Executive Action

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"Assassination conspiracy? The possibility is frightening."
  • PG
  • 1973
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 6.7  (3,223)

Executive Action is a politically charged thriller from 1973 that explores a conspiracy theory surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The movie stars Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, and Will Geer, and is directed by David Miller. The film opens with a title card that explains how the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of President Kennedy. However, many people remained unconvinced of this conclusion and believed that there was a larger conspiracy at play. The rest of the film is a fictionalized account of what that conspiracy might have looked like.

The main characters in the film are a group of wealthy businessmen who are unhappy with Kennedy's policies and fear that he is leading the country towards socialism. They decide to take matters into their own hands and hire a team of assassins to kill Kennedy, with hopes of installing a more conservative leader in his place.

The team of assassins includes Lee Harvey Oswald (played by James MacArthur), who is depicted as a patsy who was set up to take the fall for the assassination. The film suggests that Oswald was recruited because he had ties to Communist groups, and that this made it easier to frame him for the killing.

The film also explores the logistics of the assassination, including how the shooters were positioned and how they evaded detection. The plan is portrayed as highly organized and meticulous, with the conspirators considering every possible angle to ensure that their plan succeeds. This attention to detail adds to the sense of conspiracy and intrigue that pervades the film.

Throughout the movie, the viewer is presented with a series of flashbacks that illustrate the motivations of the conspirators. We learn that they are afraid of losing their power and influence, and they see Kennedy as a threat to their way of life. Some of the characters, such as Lancaster's character, do express some remorse for what they have done, but most of them are resolute in their belief that their actions were necessary to protect the country.

One of the strengths of the film is how it portrays the conspiracy as something that could feasibly have happened. The conspirators are not depicted as cartoonish villains, but rather as wealthy and powerful men who are used to getting what they want. They use their resources to manipulate events to their advantage, and they are not afraid to resort to violence to achieve their goals.

Another strength of the film is the performances of the main actors. Lancaster gives a nuanced portrayal of a man who is torn between his loyalty to his friends and his conscience, while Ryan is excellent as a gruff, no-nonsense businessman who is driving force behind the assassination. Geer, in his final film role, is also very good as a wealthy oil tycoon who provides much of the financial backing for the plan.

The film's pacing is deliberate and methodical, which may be off-putting to some viewers who are looking for a more action-oriented thriller. However, for those who are willing to invest in the story, the film is a compelling exploration of a fascinating and controversial topic.

In conclusion, Executive Action is a well-made thriller that explores a conspiracy theory surrounding one of the most significant events in American history. The film's attention to detail and strong performances from the cast make it a must-see for anyone interested in the JFK assassination or political thrillers in general.

Executive Action is a 1973 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

Executive Action
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Executive Action is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Executive Action for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (3,223)