5 Feet of Fury

“JFK” (1991) and the soft bigotry of NOLA expectations?

Utterly random:

Did a lot of viewers buy the (utterly discredited, even by “buffdom”) “Garrison” theory promoted by Oliver Stone’s JFK because they heard a lot of characters saying stuff like, “The dog don’t hunt” in New Orleans accents (albeit of varying authenticity), and figured:

“Hey, these southerners know more about guns and ‘Texas live oaks’ and political corruption than we do. Maybe they’re onto something”?

Re: above — The Zapruder film does no such thing.

Behold how basing a world-historical argument on a single, elementary error (I’m looking at you, Karl Marx…) led in this case to 50 years of unnecessary multi-generational psychic damage, and the waste of who knows how many millions of man hours and tax dollars… (cough global warming cough)

If one discards the notion that Zapruder recorded the shooting sequence in full, it has the virtue of solving several puzzles that have consistently defied explanation.


An important fact to realize is that the film he shot that day consists of two parts. The first segment, 132 frames (seven seconds long), shows police motorcyclists riding by.

Zapruder stopped recording the advance escort because he did not want to run out of film. He restarted his camera only after he clearly saw Kennedy acknowledging the crowd from a gleaming blue stretch limousine.

Thus, the 19 seconds of Zapruder film everyone is familiar with begin at frame 133—well after the Lincoln Continental had already negotiated the sharp turn onto Elm Street, putting it about 71 feet into the plaza…

Well before investigative agencies had their say, the notion that Zapruder had captured the assassination in full was put forward by a very self-interested party: Time Inc., which had snapped up all rights to the film. (…)

That Zapruder had caught the entire sequence from beginning to horrific end was the position Life staked out and has never budged from, judging from the essays in a lavishly illustrated, $50 book it published on the 50th anniversary of the assassination.

No one realized that the commission, despite its crucial revision of the FBI’s analysis, had also been Zaprudered. Squeezing the shooting sequence so that it fit inside the film made Oswald’s feat of marksmanship appear to be much more difficult than it actually was.

The commission’s scenario, the one that reduced the shooting down to not just six but as little as 4.8 seconds, was all but impossible for expert marksmen to replicate.