Movie Review: Parkland

Parklandby Brad Nelson   12/9/13
And odd little movie that has Seinfeldian implications of being “a movie about nothing.” But there is, of course, nothing funny about the events surrounding Parkland Hospital in November of 1963.

This is a weird little film standing somewhere between a documentary and a historical drama. How much fiction is spun into this, I do not know. I have no idea if, for example, the events surrounding the Zupruder film are anything like they are depicted in Parkland.

This goes to the crux of this film, good and bad. At times it seems a very dramatic and literal recreation of the events surrounding the day of the assassination of JFK, particularly in and around Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. But there was, at least for me, a stand-offish element as well because I couldn’t be sure what was true (or at least an informed dramatic recreation) and what was just plain made up.

Either way, there is an eerie quality of being there during those dramatic and tragic moments with an intimacy that may repel you. But as a movie, it does seem to be a movie about nothing. It has no point of view, no message, and the story lines it does dredge up (such as regarding Abraham Zapruder and his film), it leaves somewhat hanging. (How much was he paid for the film, for example?)

For those with JFK assassination fatigue, this might not be the movie for you. But it is fairly well-acted and shows the emotional impact this event had on people at the time. You’ll also see into the Oswald family and some interesting back-and-forth between them and law enforcement. And you’ll see Zapruder struggling what to do with his film. There are some interesting behind-the-scenes vignettes such as this that make the film worthwhile.

In the end, this is a somewhat depressing and ill-focussed film. In retrospect, a movie following the life of Abraham Zapruder (and Paul Giamatti is fine in this role) would seem to be the ticket. • (1060 views)

Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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2 Responses to Movie Review: Parkland

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    One interesting and significant scene did occur at Parkland, though I don’t know if the movie included it: The Secret Service, at the behest of the Kennedys (Jackie wanted the autopsy to be performed at Bethesda because of John’s naval service), took the body from Dallas medical examiner Earl Rose, an experienced forensic pathologist (with plenty of familiarity with gunshot wounds) whose duty this was legally (not until after this was presidential assassination made a federal crime). This led to a badly botched autopsy, contributing greatly to the conspiracy theories.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Yes, the movie got into that aspect, Timothy. There was a brief tug-of-war between the Secret Service and a guy who I think was director of the hospital. The director claimed jurisdiction over the body of the president as he would regarding any murder. The Secret Service said they were not going to separate the president from Mrs. Kennedy, and that was that.

      I didn’t realize that only after this event that the assassination was a federal crime. I guess that makes sense.

      And there’s a creepy (but not particularly graphic) scene in the Parkland emergency room where they were working on the president, but it was obvious to those assembled that there was little they could do but go through the motions, which, of course, they were obliged to do.

      But the movie did not appear to play to conspiracy theories. This was not an Oliver Stone production. And it did not blanch from stating that Oswald was dabbling in Marxism and made no mention of some kind of disembodied “right wing hate” that supposedly killed Kennedy, which is the prevailing myth amongst feeble-minded “Progressive” types to this day.

      A Marxist killed the president. And that should have been the impetus for all concerned to distance themselves from this murderous, destructive, and inhumane collectivist ideology. Instead, the media lied once again and continued down that very path. And they fabricated a story to fit their noxious Religion of Leftism.

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