Almost 3.5 hours. Yow. There aren’t many folks who like a conspiracy theory more than I (e.g., Conspiracies), but this was looooong. Compelling, though, even if the film places the entire blame on the wrong shoulders: the military-industrial complex (MIC).
According to Stone, the MIC wanted Kennedy dead because he was going to pull every American soldier and advisor out of Nam, thus depriving the MIC of all those contracts. This is a fiction concocted by the post-assassination canonizers of JFK who are embarrassed by the fact that he was a devout anticommunist.
Bear with me while I copy here a paragraph that Arthur M. Schlesinger deleted (maybe he just forgot?) from his coverage of Kennedy’s 9/10/63 news conference in his book, A Thousand Days:
“We want the war to be won, the communists contained, and the Americans to go home. That is our policy. I am sure it is the policy of Vietnam. But we are not there to see a war lost, and we will follow the policy which I’ve indicated today in advancing those causes and issues which help win the war.”
That’s 10 weeks before his assassination. Does that sound like a man who’s going to toss the Vietnam war in the dumpster?
Lastly, I don’t understand why Stone ignored the mob’s involvement in the assassination. (Perhaps it got in the way of his agenda). If you want to read a gripping, unflinching, meticulously researched novel that considers all aspects of the conspiracy theories – including the mob and even Howard Hughes – pick up James Ellroy’s American Tabloid. By comparison the Stone film is a pallid, timid invertebrate.
FF= 1 (I FF’d through 20 minutes in the last act, but that’s only 10% of the running time, thus the good score)