Blu-ray Review: JFK Revisited: The Complete Collection

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When Oliver Stone made JFK in 1991, the director didn’t have all the facts on the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Why? Because so much of the evidence that was gathered by the Warren Commision were locked up and weren’t allowed to be released to the public until 2029. That’s a long time to wait to discover so much about a murder that took place in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Because of the success of the film in getting people discussing what was the truth about JFK’s death, the time was rolled back and papers were finally getting declassified and released. JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass and JFK: Destiny Betrayed are two documentaries directed by Oliver Stone that goes into the new evidence and compares it to what the Warren Report claimed was the truth.

Oliver Stone’s biggest sticking points is how Allan Dulles became part of the Warren Commision and ended up having a greater influence than Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren. Dulles was the head of the CIA from 1953 until he was fired by JFK in the wake of the Bay of Pigs. Why would anyone expect Dulles would be eager to expose any truth? The rumor was that Robert F. Kennedy wanted Dulles on the commission. The ultimate truth is that CIA wanted Dulles on investigating committee to keep the CIA’s interests front and center. We get to find out more about the botched autopsy of JFK’s corpse. The committee declared that only three shots were fired since only three shell casings were found where Oswald was set up in the Dallas Book Depository. Arlen Spector was a young “investigator” on the committee who came up with the single bullet theory to explain the multitude of wounds on JFK and Texas Governor John Connally with only one shot. Spector would eventually become the U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania. Also muddying up the waters in the investigation was Gerald Ford who would stumble into being the president after Nixon’s resignation. What’s rather shocking is American didn’t see the Zapruder film that shows JFK being shot on network television until 1975. The host of the show was Geraldo Rivera. This explains why people in the ’60s trusted Dulles and his buddies in blaming it all on Lee Harvey Oswald and three bullets, We get to see even more pieces of evidence and witnesses who were kept out of the Warren Report. JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass gets deep into the inconstancies of the investigations.

JFK: Destiny Betrayed (3 hours and 53 minutes) is a four-part miniseries that expands beyond JFK Revisited. Right off the bat Stone points out that Donald Trump was supposed to release the final batch of thousands of pages. But after a meeting with the CIA, Trump claimed the papers would put the identity of some of our spies in danger so we’re going to have to wait longer. How old are CIA field agents? There is plenty of discussion about JFK’s role in Cuba and Vietnam. There’s discussion about how Dulles and the CIA were letting Mafia mobsters attempt to kill Castro since they were pissed off that their Havana casinos were gone. There’s also quite a bit on how the CIA was trying to kill off the head of France around this time.

Oliver Stone gets into the new information that expands upon his JFK movie. There are no actors in this version outside of clips from JFK. Most of the footage is archival along with interviews with investigators that have found out more. The narration is shared by Whoopi Goldberg and Donald Sutherland. This is an engrossing documentary no matter which version you watch first. You get a sense how easy a conspiracy can be covered up by the acceptance of ineptitude during an investigation. We were really supposed to believe the single bullet theory and that same bullet would be in near mint shape after busting bones in two men. Maybe we’ll get the ultimate truth in 2029 if they finally release the last of the documents unless the CIA claims they have 114-year-old agents still working undercover.

Video for both the film and miniseries is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The resolution varies with the source material. There’s quite a bit of ancient videotape and 8mm home movies. The audio is DTS-HD MA Stereo. The movie and the miniseries are subtitled.

DVDs with both the movie and miniseries.

Audio Commentary with Oliver Stone and writer James DiEugenio that goes deeper into Stone’s investigation of JFK’s assassination.

Shout! Factory presents JFK Revisited: The Complete Collections. Directed by Oliver Stone. Starring Whoopi Goldberg & Donald Sutherland. 118 minutes. Rated: Unrated. Release Date: July 19. 2022.

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.