Wednesday, April 24, 2013

JFK (1991)

30 from the 90's (Post 24 of 30)


Who really killed Kennedy? Was it a conspiracy that invoved Castro and Cuba? Was it a CIA conspiracy? Was it a Mafia conspiracy? Was it somewhere else inside the government? I even read a book called Fatal Error that said from a ballistic point of view the gunman had to be one of Kennedy's secret servicemen!

But I really don’t feel like getting into all that right now. So let’s do something a little lighter. Let’s play the Kevin Bacon game! If you don’t know how the Kevin Bacon game is played, your objective is to try to link movie actors to Kevin Bacon (or someone other than Kevin Bacon if you really want to. But it really seems to work best with Kevin Bacon for some reason) in as few moves as possible. For instance, Kevin Bacon never made a movie with Boris Karloff, but he made a movie with Jack Nicholson (A Few Good Men) who made a movie with Boris Karloff (The Terror), which gives a Bacon equivalent of 2 when it comes to Boris Karloff. Bacon’s degree of separation to Nicholson is one because they were in the same movie. In JFK, Bacon has the small role of a male hustler who testifies for crusading prosecutor Jim Garrison, played by Kevin Costner. Now JFK, boasts a lot of roles (big and small) by a lot of noted actors: Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Ed Asner, Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek, Donald Sutherland, Gary Oldman and others. Bacon doesn’t even have scenes with some of these actors, but for the purposes of the Bacon game, this is good enough since they are in the same movie! This is a treasure trove of one degree of separation to Mr. Bacon. Hey, if you want to link Bacon to Brian Doyle-Murray (Jack Ruby), JFK is your movie! In this respect, its the 90’s version of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, though its too bad that Mr. Bacon is a bit to young to have been in that one.

That was fun, but on the more serious side, despite the well-intentioned efforts and beautiful craftsmanship of Oliver Stone's movie, I truly believe that Oswald acted alone in this great American tragedy.

For further reference, read Gerald Posner’s Case Closed, or Vincent Bugliosi’s 1,500 page book on JFK, Reclaiming History. As Posner said, there is a need to find a type of moral equivalency to tragedy in life. For example, the Holocaust had a great villain (the Nazis) and a great victim (The Jews). It’s a great tragedy, but we have balance. With the Kennedy assassination, you have the leader of the free world shot down and history changes. And who is responsible? This little pipsqueak Oswald? Sorry, our minds just can’t accept it. We the people need a greater villain. I just don’t believe there is one.

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