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Parkland Movie

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14 hours ago, Ken Rheberg said:


Dan Rather really gave three CBS-TV reports on the Zapruder film the Monday after the assassination.

The first broadcast began at 4:18:00 p.m. (EST).

The second broadcast began at 4:31:40 p.m. (EST).

The third broadcast began at 8:26 p.m. (EST).

He also described the film for CBS radio that same day.

So where did he actually view the film before broadcasting what he saw?



Rather saw the film during the afternoon of November 25 (Monday) at the law office of Passman & Jones in Dallas. This viewing was for those interested in the rights for the film in motion as opposed to the rights for still images of the film, which were sold to LIFE two days earlier. Rather, along with the others in attendance, signed a confidentiality agreement that he would not discuss the contents other than to inform the bidding decisions and, then immediately ran to the local CBS affiliate to go on the air and describe what he saw.

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Oliver Stone's movie "JFK", warts and all, will always be, by a country mile, THE best assassination movie. Full stop; period; end of story.

"EXECUTIVE ACTION" was ok for the time, but it was very low budget and cheesy. Stone's movie is infinitely better.

"PARKLAND" is almost unwatchable; a painful Lifetime movie feel to it. One great thing came from "PARKLAND", though: it killed Gerald Blaine's THE KENNEDY DETAIL movie!! Awesome!! :)

Blaine's movie once had a super impressive website. Many Emmy-award winning (and even Oscar winning!) production people were involved in the making of the movie, including the LIFE OF PI animator and a host of others. I definitely did my part to kill the movie, too: I e-mailed director Steven "Jake-and-Maggie's-father" Gyllenhaal (copying Clint Hill and Gerald Blaine!) all the errors and outright lies Blaine and company were spewing...then, within a week or so, the movie website was massively streamlined to just Hill, Blaine, Mccubbin and a few other NON-noteworthy folks...and then the movie was dead on IMDb and elsewhere (it was to come out late 2013/ early 2014 at the latest).

One of the people directly connected to the movie told me that PARKLAND bombing at the theaters was the main reason Blaine's movie went under, but my letter to the director was, quote, "troubling" and made him doubt the whole thing.

Mission accomplished. :)




I swear this is genuine. Paul Landis, one of the Secret Service agents on the Kennedy protection detail in Dallas who failed to protect the president from an assassin’s bullet back on that fateful November 22, 1963, has his own idea of how to start a picture. Got this personally from the director of the upcoming feature film The Kennedy Detail:


“Stephen, I don’t know how you intend to open your movie, but I have an idea that I would like to run by you, not intending to intrude into your creative space. Just a thought. Please forgive any miss spelled words. I’m just going with the flow.”


Paul (not Paulie)


Opening Scene: Taking place while titles, actors ,credits, etc. burn thru in white.


Start – Surround sound – Motorcycle engine starts – Loud – …Varoom. Then a second – same sounds – Varoom…Varoom. Followed by other sounds, cars starting, “Let’s roll”, voices, commands, close ups of car wheels starting to move, cycles shifting into gear, Presidention flag on fender, feet walking & starting to jog, all close ups & tight shots…lots of quick shots & cuts…people waving…shouting…fenders…cycle exhause pipes…flashers blinking…Clint/Paul exchanging glances…”Jackie, Jackie”…”Mr. President”…”Over here, over here Mr. President” etc., etc. More pix of buildings, people in windows…waving. Someone running towards presidents limo, arm extended…Agent looks at hand, quick flash close up…gun?…Knife?…finally a camera. Another Agent pushes person back towards crowd. the person tumbles…motorcade continues.


All sorts of scenes taking place and building in intensity as motorcade reaches & continues down Main Street in Dallas. Finally, as motorcade slows & turns right onto Houston…sounds start to fade…crown thinning out…..camera scanning buildings, Plaza, overpass, etc. As other sounds fade out, an erie background sound starts to fade in. We are now going into slow motion as cars start turning left onto Elm St…Silence….Sound (Click, click…lock & load)…theatre audiance in suspense, silent, intence, waiting in anticipation. Everyone knows what is about to happen…silence……BAM…Screen goes White. Blank!


