JFK

This 14-disc set is at least the third massive DVD collection with the Oliver Stone moniker. New to this set are two documentaries that aired on HBO: Looking for Fidel (2004), Stone's second film shadowing the Cuban leader, focusing on the regime's iron-fisted defector policy. Persona Non Grata (2003) is an examination of Palestinian conflict. Both of the films have a constantly moving camera, giving us a you-are-there feel to the subjects including Stone, who is seen often. His warts and all interviews are certainly a different type than the usual newsmagazines and are especially interesting in Non Grata since we've seen too many cut-and-dried interviews with these players over the years. The main theatrical films on single discs have been released before although several of them have been released previously with more content and bonus discs, creating a debate on how "ultimate" this collection is. Otherwise, all his films are here, from his Vietnam trilogy (Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Heaven & Earth), his iconic pop culture films (The Doors, Wall Street, Any Given Sunday), experimental films (Natural Born Killers, U-Turn, Talk Radio), and political operas (JFK, Nixon, Salvador), plus the documentary Oliver Stone's America. --Doug Thomas

Production: Warner Bros.
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 27 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.0
Metacritic:
72
Rotten Tomatoes:
83%
R
Year:
1991
189
1,611 Views

Jim Garrison:
So what really happened that day? Let's just for a moment speculate shall we? We have the epileptic seizure around 12:15, p.m. distracting the police making it easier for the shooters to move into their places. The epileptic later vanished, never checking into a hospital. The A-Team gets on the sixth floor of the depository. They were refurbishing the floors that week, which allowed unknown workmen access to the building. They move quickly into position just minutes before the shooting. The spotter on the radio talking to the other two teams has the best overall view, the God spot. B-Team one shooter and one spotter with radio gear and access to the building, moves into the lower floor of the Dal-Tex building. The third team, the C-Team moves into the picket fence behind the Grassy Knoll, where the shooter and the spotter are first spotted by the late Lee Bowers in the watch tower of the rail yard. They have the best position of all. Kennedy is close and on a flat low trajectory. Part of this team is a coordinator who has flashed security credentials at people chasing them out of the parking lot. Probably 2-3 more men are in the crowd on Elm. 10-12 men. Three shooters. Three spotters. The triangulation of fire that Clay Shaw and David Ferrie discussed two months before. They have walked the plaza. They know every inch. They have calibrated their sight. They have practiced on moving targets. They are ready. Kennedy's motorcade makes the turn from Main onto Houston. It's gonna be a turkey shoot. They don't shoot him coming up Houston, which is the easiest shot for a single shot from the Book Depository. They Wait. They wait until he gets in the killing zone, between three rifles. Kennedy makes the final turn from Houston onto Elm, slowing down to some 11 miles an hour. The shooters across Dealy Plaza tighten, taking their aim, waiting for the radio to say "Green! Green!" or "Abort! Abort!". The first shot rings out, sounding like a backfire it misses the car completely. Frame 161, Kennedy stops waiving as he hears something. Connaly's head turns slightly to the right. Frame 193, the second shot hits Kennedy in the throat from the front. Frame 225, the President emerging from behind the road sign, you can see that he's obviously been hit, raising his arms to his throat. The third shot, frame 232, takes Kennedy in the back pulling him downward and forward. Connaly you'll notice shows no signs at all of being hit. He is visibly holding his Stetson, which is impossiable if his wrist has been shattered. Connaly is turning here now, frame 238 the fourth shot. It misses Kennedy and takes Connaly in the back. This is the shot that proves there were two rifles. Connaly yells out "My God! They are going to kill us all." Somewhere around this time another shot that misses the car completely, strikes James Tague down by the underpass. The car brakes. The sixth and fatal shot, frame 313 takes Kennedy in the head from the front. This is the key shot. The President going back and to his left. Shot from the front and right. Totally inconstant with the shot from the Book Depository. So what happens then? Pandemonium.

FBI Agent Frank:
[intercepting Bill] Hey, Bill.

Bill Broussard:
[trying to walk away and ignore him] Hey, where you at, Frank? You're wasting your time here. Big Jim gave strict orders. No FBI allowed.

FBI Agent Frank:
It's you I want to, Bill.

Bill Broussard:
[walking to his parked car and putting some stuff away] No, no. Boss would fry me in hog fat if he knew I talked to you.

FBI Agent Frank:
Your boss just got a serious problem, Bill. Real serious. We know what's going on over at your office.

Bill Broussard:
Yeah, I guess you do.

