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Looks Like Rob Reiner's Film LBJ Is A Huge Box Office Flop.


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I did not know that Sutherland put up the development money for EA.

What a good guy Sutherland is.

BTW, you know how he got the part in JFK?  Oliver wanted Brando to play X.  But Brando wanted too much money , plus there was no way he was going to memorize that whole long monologue. If you recall, Brando did not like to memorize six lines of dialogue, let alone a huge long monologue. He usually had the lines posted on a card.

That is how Sutherland got the part. Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Sutherland was a better Prouty than Prouty.

And there was also the anti war stuff he did with Jane Fonda. When you say Lane and a friend, I assume you mean Don Freed?

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Let us never forget, we the people who are serious, how the truth about Vietnam finally got out to the public.  

After decades of lies by the MSM,  the Washington big wigs, and the loony Left it finally got out through Stone, Prouty and John Newman.  Back then, I even doubted such was the case.

If you ask me, Sutherland hit a home run in this scene.  And the ball is still traveling.

 

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Let me add, when I first saw this I thought Stone and Sklar exaggerated the disdain the Joint Chiefs had for JFK.

I was wrong about that also.

Because when I read The Kennedy Tapes, and JFK's meeting with the JCS, I realized if anything, its a bit understated.  They really did not like JFK.

And that is how I think LeMay ended up at Bethesda the night of the autopsy.

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It's valuable to hear your thoughts and perspective and history, Steve Jaffe.

Thanks for contributing here. I look forward to your book. I found EXECUTIVE

ACTION enlightening from its first run and believe it influenced Stone's JFK as well.

I like the way EA gets into the mindset of the plotters to show how it could

have gone down and probably did (though Lane complained the script was

rewritten by Trumbo to avoid blaming the CIA by name; perhaps you can shed light on that). Ryan is especially brilliant. The Will Geer/H. L.

Hunt figure is also fascinating. Even if the film had to be somewhat circumspect in accusing

specific people and institutions in order to get made at all, making these men and the Lancaster figure

composites has its value dramatically. It's easy enough to identify Geer's character as H. L. Hunt, though

he also can stand in for other rightwing oligarchs who hated Kennedy, including Clint Murchison Sr., D. H. Byrd, and H. L.'s son Nelson Bunker Hunt. Ryan's suave and genocidal CIA man reminds me of both Richard Helms and George H. W. Bush, though Bush's CIA involvement was not known at the time (Bush, though known as "Poppy" to his family, was nicknamed "Rubbers" by his cronies in Congress for so vigorously pushing birth control methods for Third World countries; the Ryan character has a particular chilling speech about what he says is the urgent need for population control in Third World countries). Lancaster is something like William Harvey, David Atlee Phillips, E. Howard Hunt, or a combination thereof.

Edited by Joseph McBride
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18 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

I did not know that Sutherland put up the development money for EA.

What a good guy Sutherland is.

BTW, you know how he got the part in JFK?  Oliver wanted Brando to play X.  But Brando wanted too much money , plus there was no way he was going to memorize that whole long monologue. If you recall, Brando did not like to memorize six lines of dialogue, let alone a huge long monologue. He usually had the lines posted on a card.

That is how Sutherland got the part. Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Sutherland was a better Prouty than Prouty.

And there was also the anti war stuff he did with Jane Fonda. When you say Lane and a friend, I assume you mean Don Freed?

Jim: Although I had been Donald Sutherland's rep for pr during the years prior to the making of JFK, I first heard of Stone's plans prior to his shoot. I got a copy of the script from Walter Matthau and read it, elated to know that such a great filmmaker would do Garrison's story. Sutherland is a great guy and deserves credit for his early participation re "Executive Action." The Brando stories are legendary. In a scene with a woman late in his career, he demanded that one of his lines be typed on a tiny piece of paper and stuck to her tongue so he could read it. Sutherland was far better for that role in every way.  And yes, I meant Don Freed. I don't consider him honorable on that project since he breached a book contract we had and left my name off the book after I contributed chapters as required. He said the covers had already been printed (with his name even before Lane's), and said the publisher would put my name inside the second edition. I was paid off which I didn't mind. I realized that my taking legal action for the credit would just hurt the project. Got to know when to foldem'.

