Tom Hanks, the A.F.I. and J.F.K.

post-tomhanks.jpgThis week began with a personal email invitation from Tom Hanks to join the American Film Institute (as if I weren’t already a member) and listing the benefits of membership. That’s a nice way to start the week. Last time I got an email from a movie star was, um, er, like never.

Besides, I figure if I join (yet again), I might get dumped from Film School Rejects because I’ll actually be part of a film school. I cannot let that happen.

I also hear that Hanks and Bill Paxton are going to produce an HBO miniseries about the Kennedy assassination.

According to Reuters, Hanks’ production company, Playtone Productions, is partnering with HBO to make “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy” into a 10-part miniseries. It will be based on Vincent Bugliosi’s New York Times bestseller.

Bugliosi’s other bestseller, or one of them anyway, was “Helter Skelter” which he should know all about since back in the 60s he prosecuted whacko Charles Manson and his horde of horrible hos.

Like people still living who were actually in Dallas at the time of the Kennedy assassination, 19 per cent of Americans know that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, while 75 per cent of Americans still believe in a conspiracy. Movies are partly responsible for that misinformation, at least Oliver Stone is.

One of these witnesses (Jim Leavelle, the law enforcement guy in the famous photo wearing a white Stetson who was cuffed to Oswald when Ruby shot him) was a consultant on the Oliver Stone movie, JFK, and told me that when he advised Stone that a scene about to be shot was historically incorrect, Stone said (I’m paraphrasing) so what? It’s a movie and the way he wanted to shoot it made it more interesting. He said something about it didn’t have to be true. That’s Hollywood for you.

Paxton, who as an 8-year-old child, was taken to actually see Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Fort Worth, only hours before the assassination in Dallas, and he brought Bugliosi’s book to Hanks’ attention.

It should be refreshing to see truth on the screen for a change.

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