The political movie that JFK wanted Hollywood to make 

When it was released in 1964, the movie’s chilling message about the fragility of American democracy and the danger of far-Right paranoia was underscored by a real-life backstory that was just as disturbing. Frankenheimer made Seven Days in May at the personal urging of President John F. Kennedy, who’d clashed with an Army general with extremist views early in his administration, and apparently feared such a cabal really was possible. Sadly, JFK did not live to see the film he helped bring to the screen

Source: The Movie That JFK Wanted Made, But Didn’t Live to See | Boundary Stones: WETA’s Washington DC History Blog (h/t Marshal)

23 thoughts on “The political movie that JFK wanted Hollywood to make ”

  1. I’ve still got a copy of the book from this in a box in storage.
    It was on a list to choose a book for a report about 1975 or 76 in a entry level Political Science class. I forget the details but remember coming away wondering how realistic it might be.
    This helps me remember a little bit.

  2. Based on the article, it seems like JFK believed government conspiracies were a real thing or at least had the potential to happen.

    Kind of ironic that he himself would become the subject of so many Conspiracy theories involving the US government.

    It’s also eerily close to Lee Harvey Oswald’s prediction of a military coup overthrowing the US government:

    “Americans are apt to scoff at the idea, that a military coup in the US., as so often happens in Latin american countries, could ever replace our government. but that is an idea that has grounds for consideration. Which military organization has the potenitialities of executing such action? Is it the army? with its many constripes, its unwieldy size its scores of bases scattered across the world? The case of Gen. Walker shows that the army, at least, is not fertail enough ground for a far right regime to go a very long way. for the same reasons of size and desposition the Navy and air force is also to be more or less disregarded. Which service than, can qwalify to launch a coup in the USA? Small size, a permanent hard core of officers and few baseis is necessary. Only one outfit fits that description and the U.S.M.C. is a right wing infiltrated organization of dire potential consequence’s to the freedoms of the U.S. I agree with former President Truman when he said that “The Marine Corps should be abolished.””

  3. Anthony Martin

    A weakness in the Executive Branch is that it can be occupied by a corrupted individual. E.G. Angelton was concerned by a mole in the CIA. What would stop someone from becoming President who, acted on behalf of a foreign power more than in the interests of the USA, or who acted on behalf of a criminal organization ( other than the ‘normal power elite’) at the expense of the USA or who was perceived to be a national security threat because of attitude or lack of decision making capability. Would some think that a vote or an impeachment wouldn’t be fast enough to remove the individual from power and extra Constitutional action was required?

    A number of authors have suggested that JFK, judged to be a ‘threat’ to key interests, was, in a word, violently replaced. “Seven Days in May” raises some interesting issues. What happens if the Chiefs of Staff willfully disobey a Presidential order (note: recently former CIA & NSA Director General Hayden suggested that an order to ‘torture’ not be recognized. Hmm. Would there be resignations or a ‘putsch’ or…?). Is there a ‘red line’, say the use of federal troops for internment camps? Makes on wonder if there is some other ‘secret action plan’ in place for such an event. Just wondering, why JFK would want the movie made, unless to put the concept on the table and quiet the talk.

  4. 7 Days in May is a great film. If you have not seen it, you can easily find it on cable.
    You should also read David Talbot’s “Brothers” for the back story. During the Cuban Missile Crisis and the college desegregation conflicts in the south the military routinely disobeyed the orders of the commander in chief. In the film, Gen. James Matoon Scott sought to oust the president by a bloodless coup. The real coup was not bloodless, hence this site.
    If you watch the film, note the author of the screenplay: Rod Serling, of Twilight Zone fame. Serling was the same age as JFK, and fought in the Pacific theater. A lot of JFK’s support came from vets like Serling and James L. Jones and Norman Mailer. They envisioned a more peaceful world. That set them at odds with the old OSS types, like Dulles and Helms and LeMay. But those guys never got shot at, as JFK noted about Nelson Rockefeller.

    1. General Curtis Lemay personally led some of the most dangerous bombing missions in the Second World War, including taking part in the Schweinfurt-Regensburg raid (he led the latter part of the mission). You can call him many things, but “chickenhawk” and “armchair general” are completely inappropriate. The man exposed himself to heavy enemy fire on a number of occasions.

