Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones
Plot: On November 22, 1963, president John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested for the crime and subsequently shot by Jack Ruby, supposedly avenging the president's death. An investigation concludes that Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby acted alone in their respective crimes, but Louisiana district attorney Jim Garrison is skeptical. Assembling a trusted group of people, Garrison conducts his own investigation, bringing about backlash from powerful government and political figures.
Oliver Stone showed this film in December of 1991 to all of Congress on Capitol Hill. It led to the 1992 Assassinations Disclosure Act
Dean (John Candy) Andrews' sweaty face during his talk with Garrison is real. Candy was petrified at the idea of appearing in a dramatic film with professional actors like Gary Oldman and Donald Sutherland. He sweated profusely throughout all his scenes.
The murder of Oswald by Jack Ruby was filmed on location in the actual basement garage of Dallas City Hall where the shooting took place.
During Willie (Kevin Bacon) O'Keefe's flashback, David (Joe Pesci) Ferrie is talking about making Fidel Castro's beard fall out to embarrass him. This was an actual CIA plot, which failed.
Director Oliver Stone's favorite film of his own. He regards this film as his The Godfather (1972).
Those are real tears choking up Kevin Costner as he makes his closing summation as Jim Garrison. The weight of what he was saying meant the actor became emotional although the speech was not scripted that way.
Dr. Marion Jenkins, the anesthesiologist, plays himself in the film. He was genuinely surprised at the level of detail and research that had gone into preparation for that key scene. Even the tiles for the set of Trauma Room One were exactly the same shade of green he remembered (even though the scene itself is black and white in the finished film).
Oswald's arrest was filmed in the real Texas Theatre where it happened. Money from the producers helped to restore the theater and keep it in business.
The real Jim Garrison never made the speech that Costner makes at the end of the movie. It was taken from several speeches that he gave and some of it from his book.
When Joe Pesci is ranting about the assassination, saying that no one will ever solve the JFK murder, he utters the famous line, "It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma...." He was paraphrasing Winston Churchill's quotation, made in a radio broadcast in October 1939: "I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest."
Every detail concerning the set for the Oval Office was meticulously reconstructed based on archival footage of the White House during President John F. Kennedy's term. The set cost about $70,000 to complete, yet it only appears in about eight seconds of film and is in black and white.
When Oliver Stone spoke at the National Press Club about the movie, someone asked if he meant to insinuate that the government was involved in the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy as well as JFK's. He replied with a simple one word answer, yes.
The real Jim Garrison appears in the film as Judge Earl Warren.
Kevin Costner is 6"1, six inches shorter than the real Jim Garrison.
Footage of the Kennedy assassination was edited into Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992). Both Oliver Stone and Lee were film students in NYU with Martin Scorsese as their film teacher.
One of three Oliver Stone directed films [to date, November 2016] about an American President which has a title referencing the name of the American president who is the subject of the movie. The first was JFK (1991), JFK being an acronym nick-name for assassinated American President John F. Kennedy; the second was Nixon (1995), which is the surname or last name of American President Richard Nixon; and the third was W. (2008), a letter nick-name referencing American President George W. Bush.
Oliver Stone can be seen very briefly in the assassination re-enactment. Look very close for him as the Secret Service agent who runs towards the back of the limo after the fatal headshot.
When the movie was released, there was speculation that the character X didn't exist and claims that Oliver Stone made him and his information up. However after the films release when Stone spoke at the National Press Club, he was asked about X and where he came from. Stone then said the character X is mainly based on Fletcher Prouty, who was at the event on stage with Stone, and said that he met him a couple years before the movie was made. The meeting between Garrison and X never actually took place between them two, but all the information that X tells Garrison in the movie, he actually told to Stone when they met. Stone said he took the liberty of having them meet in the movie because Jim Garrison pretty much came to the same conclusion as Prouty did as to why Kennedy was killed.
Garrison's meeting with Mr. X was originally scripted and shot as two different meetings, the second one occurring after Garrison has lost the case, and it would have been the last scene in the film. During post-production, the two meetings were weaved into one.