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EXECUTIVE ACTION (director: David Miller; screenwriters: Dalton Trumbo/Rush to Judgment novel by Donald Freed and Mark Lane; cinematographer: Robert Steadman; editors: George Grenville/Irving Lerner; music: Randy Edelman; cast: Burt Lancaster (Farrington), Robert Ryan (Foster), Will Geer (Ferguson), Gilbert Green (Paulitz), John Anderson (Halliday), Paul Carr (Gunman), Colby Chester (Tim), Ed Lauter (Chief), Walter Brooke (Smythe), Oscar Oncidi (Jack Ruby), James MacColl (Lee Harvey Oswald impostor); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Edward Lewis; Warner Bros.; 1973)
The film, a worthwhile watch, was ignored by both the public and media.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A dry conspiracy theory drama over the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It’s a partly fictionalized version of historical events directed by David Miller(“Breakfast of Aliens“/”Hail, Hero!”/”Captain Newman, M.D.“). There is actual footage of events used throughout. It’s based on the novel Rush to Judgmentby Donald Freed and Mark Lane. Dalton Trumbo (the blacklisted writer) writes the script. The film, a worthwhile watch, was ignored by both the public and media.

Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan (his last role) and Will Geer play a shadowy trio of influential government-industrial types, right-wingers, who are the main conspirators in the assassination. They conclude JFK must be removed from office for his leftist policies, his civil rights aims and for going soft on Communism. The gist of the film shows how it was possible to train assassins and that Lee Harvey Oswald was used as a dupe to take the blame. By using the president’s speeches as inflammatory points for the conspirators, we see what got them enraged.

This suspenseful film shows that the assassination was never resolved in the minds of the public, as many still believe after the release of the Warren Commission report they don’t have all the answers. Mark Lane based his investigation on evidence the Warren Commission refused to hear, and, if nothing else, despite the film’s dramatic lapses, it offers a riveting way to look at things that still fascinate a large segment of the public.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”