From The Vault: JFK

Let's take a ride into the wacky world of Oliver Stone!

Back in 1991, Oliver Stone's truth about the assassination of John F. Kennedy was released to the public. On November 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas, Texas and depending on who you ask; one person or many people in a perfectly-coordinated coup de tat were involved in the assassination. I'll let you decide which one Oliver Stone believes in.

                                                "The glasses! They do nothing!"

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) believes strongly in the beliefs of John Kennedy and, upon hearing of the assassination, believes that a conspiracy to kill John Kennedy has been put in place. Jim rounds up men in his office in an attempt to prove a conspiracy to kill the president of the United States.

Now, going over the happenings of the movie is a waste of time. Those looking for a history lesson should probably turn away now because if you want the truth, look elsewhere. You don't get the truth. You do get, THE TRUTH! Oliver Stone takes some facets of truth here and there and sprinkles them into a film that builds a strong case for one of the most entertaining FICTION films of all time. Not basing the film on all facts is what actually makes the movie such a blast to watch.

                                                  Behind the scenes still of Oliver Stone disagreeing with a reporter
                                                                  over the factual accuracy of JFK.

What Oliver Stoner and co-writer Zachary Sklar do is provide multiple characters that provide Jim Garrison with just enough information to make this conspiracy theory pop. The film, running at over three hours, never really drags for a second. The film does not fly by either. What Oliver Stone is able to do with JFK is encapsulate the audience in what he perceives as the truth and gets the viewer involved in an interesting conspiracy theory film.

Having a group of A-List actors to support the film and make the dialogue and situations believable is one of the film's biggest strengths. Joe Pesci is wildy miscast as the paranoid David Ferrie and Kevin Bacon's flattop and accent are laughable, but both actors believe in the material and make the film much easier to take. Tommy Lee Jones is on hand (in an Oscar nominated performance) as the antagonistic, yet possibly innocent Clay Bertrand. Stealing the movie, though, is Donald Sutherland's X, who only has one sequence in the film, but it is a show stopper. How Donald Sutherland rattles off all the information in his sequence and doesn't make the audience fall asleep I will never know. Certainly a missed opportunity for an Oscar nomination there.

                                          Uh...this film is still about the Kennedy assassination, right?

Again, the film is nowhere near the truth. As a highly-stylized, fictional story about a conspiracy to assassinate the president, though, JFK is an amazing film and must be seen. One of my favorite films of all time.


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