‘Reclaiming Parkland’: the story behind the flop

Reclaiming ParklandDespite a big budget and a host of A-list actors, Tom Hanks’s JFK flick “Parkland” proved to be a dud,  As I wrote here last year, “The fact that the movie tanked at the box office and puzzled critics indicated its presentation of JFK’s murder as a fairly ordinary homicide in Texas had no resonance, even with elite media organizations imbued with a cultural affinity for the lone gunman theory.

But the story of the forces behind the making of the movie, explored in James DiEugenio’s book “Reclaiming Parkland,” is an in-depth tale of the collusive culture-making machinery of Hollywood and major news organizations.

From DiEugenio’s website, Citizens for Truth About the Kennedy Assassination:

“Reclaiming Parkland describes Tom Hanks’s failed attempt to adapt Vincent Bugliosi’s massive book Reclaiming History into a mini-series. It also exposes the origins of that book in a dubious mock trial. Included is a withering critique of Bugliosi’s inflated book. The author examines an early draft of the film ‘Parkland,’ the CIA’s influence in Hollywood today, Hanks’s closeness to Washington, and the actor’s spurious claim of being a historian. Also included is the author’s unsuccessful attempt to stop Leonardo DiCaprio from making a film out of Legacy of Secrecy.”

You can order the book on Amazon.com.







  1. dan zan says:

    Thank God, someone, Mr.James DiEugenio, in this case has
    taken on V. Bugliosi’s take on the JFK assassination. I don’t
    see how V.Bugliosi can write the crap he does about the murder of JFK
    with all of the things that have come to the light of day with
    the many FOIA requests since 1963. I’m buying Mr.DiEuginio’s book and I sure hope he makes out V.Butliosi as a real bum for doing
    what he did with his book. Thank you Mr DiEuginio, someone
    had to do it and thank God you did.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      Bugliosi’s book is basically a long, prosecutorial brief.

      Bugliosi was a prosecutor.

      It is therefore biased, but I suppose in his defense (pun intended), it was about his ‘job’ to prosecute the accused for a conviction (that mock trial).

      Finally, I don’t think Bugliosi could sell more books or get a better book deal if he instead wrote about defending Oswald, given his background as a famous prosecutor.

  2. M. Ellis says:

    ‘Reclaiming Parkland’ is much, much more than a treatise on Hollywood and a dud movie. It is a searing deconstruction of Bugliosi’s massive tome and his defense of the Warren Commission.

    Bugliosi likes to say his book is “for the ages”. If that’s so, then “Reclaiming Parkland” is for the ages too. It is the most thorough rebuttal of Bugliosi out there, a brilliant effort.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      It is the most thorough rebuttal of Bugliosi out there, a brilliant effort.

      I told James DiEugenio that I decided to pick up his book the instant I read the first critique about RH or Bugliosi.

      AFAIK, not since Case Open (which attacked Case Closed), has their been a book that criticizes another pro-WC book.

  3. Ronnie Waynethe says:

    I did not know of Rosemary Willis HSCA statement “head above the wooden fence…disappeared instantly”.
    I never knew Delgado was shot at after his testimony and left the country in fear.
    Nor have I seen the statements of the witnesses at Parkland and Bethesda regarding the 1/3-1/2 part of the brain missing in conjunction with the back of the head blowout connected in the way they are on page 137.

  4. vasilis says:

    The lone nut believers will not be pursuaded by this book. It is understandable and expected. However, there are some middle ground researchers who are not certain if there was a conspiracy, if Oswald was guilty and if he had fired a shot. I am confident that this book will remove the uncertainty, and they will be forever pursuaded that there was a conspiracy, Oswald was never in that window and he never fired a single shot.

  5. Melvin Fromme says:

    For the limited areas & people it depicted, I didn’t find Parkland all that bad of a movie considering how many times the ambush of President Kennedy has been portrayed by Hollywood & TV. I am not sure Forrest Sorrels being present during the emergency life saving operation attempt as being the man Dr. Crenshaw reported asking for a full confession was historically accurate. I also question James Hosty burning Lee Oswald’s entire FBI file as opposed to just the note Lee Oswald left for him at the Dallas FBI office. I liked the movie a lot better than ‘Killing Kennedy’. I found myself yelling at my TV frequently during that film disaster.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      I agree that Parkland wasn’t bad (unlike Killing Kennedy which was deplorable in making Oswald look like the devil incarnate).

      At least they show Oswald telling Robert, “brother, don’t believe the so called evidence”.

  6. Mark Barsotti says:

    “Reclaiming Parkland” is an excellent addition to the JFK cannon, and the book covers far more than the “Parkland” movie & Hollywood/Washington complex. In fact, I found some of DiEugenios’ criticisms of Hanks to be the weakest part of the book (e.g. criticizing Hanks “Saving Private Ryan” for not being “true” when it’s a movie, Jim, and made no claim to be anything other than effective fiction. Much more powerful (and to the point) is DiEugenios’ spot on take down of “Reclaiming History” and a general recap and updating of the assassination research field in toto. I don’t agree with all of Jim’s takes, but then one doesn’t have to be in lockstep with an author to acknowledge a first rate effort.

  7. Ronnie Wayne says:

    I can’t believe the timing of this article. I finished Reclaiming Parkland today while proctoring an exam. It tells the story of the JFK Assassination concisely as known at this time while destroying Reclaiming History at the same time. In addition it describes the history and current state of the Main Stream Media in a way I’ve never seen. The Truth is coming, Thanks to people like Jeff and Mr. D.
    Out of 385 pages I have 34 of them earmarked for review regarding things I did not know or had not connected. After reading about the subject for 35 years plus and living nearby/going to the scene multiple times I’m overwhelmed.
    I do have a bone or point to quibble about.
    On page 385, to paraphrase “Youngblood jumped on LBJ”.
    Ive read elsewhere per Senator Ralph Yarborough riding on the back seat with him and Ladybird, LBJ was crouched down between the front/back seats listening to a radio mike turned down low with Youngblood, that Yarborough, could not hear.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      Philip Nelson’s tome LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination critiques that aspect about Youngblood you raise. He says that story was based on LBJ’s written statement (not sworn deposition, and LBJ did not appear before the WC). I believe he confirms that LBJ was crouching down to listen to the radio but felt it was an excuse to prevent getting shot (IOW, he had foreknowledge).

      • Gerry Simone says:

        Update: Other posters in the JFK Assassination Critical Analysis Facebook page pointed out or explained to me that you can see LBJ’s ear because his head was partially obscured by the SSA seated in front of him. I agree with this analysis now and that Mr. Nelson is wrong about LBJ being “MIA” (or perhaps that his question mark on this issue is no longer in question).

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