Thanksgiving roll around about the same time as the yearly observation of the assassination of Pres. John Fitzgerald Kennedy. While you may not necessarily want to tie the holiday to that tragic event forever, there is no other time of the year that is more emotionally apt to watch a movie about JFK. In fact, watching a movie about how one young family was ripped apart by the vagaries of fate may spur you to give thanks more robustly than you would otherwise.
Nobody can watch “JFK” and not admit that Oliver Stone is a masterful filmmaker. Nobody should watch “JFK” if they hope to learn anything about the facts of the assassination. Thanksgiving Day itself in America is filled with the unspoken promise of attempting family together in the face of often seemingly overly difficult obstacles. Peer past the blatant lies that perpetually undermine Stone’s contention that the murder had to be work of about 20 different agencies and keep in mind that, regardless of who pulled the trigger [Oswald] it ripped a father away from his children. In that sense, “JFK” is a movie just about everyone can relate to, especially when watched around Thanksgiving.
The Missiles of October
This TV movie is unusual in that it was shot on videotape. Aside from that, “The Missiles of October” remains the definitive film about the Cuban Missile Crisis. One can only hope that former George W. Bush press secretary Dana Perino has finally gotten around to watching it so that she will no longer be the only White House press secretary to not know what the Cuban Missile Crisis was at the time she was in office. Not only is “The Missiles of October” the best movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis of all time, its star, William Devane, gives the best performance as JFK of all time. Watch this one before you get to the movies about the assassination.
Interview with the Assassin
A strange, compelling mockumentary that purports to be an interview with the guy who really killed Kennedy. Since that guy was buried six feet under, having been assassinated in public himself, consider this film to be at least as fictional as Oliver Stone’s “JFK.” Still, “Interview with the Assassin” holds up pretty well until it all falls part toward the end. It seems as if the creativity at work in the film up to then just got sucked dry. Or it may be a case of having run out of money. Regardless, “Interview with the Assassin” is a good way to spend Thanksgiving evening if you would rather be tempted by intellectual engagement rather than listen to the sports guys pick apart the games played earlier in the day.