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J” is for JFK (1991)

john F Kennedy was a great President. I was not alive when he was in office, but from all that I have read and seen on television about the man leads me to believe that he was possibly one of the finest politicians the world ever saw.

He negotiated a way out of the Cuban missile crisis and showed the enthusiasm and ambition to put a man on the moon (or not if you believe the conspiracy theorists). However, despite his obvious and now well documented failings as a husband, the death of the man was probably the most public of all things in US politics.

Oliver Stone has made some really good movies. One of my favourites is JFK, a biopic about one of the conspiracy theories regarding the assassination of the President of the United States in Dallas, Texas in 1963. I would say that most people have seen the Zapruder film that shows the actual killing and indeed the kill shot and Stone delves into the theory that claimed the US authorities, namely the CIA were involved with the death of JFK and had a man, or two on “The Grassy Knoll”. The film also claims that Lee Harvey Oswald was only a “patsy” and was set up to take the fall for the whole thing and no-one would be any the wiser.

MV5BMTY4ODI3Njg5N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODgyMDUxMDE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Filmed in black and white, the film hosts an array of acting talent including Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek, Joe Pesci, Kevin Bacon, Walter Matthau, Gary Oldman… the list goes on. I quite like a good conspiracy theory myself, and although most of the film’s ideas have either been disproved or were apocryphal in the first place, the movie itself is very entertaining and this is certainly a film I haven’t seen for a long time. It is a very long film and won two Oscars.

There are a few ideas discussed in the movie and I guess the evidence is arranged to fit. It is up to you as the viewer if you choose to believe what Stone offers to us or not. Personally, I found his case compelling, yet highly improbable and the truth remains that the assassination of John F Kennedy is one of those things that we will never ever get to the bottom of. The images however, are historical fact and they cannot be denied or waved away as conspiracy. What happened on that fateful day was shocking yet riveting to watch at the same time. If you are a fan of the history of the events, then you should definitely give JFK a watch.

Fun Fact: (if there is such a thing surrounding these events) Dean (John Candy) Andrews’ sweaty face during his talk with Garrison is real. Candy was petrified at the idea of appearing in a dramatic film with professional actors like Gary Oldman and Donald Sutherland. He sweated profusely throughout all his scenes.