues. Was Oswald a low level operative of the CIA who was used as a patsy; was a famous European hit man assisted by others placed in three locations along with the grassy knoll site, to do the deed; why was a vehicle owned by the same funeral home that Oswald was embalmed in, called to be the emergency vehicle to pick him up after Ruby shot him; did J.Edgar Hoover and the CIA conspire to remove Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs incident; why was the parade route through Dealey Plaze changed at the last minute, and what was the connection between the local government leader and someone high up in the CIA? Why was Kennedy's brain already removed from its cranial structure when it arrived at Bethesda even though physicians at Parkland in Dallas did not do any such removal preflight?


Maybe this documentary digs deeper into touchy connections due to being NOT made in the US?


The Warren Commission was a joke. But I'm not laughing...

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Not much of a murder mystery since all the evidence points to Oswald.

No doubt a governmental conspiracy would be more interesting than

the personal problems of one lone schlub, but that's where the facts lead.


Whatever one may think of JFK as a movie, as a theory about the

assassination, it's way off base. Garrison was almost as flaky as

Oswald, but more scary as he had all the power and resources of a big

city D.A. Yikes. The only likely connection between Ruby and Oswald

was the bullet that Ruby shot into Oswald. But it is certainly true that

Oswald was one strange guy.

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I've seen Executive Action. It's a good movie. A lot of people don't know this movie. People should check it out. People say it's better than Stone's JFK. I agree.


I've seen Stone's JFK numerous times. It's a great film. Directing and acting both great.


I'm a believer in conspiracy. I've read the Warren Report and I've read many books on both sides of the fence (conspiracy/lone nut). I don't know who killed JFK , but I'm sure there's more to the story than just Oswald and his cheap Italian rifle. You try shooting that gun three times at a moving target in 5.6 seconds. The best shooters in the country have They missed the target 17 out of 18 times !


For those who haven't seen Executive Action, I say check it out. Burt Lancaster is great. Robert Ryan's last film role. His performance is equally good. The late Ed Lauter is also in this movie. He's pretty good too, Check it out. Now ! forget about it coming on TV. It'll never happen. It wasn't even in theatres long either.

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I intend for this to be my last word on this subject, since this is one of those rare issues that I actually get worked up about. All you have to have for a "conspiracy" is more than one person who was in on the planning and/or the execution of the idea. I actually think it's extremely likely Oswald fired shots. I also think there may have been one or more other shooters. Any number of witnesses said there were shots form the grassy knoll and/or saw a puff of white smoke from there, eyewitness testimony the Warren Commission had virtually zero use for. Or, even if there weren't other shooters, there were people who wanted Kennedy dead who had Oswald's ear and helped talk him into it. That would be all that's needed for a conspiracy. Most "lone gunman" advocates are so smugly dismissive of these ideas, they drive me buggy. It's wrong to say "all evidence" points to Oswald. He would have had to have been a fantastic shot to accomplish what he did. And the "magic bullet" theorized by Arlen Spector truly exceeds credulity. I assure you "all evidence" does not actually point to Oswald acting alone.


Okay. Phew. Had to get that out of my system. I may not come back and read anymore followup posts, because they'll probably just make me crazy.

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The evidence does point to Oswald as the lone assassin. Now

theories can point anywhere they want to, but the problem with

this is that there is no valid evidence to back them up in this case.

Not to get too deeply into the specifics, but the time that Oswald

had to fire the shots has been expanded to 8 seconds, using

the Zapruder film to time when the shots occurred. Three shots

would be no problem for Oswald. The single bullet theory works

very well if it is examined objectively and the actual positions

of Kennedy and Connally are taken into account.


Though I don't believe the conspiracy theory at the root of Executive

Action any more than that of JFK, it is a nifty little movie with

a gritty realism that works very well with the subject. It used to be on

YT, but I don't know if it still is. It is definitely worth watching.


Here is a detailed, perhaps overdetailed article, concerning many of

the errors in Stone's movie. When you have a loony tune like Jim

Garrison as your guide, you're just asking for trouble.:



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> Not much of a murder mystery since all the evidence points to Oswald. No doubt a governmental conspiracy would be more interesting than the personal problems of one lone schlub, but that's where the facts lead.


It's not too hard for those with the resources to create "facts" that can lead you where they wish to.


At the time of the assassination, those who knew Oswald from his Marine days claimed he was a near "wash out" who couldn't shoot his foot with the aid of a scope. Add that to the claim that the rifle he supposedly pulled this off with was considered to be the most innacurate, unreliable weapon ever produced, and it's easy to see why a lot of what we hear now is hard to swallow. NOW there are people who claim to have Oswald's old marksmanship records from the marines that "prove" he was an expert marksman. Apparently, there was more than one record, since three different people claim to be in possession of it!


Over the years it seems too many people went out of their way to paint anyone who believes in conspiracies to be "nutjobs". And many of them are. But that doesn't neccessarily mean conspiracies don't exist or happen.