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19 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Let us never forget, we the people who are serious, how the truth about Vietnam finally got out to the public.  

After decades of lies by the MSM,  the Washington big wigs, and the loony Left it finally got out through Stone, Prouty and John Newman.  Back then, I even doubted such was the case.

If you ask me, Sutherland hit a home run in this scene.  And the ball is still traveling.

 

Agree Jim. So how come this Forum never engages in discussion about the possibility that Stone and his writers, and Garrison,  hit the nail on the head? 

Edited by Paul Brancato
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Stone takes it easy on the Cuban Exiles and Mafia Interests in Cuba, also non military commercial interests, I.e. "Fruit and sugar did-it". It's hard to blame him though, what good is a story line that says everyone did it, like The Rolling Stones said.

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Looking at that scene, I have to say that in terms of facts, its pretty much right on. 

Note, before the cut to Lansdale, Sutherland says "a call is made to someone like my superior officer, General Y."  

It also labels what its speculating upon as such.

Considering when it was made, I think its a real achievement. Recall, this was 1991.  Before the ARRB. That film created the ARRB.  And the releases of the ARRB really changed the calculus of the JFK case.

 

Edited by James DiEugenio
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I watched Executive Action last night for the first time since the early 2000's or mid - late 90's.  I think I'd seen it twice before that on late night tv and later maybe on cable.  It was more confusing to me back then, I didn't understand some of the things they were talking about at the time (last night, wife: what are they talking about?).  In the early - mid 80's I was taken in by Blakey and others mob did it distraction.  It's $2.99 on amazon for 48 hours.  I think I'll watch it again tonight.  It's dated, in a cool way actually.  It gets some things wrong that much more is known about now.  But it is amazing how prescient it was in some respects for the time.

https://www.amazon.com/Executive-Action-Burt-Lancaster/dp/B007EJBG44/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1527704700&sr=1-1&keywords=executive+action&dpID=513xQDKRMDL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

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Like that sigh he takes at 2:55.  Part of the good actor's planning.

BTW, I should reveal an interesting story about this scene from someone on the set.

Sutherland really owned his part, and he was disappointed in Costner's performance. Costner has the more subdued and recessive part, but actors know how you can make a pattern of visual inquiry and mental awakening come alive.

Well, as Stone was trying to work with Costner, Sutherland walked away from the bench and he said, out of earshot, "Maybe if he understood what I was saying that would help."  LOL

 

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To be fair to Costner, during the trial scene and his Single Bullet Fantasy pointer demonstration, he suddenly stopped, sat down in a chair, put his hands over his eyes and said, "Oliver, they couldn't have said this."

So Oliver brought over his researcher and they went over the material that showed such was the case.

After  a few minutes, Costner got up and said to Stone, "Who made up this crap?"

Stone said, "Arlen Specter."

Costner replied, "Let's put his name in the script."

So that is how Specter's name got in the script, it was not there before.

Thanks Kevin for exposing Specter to millions.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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2 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Like that sigh he takes at 2:55.  Part of the good actor's planning.

BTW, I should reveal an interesting story about this scene from someone on the set.

Sutherland really owned his part, and he was disappointed in Costner's performance. Costner has the more subdued and recessive part, but actors know how you can make a pattern of visual inquiry and mental awakening come alive.

Well, as Stone was trying to work with Costner, Sutherland walked away from the bench and he said, out of earshot, "Maybe if he understood what I was saying that would help."  LOL

 

Time out: I have a question and a request of all who are technically adept at using this forum to communicate. How can we continue this dialogue under a new heading which is not such a continuous slam at such a fine filmmaker and ally as Rob Reiner? Yes, "LBJ" may not have been a box office hit but is that really important to us? I would like to know how we can get rid of this horrible headline that continues the more we converse.

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