Next Scene: Version of scene 12 – Paul getting shot, etc…Paul wakes up with a start…covered in cold sweat. (His idea of how it should have been).



Page 2, Scene 20 – WRHS (either 2010, age 75, or 2011, age 76).


To be continued…………………………….




Edited by Vince Palamara
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8 minutes ago, Vince Palamara said:

Oliver Stone's movie "JFK", warts and all, will always be, by a country mile, THE best assassination movie. Full stop; period; end of story.

Not even close. Oliver Stone's film is a flight of fancy. Nothing more.



The best JFK assassination movie (by far) is this one....


Edited by David Von Pein
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I had forgotten "Ruby" even existed. That's a true blast from the past. It's funny that I remember the trailer better than the entire movie.

I have tried to track down Mark Lane's unpublished screenplays to no avail. It has been a while though, so I'll try again sometime.

I wasn't too enamored with "Jackie", I didn't think the film did a good job of skipping around in time and making things clear. It wasn't bad, just a bit cold and soulless. "Executive Action" is one I own that I should rewatch again soon.

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I re-watched "Parkland." I can't stand that shakycam aftereffect, especially the quick zooms. Makes the whole film feel like it's sliding and bobbing around. It actually makes me feel ill at times. It's literally almost unwatchable for me because of that.

The good part is that it's a decent production, and it's short. I liked the look of the sets and locations. Costumes were fine and the actors were well-cast, I suppose. For us CT'ers, we can take some pleasure in knowing that Bugliosi's gigantic doorstop ultimately resulted in such a small, low budget film that was almost immediately forgotten. There might be some justice in the world after all.

Storywise, it seems that Zapruder is not really a great protagonist or compelling character with a storyline we can follow. Paul Giamatti is good in the role, and he tries to find the story in his character, but he really doesn't have much to do. He filmed it, he sold it, he felt bad about it. Not really a great dramatic arc. And he's not involved with any of the Parkland scenes or any other important events, which makes him (as a character) feel even more superfluous. The Secret Service men aren't really compelling either. Their drinking the night before isn't dramatized, and depicting that might have made their anguish a little more complex.

Marguerite Oswald was treated poorly. I believe the evidence has ultimately proven her to have been more right than wrong, and to depict her as basically the most unlikable character in the entire film was a bit unfair.

I was surprised that there were so many dramatic scenes that weren't dramatized at all: The Tippit killing, Oswald's arrest, Ruby shooting Oswald, ect. JFK's actual assassination is left offscreen as well. Marina's barely glimpsed, Jack Ruby is not a character in the film, and Ruth Paine apparently wasn't worth including either. (Could it be, like it was during the making of "JFK", Paine is still too radioactive to depict on the big screen?) So many missed opportunities, in my opinion. If the budget wouldn't even allow for these scenes, the movie is even more pathetic than I thought. Maybe it was a creative choice to not dramatize those events. If so, it felt like much of the drama and the substance of the whole JFK assassination story was left behind. It's too bad, the actor they found to play Oswald looked pretty good, even if his role in the film ultimately consisted of a single scene.

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Whatever one thinks of the Kennedy case, no objective person who knows anything about films can fail to recognize the cinematic achievement of Stone's movie.

In that respect, it is head and shoulders above any Kennedy assassination film ever.

I won't watch the Oscars, because they are so much a popularity contest.  But that film really did deserve the editing and photography Oscars it got.  They were simply stellar.  To think of all the film stocks that Robert Richardson used and all the matching of lighting he had to do with old images, and all the complex camera movements in the film.   And the editing is simply superb.  Think of all the thousands of shots in that movie.

But here is the really incredible thing for anyone who knows films:  It was shot in 72 days!  A three hour movie of that technical and aesthetic complexity. There are many films from that era that went 80-100 days that had no such technical miracles and are really simple films. This means that the preproduction details had to all be worked out well in advance in order not to slow down the schedule.

And one other thing to note: Stone works fast as we know.  But Richardson is just as fast. In fact, when Stone would go into his trailer to eat lunch and look over the script, Richardson would be setting up the lights for the next shot!  He worked right through the lunch period.  When Oliver came out, everything would be ready for him. This is one reason he is so much in demand.