Edited by: Sepiatone on Nov 7, 2013 1:38 PM

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And some of those "facts" were created by unreliable witnesses who,

for whatever reason, bend the truth or worse. The official Marine records

show that Oswald was a good shot. But it is also true that Oswald was

a big pain in the neck while he was a Marine. He was the type

of person who doesn't like to take orders and he also made no

secret of his communist leanings. You can imagine how that

went down in the Marines in the late 1950s. So he was both a

good shot and a big screw-up.


I can't help but think the fact that Oswald's rifle was an Italian military

weapon has, at least partially, led to its reputation as a poor weapon.

The Italian military doesn't exactly have a good reputation. If it

had been a German weapon I wonder if things might have been

seen differently. Be that as it may, the FBI tested the rifle and found

it to be very reliable and that Oswald would have no trouble making his shots.


I think a lot of the conspiracy ideas come down to rumors that have

been repeated over the years and have come to be seen as true. I

recall people taking a pointer and showing how the "magic" bullet

supposedly took all kinds of strange turns, stopped in mid flight and

went in the opposite direction, etc. But if one looks at the actual

position of Kennedy and Connally, it isn't hard to see how one bullet

could cause the wounds of both men.


Even if one accepts Oswald as the sole killer, it's still an interesting

piece of history, both in itself and as a look back at the now

faraway world of fifty years ago. And yes, conspiracies do exist.

The assassination of Lincoln was part of a conspiracy.

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The one thing missing in the Oswald conclusion is motive. What did Oswald attempt to achieve in the action. Simply killing Kennedy wouldn't have stopped anything that may have affected HIS existence. At least in Stone's movie JFK, several motives for either an "inside job" or some other conspiracy were forwarded. I'm not saying the movie is the final word or anything, just pointing out some other considerations.



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I guess we'll never know what Oswald's motive was for certain. I

think there are two main possibilities that have been discussed.

One is psychological--Oswald was a narcissist who believed he was

a special person, and was also not doing very well in life, and killing

Kennedy would prove to the world he deserved to be noticed. Another

is the political, that as a Marxist he saw Kennedy as the

enemy. Maybe these two factors joined together in his disturbed

mind. By now we're a lot more familiar with the lone nut who kills

for no particular purpose and likely has mental problems--people

like Arthur Bremer, James Earl Ray, David Berkowitz and

others. Oswald seems to be pretty much in that mold.


There were people and organizations who could have had a motive--

the CIA, the Mafia (I'm counting them as two separate entities :) ), the

anti-Castro Cubans, LBJ, Castro, the Soviets, and some others. But

having a motive, whether weak or strong, is not the same as acting

on it. So I'm still going with Oswald as the assassin.

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>I think there are two main possibilities that have been discussed.


Yes. I think he had two different types of motives. One psychological, the other political. One that a psychiatrist could tell us about, and one he could tell us about, if he was willing to do so. But, he wasn't willing during those first couple of days, and then he was killed.

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I've seen the Donahue/McLarin documentary that asserts that the fatal head wound was accidentaly fired by a Secret Service agent who was thrown backwards in his car and caused the rifle he was holding to dischargre. If Oswald was not the lone gunman, as stupid as it seems I'd hope it was something like this and not some conspiracy. I doubt we will never know the truth and even knowing will not change what happened. I guess all this 50-year rememberance is to be expected; what gets me is that this year is exactly like 1963 daywise-does this happen often?

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Something you need to consider is that every conspiracy book has a different motive, different conspirators, and different events that are alleged to have taken place. While every non-conspiracy book has Oswald as the lone assassin, shooting with his old rifle, from the 6th floor of the Book Depository.


So, which is more realistic, dozens of intelligent people (men and women, doctors, lawyers, journalists) who have studied the case and who finally came to realize that Oswald was indeed the only assassin, or 100 different assassination conspiracies, all different and with different unproven and unnamed conspirators?


And, which sells more copies? Conspiracy books or books that say Oswald was the lone assassin?

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Oswald came from what we would today call a dysfunctional family and

things didn't get much better when he became an adult, so it's not much

of a shock that he would do what he did. Of course he likely wouldn't

realize that himself, or if he had some hints, he likely wouldn't talk about



The Kennedy was shot by a Secret Service agent theory isn't really

a conspiracy, since it was thought to be an accident. As bizarre as it

is, it makes more sense than lot of the real conspiracy theories out there.

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This originated with a book from twenty years ago and now there is

this documentary and a new companion book. It is an intriguing idea,

but I don't think there is much solid evidence behind the theory, but

we'll see how it develops. I don't know about the math, but November

22nd will be on a Friday, just as it was in 1963.

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*I guess all this 50-year rememberance is to be expected; what gets me is that this year is exactly like 1963 daywise-does this happen often?*


Often enough, although one does have to take into account such things as leap year. For example, in all of that Y2K hoopla, I recall one site claiming that you could fool your computer as leap year 2000 would all occur on the same days as leap year 1972.


Think about it - how many times in your life has your birthday been on a Saturday? If there were no leap year, it would occur every seven years and all the other days would fall in the same pattern.


2014 will not be just like 1964 as there was an extra day in the latter as it was a leap year.

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