Sunday, November 10, 2013

NatGeo: special film "Killing Kennedy", slower than others on the 1963 Kennedy tragedy

On Sunday, November 10, 2013, the National Geographic Channel performed multiple airings of its special film “Killing Kennedy”, directed by Nelson McCormick.
  
This film seems to take the track that Lee Harvey Oswald (Will Rothhaar) really was the only assassin, and was motivated by a desire to be seen as a “hero” by history.
   
The film shows Oswald’s 1959 trip to Russia, where authorities first rebuff him as naïve.
  
 He looks socially awkward at a dance in Minsk, but brings Marina (Michelle Tractenberg) back, were he has problems proving his manhood.  He targets a right wing general Walker and misses, and then burns the evidence in front of Marina,
  
The film shows a snapshot of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, but doesn’t give enough detail to make it seem compelling.  
  
There are lightweight efforts by the FBI to investigate Oswald before Kennedy comes to Dallas.
   
The final sequence makes the assassination seem surprisingly amateurish, with Oswald carrying the oversized rifle around in brown paper.  Why was the security in all the building along the route so lax?
  
Rob Lowe does not seem as convincing to me as JFK as some other actors, but he is certainly earnest, as in the scene where he blames himself, in front of Jacqueline (Ginnifer Goodwin) for the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
  
  
The official site for the film is here
  
The assassination occurs 89 minutes into the film.  It portrays only three shots.  It shows Oswald getting out of the Texas Book Depository “because he works here.”
  
The film does show Mrs. Kennedy holding the president’s head. Later, she is shown smoking at the hospital, which surprised me. 
   
The dramatization of the shooting of Office Tippit in Oak Cliff is well done.  Oswald was completely unwired. The film ends with the shooting by Jack Ruby.

This seems like a surprisingly low-key film, compared to others.  

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