FBI Agent Frank:
You got nothing, Bill. I'm talking to you as a friend now. You're riding on the Titanic. Time to jump off before you get destroyed, too, along with Garrison.

Bill Broussard:
[trying to get to his apartment] Frank, I don't want to hear this.

FBI Agent Frank:
[cornering Bill] We're talking about your career, Bill. Your life. You're a young guy. We know you're working on that Castro thing.

Bill Broussard:
[shaking his head] No, I'm not. No.

FBI Agent Frank:
Yes, you are. Look, we know Oswald didn't pull that trigger. Castro did. But if that comes out, there will be a war. Millions of people will die. And, that's a hell of a lot more important than Jim Garrison. [Slapping Bill, who's trying to escape] Goddammit, look at me when I talk you! You're too goddamn selfish!

Bill Broussard:
[yelling] I can't!

FBI Agent Frank:
SHUT UP! Shut up! If you got a brain in that thick skull of yours, listen to me. You listen real hard. Now, get in the car.

[Bill does so, with FBI Agent Frank following close behind]

Jim Garrison:
I never realized Kennedy was so dangerous to the Establishment. Is that why?

X:
Well, that's the real question, isn't it? Why? The 'How' and the 'Who' is just scenery for the public. Oswald, Ruby, Cuba, the Mafia, keeps 'em guessing like some kind of parlor game. Prevents 'em from asking the most important question: Why? Why was Kennedy killed? Who benefited? Who has the power to cover it up? Who?...The organizing principle of any society, Mr. Garrison, is for war. The authority of the state over its people resides in its war powers. And Kennedy wanted to end the Cold War in his second term. He wanted to call off the moon race in favor of cooperation with the Soviets. He signed a treaty with the Soviets to ban nuclear testing. He refused to invade Cuba in 1962 and he set out to withdraw from Vietnam. But all of that ended on the 22nd of November, 1963. As early as 1961, they knew Kennedy was not going to war in Southeast Asia. Like Caesar, he is surrounded by enemies and something's underway, but it has no face. Yet everybody in the loop knows...Everything is cellularized. No one has said, 'He must die.' There's been no vote. Nothing's on paper. There's no one to blame. It's as old as the crucifixion. A military firing squad: five bullets, one blank. No one's guilty, because everyone in the power structure who knows anything has a plausible deniability. There are no compromising connections except at the most secret point. But what's paramount is that it must succeed. No matter how many die, no matter how much it costs, the perpetrators must be on the winning side and never subject to prosecution for anything by anyone. That is a coup d'├ętat....

Jim Garrison:
I don't, I can't - I can't believe they killed him because he wanted to change things. In our time. In our country.

X:
Well, they've been doing it all through history. Kings are killed, Mr. Garrison. Politics is power, nothing more! Oh, don't take my word for it, don't believe me. Do your own work, your own thinkin'....

Jim Garrison:
The size of this is beyond me. Testify...Testify.

X:
No chance in hell. No, I'd be arrested and gagged, maybe sent to an institution, maybe worse, you too. I can give you the background, but you have to find the foreground, the little things. Keep digging. Remember, you're the only person to bring a trial in the murder of John Kennedy. That's important, it's historic.

Jim Garrison:
I haven't yet. I don't have much of a case.

X:
You don't have a choice anymore. You've become a significant threat to the national security structure. They would have killed you already but you got a lot of light on you. Instead, they're trying to destroy your credibility. They already have in many circles in this town. Be honest. Your only chance is to come up with a case. Something. Anything. Make arrests. Stir the shit storm. Hope to reach a point of critical mass that'll start a chain reaction of people coming forward. Then the government'll crack. Remember, fundamentally, people are suckers for the truth, and the truth is on your side, Bubba. I just hope you get a break.

Bill Broussard:
[after hearing the FBI/Oswald story] I don't buy it, Chief. Why would the FBI cover it up? A telex that disappears from every single FBI office in this country?

Jim Garrison:
There's a word, Bill. Orders.

Susie Cox:
Or a cover up. Jesus, Bill. Don't you have enough proof of the FBI's complicity yet?

Bill Broussard:
I respect this country's institutions, like you do, Susie! How the hell can you keep a conspiracy going between the mob, the CIA, the FBI, the Army Intelligence, and who the hell knows what else when you can't keep a secret in this room between 12 people? I mean, we got leaks everywhere. We are going to trial, y'all! What the hell do we really got? Oswald, Ruby, Bannister and Ferrie are dead. Shaw? Maybe he's an agent, I don't know. But, as a covert operator in my book, he is wide open for blackmail because of his homosexuality.

