Watch Now: EXECUTIVE ACTION
Released two weeks before the tenth anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, Executive Action is a capably made conspiracy thriller that offers a mixture of fact and fiction in its effort to dramatize one of the most traumatic and controversial moments in the history of the American people. Initially conceived by Donald Sutherland, who planned to act and produce but pulled out when he couldn’t secure financing, the film was directed by David Miller and written by Dalton Trumbo, Donald Freed and – one of the leading conspiracy theorists – Mark Lane. With Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan and Will Geer in front of the camera, Executive Action had all the pieces of the puzzle necessary to tell a gripping story in the best way possible.
It’s important to note that Steve Jaffe, former District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigator, served as the film’s technical consultant and supervising producer, adding a welcome air of authenticity to the story. Making impactful use of real documentary footage, Executive Action presents the viewers with a fictionalized account of what might have happened in the weeks leading to the assassination, but willingly sacrifices sensationalism for realism. This makes Miller’s film effective and persuasive, even though it was received with much less enthusiasm than it deserved.