Movies In My Collection #169: JFK 25th Anniversary

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Remember when Oliver Stone was considered one of the great filmmakers during the 80s and 90s? At the height of his greatest successes came 1991’s JFK, which celebrated its’ 25th anniversary last week:

JFK is a 1991 American historical legal-conspiracy thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and alleged cover-up through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner).

Garrison filed charges against New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones) for his alleged participation in a conspiracy to assassinate the President, for which Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) was found responsible by a government investigation: the Warren Commission.

The film was adapted by Stone and Zachary Sklar from the books On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison and Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs. Stone described this account as a “counter-myth” to the Warren Commission’s “fictional myth.”

The film became embroiled in controversy. Upon JFKs theatrical release, many major American newspapers ran editorials accusing Stone of taking liberties with historical facts, including the film’s implication that President Lyndon B. Johnson was part of a coup d’état to kill Kennedy. After a slow start at the box office, the film gradually picked up momentum, earning over $205 million in worldwide gross. JFK was nominated for eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and won two for Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing. It was the most successful of three films Stone made about the American Presidency, followed later by Nixon with Anthony Hopkins in the title role and W. with Josh Brolin as George W. Bush.

What makes JFK one of Oliver Stone’s crowning masterpieces? Well, for one thing, it’s an over three hour movie and it’s never boring, the all-star cast in this is excellent, there’s a really solid mystery going on here, this is Stone at his absolute best creating a smart and enjoyable political thriller, and you just become so invested in what is going on, this is one of the best political thrillers ever made.

MOVIES MENTIONED IN THIS POST

JFK

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