Jim Garrison:
Shaw's our toehold, Bill. I don't know exactly what he is or where he fits, and I don't really care. But I do know he's lying through his teeth and I'm not gonna let go of him.

Bill Broussard:
And that's why, for those reasons, you're going to trial against Clay Shaw, chief? Well, you're gonna lose! Let's investigate our Mafia leads here in New Orleans. Now, I can buy that a hell of a lot easier than I can the government. Ruby's all mob, knows Oswald, sets him up. Hoffa, Trafficante, Marcello, they hire some guns and they do Kennedy. And, uh, the government doesn't want to open up a whole can of worms because it used the mob to try to get to Castro. Castro assassinated by the mob, by us, sounds pretty wild to John Q. Citizen. So they close the book on JFK. Makes perfect sense to me.

Jim Garrison:
I don't doubt their involvement, Bill, but at a low level. Could the mob change the parade route? Or eliminate the protection for the President? Could the mob send Oswald to Russia and get him back? Could the mob get the FBI, the CIA, and the Dallas Police to make a mess of the investigation? I mean, could the mob get the Warren Commission appointed to cover it up? Could the mob wreck the autopsy? Could the mob influence the national media to go to sleep? And since when has the mob used anything but .38s for hits up close? The mob wouldn't have the guts or the power for something of this magnitude. Assassins need payrolls, schedules, times, orders. This was a military style ambush from star to finish. A coup d'etat with Lyndon Johnson waiting in the wings.

Bill Broussard:
OK. So now you're saying Lyndon Johnson was involved? The President of the United States?

Jim Garrison:
I know this, Bill. Lyndon Johnson got $1 billion dollars for his Texas friends, Brown and Root, to dredge Cam Ranh Bay for the military in Vietnam.

Bill Broussard:
Boss...

Jim Garrison:
That's just for openers...

Bill Broussard:
[yelling] Boss, are you calling the President a murderer?!?

Jim Garrison:
If I'm so far from the truth, why is the FBI bugging our offices? Huh? Why are our witnesses being bought off and murdered? And why are the federal agencies blocking our extraditions and subpoenas like we were never before?

Bill Broussard:
I don't know. I don't know. Maybe there's some rogue element in the government or something, but you're not...

Jim Garrison:
With a full-blown conspiracy to cover it up? You ever read Shakespeare, Bill?

Bill Broussard:
Yeah, I do.

Jim Garrison:
Julius Caesar? "Brutus and Cassius, they, too, are honorable men." Who killed Caesar? Ten or twelve senators. All it takes is one Judas, Bill. A few people on the inside. Pentagon, CIA, you name it.

Bill Broussard:
This is Louisiana, chief. How the hell do you know who your daddy is? 'Cause your mama told ya so. You are taking a crap in the wind, boss. And I, for one, am not going along on this one.

[Bill grabs his briefcase and angrily throw some things, including a telephone, out of the way and slams the door behind him]

Lou Ivon:
Boss, I've had my doubts all along about Bill. He's been fighting us all along.

Jim Garrison:
Well, we need him back.

Al Oser:
Boss, Broussard wasted a whole damn month trying to prove that mob boys like Jack Ruby and Brady are kind of hooked up with Hunt Oil.

Lou Ivon:
I don't trust this guy.

Jim Garrison:
I will not hear this, gentlemen. Now, I value Bill as much as any person here. It's time we all made room for someone else's ideas, including me. Maybe Oswald is what everybody says he is and I'm just plain dumb about it.

Al Oser:
[trying to discuss this situation] I've seen him copying files, leaving here late at night.

Lou Ivon:
I just don't trust him.

Jim Garrison:
Didn't you two hear what I said?! I said I will not tolerate infighting among the staff!

Lou Ivon:
Then I'm afraid I cannot work with Bill Broussard anymore.

Jim Garrison:
Is this an ultimatum you're giving me, Lou?

Lou Ivon:
What?!

Jim Garrison:
Are you giving me an ultimatum?

Lou Ivon:
Well, if that's what you want to call it. I never thought it would come to this. [sighs] I guess I am.

Jim Garrison:
Well, then I won't have any more ultimatums put to me, Lou. I'll accept your resignation.

Lou Ivon:
Well, you sure got it. You are one stubborn son of a bitch. And you... are making a very big mistake.

[Lou walks away, Jim and his staff are stunned.]

Susie Cox:
Boss, aren't you being a little hard?

Jim Garrison:
No, I don't think I am, Susie. Anyone else?

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