The JFK film boom illuminates how the perennial debate about the causes of President Kennedy’s assassination gets played out in 50th anniversary of JFK’s death. Yesterday’s JFK film announcement (for a cable documentary “JFK: The Smoking Gun”) sounds vaguely conspiratorial and low-budget; today’s JFK cinema news is proudly anti-conspiratorial and A-list.
National Geographic has announced that Rob Lowe will play JFK in a made-for-TV production of Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Kennedy,” which posits that President Kennedy was killed by one man alone and unaided. Lowe will star alongside actress Ginnifer Goodwin (“Mona Lisa Smile”) who will play first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
The announcement speaks to the difference between the public and media elites when it comes to JFK’s assassination. While the percentage of people believing the theory of a lone gunman has risen slightly in recent years, the public remains solidly conspiratorial in its understanding of the causes of Kennedy’s death.
While often accused of conspiratorial sensationalism, the U.S. media elites who approve JFK film projects seem more anti-conspiratorial than the general public, at least recently.
Consider the two biggest JFK film projects to go into production this year — Tom Hanks’s “Parkland‘ and O’Reilly’s “Killing Kennedy.” Both are explicitly anti-conspiratorial. Both not only find drama in the President’s death but both also seek to persuade viewers that the lone gun man theory is a fact.
National Geographic describes the O’Reilly vehicle as a “documented drama,” a necessary caveat given O’Reilly’s controversial reputation for insults and misstatements. His veracity on the JFK story is also open to question. At one point in “Killing Kennedy.” O’Reilly brags of chasing a big JFK story in south Florida in 1977 when in fact he was working the phones in his office in Dallas.
The biggest rumored JFK film project with a conspiratorial perspective is Leonardo di Caprio’s “Legacy of Secrecy,” which is not yet in production. DiCaprio’s father was in Cannes last week talking up the film, which is based on Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann’s book. This movie is based on Waldron’s somewhat convoluted “Mafia done it” theory. Slated for director is David O. Russell, director of “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Given the reality of major motion picture production, it seems unlikely DiCaprio’s film will be in theaters in November. The JFK anti-conspiracy theorists are have the better year in Hollywood.
National Geographic assures the public it will be a “factual drama,” a necessary caveat with O’Reilly who fibbed about his JFK reporting in “Killing Kennedy”
11 thoughts on “Hollywood anti-conspiracists cash in on JFK season”
I would like to see them explain the multiple witness accounts of bogus Secret Service agents present at the three exits of the TSBD, the knoll, the loading dock, and the front. At least two witnesses were law enforcement as I recall, and the bogus agents showed credentials. This shows advance planning on the part of at least several people and cannot be a coincidence. There is simply no other explanation for these bogus SS agents other than a conspiracy.
Who will play Dr. Joseph Dolce, the Army Ballistics Wounds expert who disproved the single bullet experiment in tests conducted for Specter?
Who will play Carolyn Arnold, the woman who saw LHO on the first floor just before the motorcade arrived?
Who will play T. F. Bowley, the witness who placed the shooting of Tippit too early for LHO to have arrived to kill the officer?
Who will play Jack Doughtery, the TSBD employee who saw Oswald enter the Book Depository empty handed on Nov. 22, 1963?
All these essential roles a director has to fill.
I hope the producers will do their homework on the actual attack and not leave JFK’s guards & their transport vehicle out of the re-enactment, especially if viewed from a TSBD sniper’s nest line of sight the entire attack. The JFK SS guards were part of the history that occurred in Dealey Plaza 50 years ago & to omit them is a historical distortion unfair to them & the public old enough to remember this act of terrorism plus the newer arrivals just learning about it.
The public has had enough misrepresentations about what happened when JFK’s parade car was driven down Elm Street in Dallas. It’s well known that he wasn’t travelling down Elm St. solo, any rear shooter had to clear the guards & their car directly behind JFK.
If someone can finally get that one simple historical fact correctly re-enacted I should be happy with the final filmed results. No more agendas, Hollywood, please!
I wonder if Time or Newsweek will do big stories on how inaccurate these movies are and how they play fast and easy with the facts.
I doubt it. Newsweek trumpeted Gerald Posner’s book, “Case Closed,” when it hit the bookstands, in 1993. This was just about two years after Oliver Stone’s film, JFK. I don’t expect much from the “liberal media.”
I agree, I was being sarcastic because I know how they’ll respond. I forgot about the Posner book. It’s pretty amazing how they support any lone nut story and ridicule conspiracy angles instead of giving praise for uncovering new leads. A very sad way to celebrate JFK in his 50th anniversary of his death.
Does anyone actually believe O’reilly wrote any of the books with his name on them? Next you will believe Newt Gingrich wrote his own books.
All I would ask of the film makers is that they be historically accurate, based on what’s known in 2013.
If someone wants to make a movie of Oswald did it alone, fine. I’d simply ask that the wounds to JFK be reported accurately; that Oswald not be depicted as a loner; and that the difficulty of making the shots claimed by the Warren Commission be adequately demonstrated.
The American People may be uninformed but they’re not stupid.