JFK (film)

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JFK is a 1991 film about a New Orleans DA who believes there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Directed by Oliver Stone. Written by Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar, based on the books Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy, by Jim Marrs and On the Trail of the Assasins, by Jim Garrison.
The Story That Won't Go Away taglines
Spoiler warning: Plot, ending, or solution details follow.

Jim Garrison

  • Could the Mob change the parade route, Bill, or eliminate the protection for the President? Could the Mob send Oswald to Russia and get him back? Could the Mob get the FBI the CIA and the Dallas Police to make a mess of the investigation? Could the Mob appoint the Warren Commission to cover it up? Could the Mob wreck the autopsy? Could the Mob influence the national media to go to sleep? And since when has the Mob used anything but .38's for hits, up close? The Mob wouldn't have the guts or the power for something of this magnitude. Assassins need payrolls, orders, times, schedules. This was a military-style ambush from start to finish... a coup d'etat, with Lyndon Johnson waiting in the wings.
  • A single bullet must account for the seven wounds in Kennedy and Connally. Rather than admit to a conspiracy or investigate further, the Warren Commission endorsed the theory put forth by an ambitious attorney, Arlen Specter. One of the grossest lies ever forced on the American people, it's known as the "magic bullet" theory... Some bullet. Any combat vet can tell you, never in the history of gunfire has there been a bullet this ridiculous. The government says it can prove it with some fancy physics in a nuclear lab. Of course they can. Theoretical physics can prove an elephant can hang from a cliff with his tail tied to a daisy. But use your eyes, your common sense.
  • This single-bullet explanation is the foundation of the Warren Commission's claim of one assassin. And once you conclude the magic bullet couldn't create all seven wounds, you must conclude there was a fourth shot and a second rifleman. And if there was a second rifleman, then by definition there had to be a conspiracy.
  • We've all become Hamlets in our country, children of a slain father-leader whose killers still possess the throne. The ghost of John F. Kennedy confronts us with the secret murder at the heart of the American Dream. He forces on us the appalling questions: Of what is our Constitution made? What are our lives worth? What is the future of a democracy where a President can be assassinated under suspicious circumstances while the machinery of legal action scarcely trembles? How many more political murders disguised as heart attacks, suicides, cancers, drug overdoses? How many plane and car crashes will occur before they are exposed for what they are?
  • Hundreds of documents could help prove this conspiracy. Why are they being withheld or burned by the government? When my office or you, the people, asked those questions, demanded evidence the answer from on high has always been: national security. What kind of national security do we have when we're robbed of our leaders? What national security permits the removal of fundamental power from the people and validates the ascendancy of an invisible government in the US? That kind of national security is when it smells like it, feels like it, and looks like it you call it what it is: Fascism!
  • It may become a generational affair. Questions passed from father to son, mother to daughter. But someday, somewhere, someone may find out the damn truth. We better. Or we might just as well build ourselves another government like the Declaration of Independence says to, when the old one just ain't working any more.
  • Going back to when we were children, I think most of us in this courtroom thought justice came automatically. That virtue was its own reward. That good triumphs over evil. But as we get older, we know this isn't true. Individual human beings have to create justice, and this is not easy because the truth often poses a threat to power and one often has to fight power at great risk to themselves.
  • These are people who cannot afford to send money but do. People who drive cabs who nurse in hospitals who see their kids go to Vietnam. Why? Because they care. Because they want to know the truth. Because they want their country back. Because it still belongs to us as long as the people have the guts to fight for what they believe in. The truth is the most important value we have because if it doesn't endure, if the government murders truth, if we cannot respect these people, then this is not the country I was born in or the country I want to die in.


  • The organizing principle of any society, Mr. Garrison, is for war. The authority of the state over its people resides in its war powers. Kennedy wanted to end the Cold War in his second term. He wanted to call off the moon race in favor of cooperation with the Soviets. He signed a treaty to ban nuclear testing. He refused to invade Cuba in 1962. He set out to withdraw from Vietnam. But all that ended on the 22nd of November, 1963. Since 1961, they knew Kennedy was not going to war in Southeast Asia. Like Caesar, he is surrounded by enemies. Something's underway, but it has no face. Yet everybody in the loop knows.
  • No one has said, "He must die." No vote. Nothing's on paper. There's no one to blame. It's as old as the crucifixion. Or the military firing squad. Five bullets, one blank. No one's guilty. Everybody in the power structure has a plausible deniability. No compromising connections except at the most secret point. But it must succeed. No matter how many die or how much it costs, the perpetrators must be on the winning side and never subject to prosecution for anything by anyone. That is a coup d'état.


Bill Broussard: None of their testimony is gonna hold up in court, Chief. Hell, all three of them have reputations as low as crocodile piss.
Jim Garrison: That bother you, Bill? I always wonder why it is in court if a woman's a prostitute, she has to have bad eyesight.

Jim Garrison: Mr. Shaw, have you ever been a contract agent with the Central Intelligence Agency?
Clay Shaw: And if I was, Mr. Garrison... do you think I would be here today... talking to somebody like you?
Jim Garrison: People like you don't have to.
Clay Shaw: May I go?
Jim Garrison: People like you walk between the raindrops.
Clay Shaw: May I go?
Jim Garrison: Yes.
Clay Shaw: Regardless of what you may think of me, I am a patriot first and foremost. I've spent half my life in the military defending my country.
Jim Garrison: You're the first person I've met who considers it an act of patriotism to kill his own President.

Jim Garrison: Who killed the President?
David Ferrie: Why don't you fucking stop it? Shit! This is too big for you, you know that? Who did the President? Fuck! It's a mystery. It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma! The shooters don't even know! Don't you get it?

Jim Garrison: I never realized Kennedy was so dangerous to the establishment. Is that why?
X: Well that's the real question, isn't it? Why? The how and the who is just scenery for the public. Oswald, Ruby, Cuba, the Mafia. Keeps 'em guessing like some kind of parlor game, prevents 'em from asking the most important question, why? Why was Kennedy killed? Who benefited? Who has the power to cover it up? Who?

Jim Garrison: I don't have much of a case.
X: You don't have a choice any more. You've become a significant threat to the national security structure. They would have killed you already, but you got a lot of light on you. Instead they're trying to destroy your credibility. They already have in many circles in this town. Be honest, your only chance is to come up with a case. Something, anything. Make arrests, stir the shit storm, hope to reach a point of critical mass that'll start a chain reaction of people coming forward. Then the government will crack. Remember, fundamentally, people are suckers for the truth — and the truth is on your side, Bubba. I just hope you get a break.


  • The Story That Won't Go Away
  • He's a District Attorney. He will risk his life, the lives of his family, everything he holds dear for the one thing he holds sacred... the truth.


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