The 1963 shooting of President Kennedy is arguable the greatest unsolved murder in history. The big screen is covered in movies that tries to provide answers with films explaining the mystery with conspiracy that involves government elites, secret societies, rogue agents or mobsters.
Oliver Stone is on the trail of President Kennedy’s assassins and produces a masterpiece called JFK in 1991. The movie received 8 Oscar nominations, which included Best Picture and Director. JFK is possibly the greatest Hollywood assassination conspiracy movie ever released. At the peak of his powers Stone thrashes the Warren Commission Report. He constructs an alternative history wherein Jim Garrison, played by Kevin Costner, is the New Orleans DA and Earl Warren leads on an epic quest for the truth. Garrison files charges against Clay Show, played by Tommy Lee Jones, for his participation in an alleged conspiracy to assassinate the President.
The film adapted by Stone and Zachary Sklar is based on the books of On the Trail of Assassins written by Jim Garrison and Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy from Jim Marris. Upon release the fil became entangled in controversy, major newspapers in America published editorials that accused Stone of taking freedom with historical facts. Initially the film had a slow start at the box office and once it took off earned over $205 million gross worldwide.
JFK won Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing and became the most successful of the three films made by Stone, about the American Presidency. Followed by the film Nixon with Anthony Hopkins in the lead role and Josh Brolin as George W Bush.
JFK, the film opens with newsreel material that includes the farewell address in 1961 of the departing President Dwight Eisenhower, which warns about the accumulation of military industrial complex. Followed by John F Kennedy’s years of presidency summarized with emphasis on the events that leads to his assassination. The assassination on November 1963 is reconstructed and Attorney Jim Garrison learns about the links to the New Orleans assassination. He re-opens the investigation after reading the Warren Report. Garrison meets up with a man who is identified as X, a high level figure putting the conspiracy down to the government and implicates the Mafia, CIA, Secret Services and even Kennedy’s vice president. The trail of Clay Shaw takes place in 1969 when Garrison presents the court with evidence that dismisses the single bullet theory and involve multiple killers. The jury exonerates Shaw after a very short deliberation. Shaw dies in 1974 of lung cancer, Richard Helms testifies in 1979 that Clay Shaw had been a par-time contact of the CIA. The end credits claims that in 2029 the records related to the assassination will be released to the public.
JFK has been released on VHS, several time on DVD and on LaserDisc. The Directors Cut was only released as with the ultimate Oliver Stone Collection box set with the additional material on the second disk and the movie on the first. The film releases on Blu-ray in 2008, featuring many extras, which includes previous DVD releases and the documentary Beyond JFK: the Question of Conspiracy.
Popularity of the film led to the passage of the John F Kennedy Assassination Records Act of 1992, signed by President George H W Bush in 1992. By the ARRW law, all existing documents related to the assassination will be made public in 2017.