      1. Yes, this is characteristic of the weak scholarship and baseless innuendo that comes from much of the CT community, where political orientation too often trumps historical fact. David Talbot doesn’t like the politics of Allen Dulles, so he implicates him in the murder of JFK, to the point of falsely claiming his whereabouts on the weekend of Nov. 22, 1963 and lying about the geographical position of places to support that lie. Somebody doesn’t like the politics of Ted Cruz, so they claim that a picture of an unidentified man with Oswald in N.O. was Cruz’ father-despite the fact that said man had no resemblance to the father. People don’t like the political views of Curtis LeMay, so they invent a story about him being at JFK’s autopsy and somehow involved in a conspiracy to kill JFK.
        How are any of these cockamamie claims any different from the Prayerman nonsense that has eaten up this site? It is all the Same CT mantra-throw everything ( anything) up and see if anybody bites-and hope that the dollars keep coming in for those who make a living off of this mythology.

        1. Did Lemay run as a candidate for Vice President with George Wallace in 1968?
          Did Lemay advocate for a first nuclear strike against the USSR in the 1960’s, claiming we would only loose a few million people?
          This guy was a wacco, Paul.

          1. Your comment confirms my perceptions. There is not a shred of evidence connecting LeMay in any way with the assassination of JFK, yet you present his political views as evidence that he was a conspirator-or could have been. How many right-wing fanatics have been proven to be political assassins? How many left-wing fanatics?
            It is immaterial what the political oriention of somebody is if there is no physical evidence tying them to a crime. But in CTLand political orientation is all you need to convict someone of murder.

          2. Paul, I have reread my original comment. Nowhere did I say Curtis Lemay was complicit in the assassination. What I wrote was that JFK and his writer buddies were “at odds with O.S.S. types like …Lemay.”
            Recall the original article here; it concerned the film “Seven Days in May” and JFK’s interest in seeing it produced. It is well documented (not just by Talbot) that JFK was concerned about insubordination by the Joint Chiefs during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It is a fact that JFK fired Alan Dulles and General Edwin Walker. He probably would have fired Lemay too, if he lived long enough.

          3. Ed Connor, I did not notice the naming device you’re including in your replies to Photon until now. If you disagree with another commentor, why not focus on debating them with facts supported by links?
            To avoid wasting your time and mine, consider using the name or alias of the commentor you are addressing if you expect your comment to appear on

            I’ve made a sincere and thorough effort to support my conclusion that Photon has not been matched with any living person’s actual name.

            Tom S. – 2016/02/15 at 11:26 am
            In reply to JSA.

            Do you take me for a fool? Photon and Paul May are two different people. Their comments are consistently associated
            with two distinct IP#’s many hundreds of miles apart. I’ve commented on this already.
            Two unrelated, unconnected individuals who are located where one has commented that he is, and the other is known to be located.

          4. Tom:
            I have never contended that “Photon” is Paul May. I presume he is not.
            However, last year, before your term as moderator, “Photon” posted a long list of comments regarding the sinking of the USS Liberty off Israel in 1967. Jeff Morley told him he was off topic, and addressed him as “Paul.”
            Therefore I presume “Photon’s” given name is Paul. The choice to accept pseudonyms is yours, not mine.

          5. Ed, it is NOT a fact that JFK fired Walker-he resigned to make a political statement and forfeited his pension. He also submitted his resignation to Eisenhower, who chose not to accept it. McNamara did not approve Walker’s promotion to a Corps command, Walker got p.o. and decided to quit and go into politics. JFK approved the resignation – (Walker later got his pension).
            LeMay was not an “O.S.S.” type-he was never in the O.S.S.; in WW II he was an operational military commander with a personality completely at odds with the clandestine O.S.S. mentality. You seem to forget that the O.S.S. was in large part composed of anti-fascist leftist activists, to the point that the joke was that O.S.S. stood for “Oh So Socialist”.
            As I have stated before I posted my name months ago.

      1. That’s another CT lie. Prove it-within months of the assassination Serling was producing a government-sponsored documentary about LBJ. Just as I said-throw anything up on the wall and see if it sticks.

        1. “Prove it-within months of the assassination Serling was producing a government-sponsored documentary about LBJ.”

          It is well known that Rod Serling wrote the screenplay for ‘7 Days in May’ — so where is your proof of his “producing a government-sponsored documentary about LBJ”?

          What was then title of this documentary? When was it released, etc…?

          1. ” Let Us Continue” produced by William Froug and Rod Serling, documentary released by USIA in late 1963.

          2. What do you know, Photon finally comes up with a lead to a source. Not an actual link mind you but info enough to check his facts.

            Good job Photon. Try to keep it up.

      2. “Serling believed in a conspiracy in JFK’s death as well.” ~Bogman

        That would be my opinion as well. Serling was too perceptive not to get that JFK was killed in a coup d’etat like the screenplay he wrote for SEVEN DAYS IN MAY.

        We can admit it is only our opinions, however knowing Serling’s work as I do, his innate perceptiveness was too keen to have missed the obvious signs of a military industrial coup d’etat.

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