Executive Action (1973)

executive-action-1973

Conspiracy has followed me over the years, with a lot rumours surfacing back in the 80’s that Michael Landon was in fact my Dad. What people didn’t realise was that Landon from Little House On The Prairie fame had once played the part of Tony Rivers in a film called I Was A Teenage Werewolf.

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I really can’t see the resemblance! Can you?

What they failed to see is that he is an actor playing the part, it really was that obviously but we were harassed for many years until Landon starred in “Highway To Heaven”. Not wishing anything to taint the angelic side of the television show he sent in the lawyers and suddenly the rumours went away. Honestly my Mum hasn’t even been to America, well so she tells me! Anyhow I digress……. On to the film Executive Action below.

Tagline – The schemers… the plotters… and the hush men behind the assassination of an American president.

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If you want the mother of all conspiracy theories over the last part of half a century then we all know it has to be the Presidential assassination of John F Kennedy. Many  different theories and discussions have been made, with Oliver Stone‘s classic film from 1991 simply called JFK being probably the most iconic. What I didn’t know was way back in 1973 a film had taken it’s own view at this tragic moment in history, and an extremely brave one at that.

Tagline – Probably the most controversial film of our time.

I won’t go into detail what they do in the film as that would spoil this take but what surprised me most was what a daring decision to take on the story around the 10th anniversary of poor JFK’s demise. Also what a brave and maybe daunting decision by two Hollywood legends to take on quite dastardly roles.

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Whats shocking is the callous nature for the reasons they believe he should be taken out. Plus the very sinister imagines of the training camp “kill zone” practice in the desert and the use of editing the old original black and white footage into the story.

It’s really worth tracking this film down for a watch if you have an interest in the subject matter because I can only imagine this is the first time a film was centered around the JFK assassination conspiracy. Please let me know if not.

The screenplay was written by genius Dalton Trumbo and directed by David Miller. And starred two acting legends, Burt Lancaster as James Farrington and Robert Ryan, in his last film, as Robert Foster. Two men part of a group of greedy capitalist and right wing politicians who aren’t best pleased with the new policies their newly elected President stands for.

The opening words on the introduction sum up the films outlook and cover themselves of maybe some backlash…

Although much of this film is fiction, much of it is also based on documented historical fact. Did the conspiracy we describe actually exist? We do not know. We merely suggest that it could have existed.

 

As a curiosity piece this film serves as a great 70’s gritty drama to add to the likes of The Parallax ViewThe Day of the Jackal etc.

Below is a fantastic little short documentary by one of my favourite doc makers Errol Morris about the strange and weird “Umbrella Man“. Plus under that is the trailer for the film, just be warned it does give most of the film away. As always I hope you enjoy the film picks. Have fun. Big love …. Wolfman (No relation to Michael Landon even though my real name is Michael Wolfman)

 

Further Reading Links

Smithsonian Magazine Article

Executive Action 1973 IMDB

Executive Action Wikipedia 

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