As Stone once said about another three time Oscar cinematographer:  I'm not going to set up a shot, rehearse the actors, and then wait four hours for Vittorio Storaro to set up his lights. 

Edited by James DiEugenio
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I have been away from things for a spell, but reading this thread has been a welcome back. Thanks to all for your reviews, thoughts, research and references. Thanks also Joe B. for allowing a good laugh to pop out when describing his snoring co-conspirator. Also, a belated kudos to Jim D. who actually read and wrote about the Bugliosi doorstop. I am able to wade through most things, but I simply couldn't take it. His opening was reminiscent of Manchester's version of the day as well as the b&w film "Four Days" but once he shifts into prosecutor mode--escape screams for attention.

I think Stone's work is America's "Guernica"  which, like Picasso's work (in b&w, btw) is work which will forever evoke the feelings of horror and dismay for a country. At some future time, someone will write the great JFK play and when that happens, it will be part of all cultures and all historical studies starting at a young age. There are millions of words written about Julius Caesar, and hundreds of thousands by him alone, yet the "truth" of what "Caesar" means will always be evoked through the brilliance of Shakespeare's play. I mentioned in another thread the short play Frame 312 by Keith Reddin. I wrote to him after reading it and just offered my two cents that he pursue 2 more short pieces to make it a trilogy. Maybe such could be a stage springboard until the "Shakespeare version" arises. 

I  often quote the late playwright and actor Sam Shepard, who said that "ideas emerge from plays, not the other way around." My appreciation for Arthur Miller's work is based on precisely such skill. After all, wasn't it one of the Hollywood moguls who said "If you want to send a message, use Western Union?"

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Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of Oliver Stone's message in "JFK", even those people who say they admire the film. Yesterday, on another website that I read semi-regularly, there was a thread on Oliver Stone. Here are a smattering of quotes lifted from that thread:


"JFK" is just as much fantasy as any of those movies (Star Wars, Star Trek). I do love it though, it's a great great movie, as full of s*** as it is


JFK is indeed a fine movie, but I can't stand watching it because it's so full of bulls*** that I can't simply suspend disbelief and enjoy it. Hell, even the main character, Garrisson (Costner) was a haggard and senseless drunk in real life. The case was ridiculed and laughed out of court. He was an ugly man, inside and out, not some Crusader for Truth.

Fun fact: I once lived in one of the homes Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones) previously owned and restored. He is villianized in the film while Garrisson is made a hero, but in reality Claw Shaw was a well-respected man and Garrisson was mostly a joke. Ask any New Orleanian.


JFK---rooted in the factual, blossoming in the fictional. Still like it.


Stone has long admitted he is a dramatist, first and foremost, not a historian.

JFK was manipulative, the way it was written and edited, to imply certain things for sure happened, rather than being possible things that might have happened.... For instance, he used black and white footage to give the impression certain things were actual news clips, when in realtiy, it was re-creations he shot.   The dialogue is very leading.

But what he has said since that film, is that he just wanted people to ask questions.   The Jim Garrison story wasn't even his first choice to film, regarding a JFK movie, so he probably doesn't even believe it, but in the end, he probably felt that particular story contained enough of the hot-bed topics to cover a wide range of conspiracy theories.


He has a bizarre idea of who JFK was as opposed to who he actually was. The idea that JFK would pull out of Vietnam, which he had been instrumental in escalating, was a complete fantasy, as was so much of what he put on screen.


(JFK) is a frustrating combination of dangerously bad history and exhilarating filmmaking.

It's interesting and frustrating to read those criticisms. Some of them are from folks I had earlier flagged as fairly decent and intelligent. The threads are locked after a day, so unfortunately there is no real opportunity for extended discussion and debate with the people that made the above quoted comments. The narrative that Stone is trafficking in fiction has taken hold in our culture, which is a shame because "JFK" is still perhaps the single most accessible work on the assassination for the general public.

I think "JFK" is a great and landmark film that is likely never to be surpassed in all of the films made about the assassination. But, despite widespread admiration, many people today believe it to be filled with falsehoods and outright lies. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I remember the pushback in the media when the film was in production and after it came out. There was a definite (and I believe mostly successful) effort to undermine Stone and to create uncertainty about the films conspiracy theories.

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