The Backstory of JFK Assassination: Parkland Movie

The shocked resident when he sees JFK come in
The shocked resident when he sees JFK come in

The movie Parkland starring Zac Efron and a host of other known actors, produced by Tom Hanks, is named after the hospital that JFK was sent to after being shot on that fateful day. It is based on facts as to what went on behind the scenes and is enlightening because it has not been mentioned.

Zac is the young doctor who tried to save JFK's life when they wheeled his body into the Parkland emergency room. At first, the resident is in shock and paralyzed before a veteran nurse gets in his face. As they try to save his life, the movie cuts to how the FBI had Oswald in their office 10 days before and could have charged him for threatening to blow up the FBI, but did not. The movie captures the Zapruder film that is now famous and how it came to be and the impact it had. Then there is the back story of how it impacted Oswald's family, his mom, who was crazy and his brother and there face to face discussion in the police room.

It seems at the time, the state of Texas fought to keep the JFK body within the state because they had considered it a murder and they had jurisdiction over it. The FBI were not taking "no" for an answer. It was when they tried to remove the body the Texas police and the FBI had a scuffle over it in the hospital. It was funny to see that in 1963, 8mm film technology was still new for consumers. Zapruder has shot it with 8mm and once the FBI had it, they had problems finding someone to develop it in Dallas. They went to several places before they found someone who had developed four rolls of it. Other minor technology issues show that in 1963, there were no answering machines for phones, communication was still slow. In a scene with the actual broadcast, Walter Cronkite of CBS news is live and telling viewers that there is a rumor that Oswald was shot but he had no confirmation. Then, in other actual live coverage, one sees Oswald being moved by the Dallas police when Jack Ruby jumps out of the crowd and shoots him. Interesting.

The movie then has Oswald going to the same hospital to be saved as JFK did. The doctors do their duty and try to save him for a confession but fail. This time, instead of raw emotion for JFK, there is a void of feeling because no one really cared. When the FBI tries to get the coffin into the airplane to fly back to Washington, they find the coffin too wide and have to saw out a section of plastic panel to get it in. Then, after both the President and the murder are dead, the FBI decides to "86" the Oswald file, that is, destroy it. One agent is assigned the task and is against destroying evidence. His superior's response is, "There is not going to be a confession or a trial, why do we need the evidence"? The other agent knows it wrong, knows he is destroying history, but lights a match to the file anyway.

So, the film is a period piece, well made and accurate. For anyone who was not around then, or even if you were, the film is a revelation of the whole backstory and worth watching to complete the other films regarding the JFK killing, like Oliver Stone's or others. Its all serious stuff re-enacted with good actors. I give it three stars.

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