50 years ago a bullet left a gun, while an open car rounded a corner and history was changed. The assassination of President John F Kennedy is an event that makes it hard to overstate its importance. The movie industry still produces hit movies based on the assassination that shattered Americans and shook the rest of the world. JFK was the 35th President of the United States and was in power from January 1961 until his unfortunate assassination in November 1963.
For decades the JFK assassination flourished into conspiracy books, TV shows and lately blogs. Of course the big screen too have tackled the assassination, some fancifully, some heads-on and others obliquely. The list contains a few movies that highlighted the event from silent films to box office hits.
The 50 year anniversary delivered two outstanding films, which offers Killing Kennedy and Parkland. Killing Kennedy released on 10 November 2013, focusses on the 1963 fall in which Lee Harvey Oswald carries out a plot to assassinate President Kennedy. Rob Lowe is casted as the president and Will Rothhaar plays Lee Harvey Oswald. Based on Martin Dugard and Bill O’Reilly‘s best seller the shocking thriller offers a storyline about John F Kennedy rising to become president and a disillusioned former marine and the chilling aftermath when their paths crosses.
Zapruder Film initially released in November 1963, is a silent movie shot by a private citizen by the name of Abraham Zapruder. The movie shot with a home movie camera, made things more confusing – instead of clearing the mystery.
Four Days in November
November 1964 was its release date, a year after the event, directed by Mel Stuart, is a documentary exploring the event and its impact with a variety of sources that includes media coverage from amateur footage to professional media cover. Including re-enactments in a black and white genre.
JFK – the Movie
This film by director Oliver Stone placed focus on the investigation led by Jim Garrison, New Orleans district attorney. The movie is jam-packed with outstanding performances from actors such as Kevin Costner who plays Jim Garrison, Gary Oldman is featured as Lee Harvey Oswald, Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Bacon. The film was awarded in 1992 for Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing and Golden Globe for Best Director. In 1993 the film received BAFTA Awards for Best Sound and Best Editing.
In the Line of Fire
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen and released in 1993 portrays how a secret service agent is taunted by calls from a killer, claiming to have information about the agent and the fact that he could not save the president. The movie casts Clint Eastwood in the lead and includes great performances from actors John Malkovich, Dylan McDermott and Gary Cole.
Directed by Peter Landesman, in October 2013 place focus on the chaotic events that took place at Parkland Hospital after the president’s assassination. The line-up of actors includes Zac Efron, Billy Bob Thornton and Paul Giamatti. The movie weaves perspectives together of ordinary individuals thrust into extraordinary circumstances and Lee Harvey Oswald’s visit to the FBI agents before the shooting took place. The film also features the trauma the Oswald family faced following the events, JFK’s security and witnesses to the president’s death.
The long list of movies focussing on the JFK event includes The Bystander Theory, Legacy of Secrecy, Oswald’s Ghost and The Trail of Lee Harvey Oswald.