Your opinions on the Oliver Stone films Nixon and JFK (open spoilers ok)

I liked the Doors movie. Otherwise, the only Oliver Stone films I’ve thought were ok were both the Wall Street films.
I absolutely hated Born on the 4th of July.

I’ve been reading a lot of history during lockdown, mostly 1960-1980. I avoided both the JFK and Nixon films when they were released. From what I know, JFK consists of silly drunk guy in the bar conspiracy theories and the Nixon film shows him as pure evil. Or, at least that’s the vibe I got among the political crowds I’ve hung out with over the years.

Obviously, I’ve got a lot more time in shelter in place. Do I give either (or both) films a viewing? Or am I better off finding a Scooby Doo marathon for a more intellectual artistic point of view?

Spoil away about anything in either film that isn’t historically correct or is massively biased.

Both of those films play very fast and loose with history. Most of his films are caricatures of life, IMO.

Both are entertaining simply for the cinematic element. JFK is too grandiose in how they depict him as a fallen hero and that America was never the same again. Was he ever that popular in life? The myth had already taken legs and that film forever cemented it.

Nixon is a Greek tragedy plot. I know his family and presidential library deeply resented the way they depicted his marriage to Pat Nixon. Personally I don’t buy that Nixon was some twisted and menacingly tortured soul. I think he was profoundly insecure but he did do some good things. Nixon was cruising in the polls for re-election so why Watergate even had to happen is a mystery.

The Oliver Stone film about JFK was fantastic. Yeah, probably not too accurate (though pretty convincing), but brilliant. It won the Oscar for editing, and the editing is superb. Maybe you should watch it and then form an opinion?

JFK was a decent movie, somewhat entertaining, but yeah, playing fast and loose with the facts. IMHO, Stone films tend to be overly dramatic for the circumstances.

Here is an article explaining this conspiracy fest.

I think it is useful to think of both films as one would think of a yet another production of a Shakespeare play about a historical figure. It’s not history, it’s a dramatic work built on historical events and persons.

From that viewpoint, JFK is an very good film artistically. Good characters and acting, interesting story telling, etc.

To me, Nixon is a more conventional story telling and a more direct character study, and therefore, less interesting.

Oliver Stone made a third film about a US President. “W.

Obviously it’s the only one which the subject of the film was alive to see. The Nixon film had its beginning as a project when Nixon was still alive in late 1993 but he died months later in April 1994 (as a matter of fact 26 years ago today). Furthermore W. came out while Bush was still in office and a few weeks before his successor was elected. According to Bill Clinton, Bush has seen it.

This film is much more of a comedic approach to a biopic. It hits the note on W’s lack of seriousness and class clown demeanour as a young man at Yale wasting away the opportunity his father’s name and reputation provided. A sibling rivalry with Jeb who has the pride of their father while W is drifting around trying to find himself out of the shadow of dad but also to prove to dad that he is his own man.

from madsircool’s post:

A heterosexual insurance salesman?
The fiend!

Platoon and Natural Born Killers are both very good IMHO

Because Stone had reimagined him as gay. Stone while ostensibly trying to create a work to prove that the JFK assassination was a conspiracy changed real life people to fit his narrative.

When I was at school, my crowd all watched that film. The following day, a bunch of guys re-enacted the motorcade (on foot, badly) to prove through various lines-of-sight that there must have been a conspiracy, that there would have to have been a magic bullet, that the ‘fact’ Oswald was a terrible shot made it impossible, etc, etc…

They took the movie as a historical record, which is clearly nonsense, but I’m sure they can’t have been the only ones.

I agree that NBK was a good film but only the directors cut which made it more coherent.

Oswald was a Marine sharpshooter. :slight_smile:

I know! I remember the guy playing Oswald in our reenactment being told to slow down the reloading of his rifle, because there’s no way somebody so obviously terrible with weaponry would be able to reload that quick.

Yeah, I know, just a bunch of teenagers who - in their position as teenagers - were naturally experts on everything and could definitely tear down the walls of this fortress of conspiracy. But I came to realise that wasn’t something everybody grows out of…

Haven’t seen Nixon but very much enjoyed JFK. Factually it is utter balls but if you treat it as taking place in an alternative universe it is an entertaining way to pass a few hours. Excellent ensemble cast as well and it looks and feels like a quality period-piece.

another in the “haven’t seen Nixon but enjoyed JFK” camp. It’s a terrific film, with amazing performances by, among others, John Candy, Joe Pesci, and Kevin Bacon. However, the film’s congruency with established fact is… mostly absent. However, as a conspiracy-theory tourist in the early 1990s, that film was perfect for me!

One reviewer called Stone’s JFK “Dallas in Wonderland.” I haven’t exhaustively researched it but if a TV program has “new evidence” I usually watch. This book was also interesting.

Another site quotes from the book.

Retired Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock is likewise skeptical of Oswald’s alleged shooting feat. Hathcock is a former senior instructor at the U. S. Marine Corps Sniper Instruction School at Quantico, Virginia. He has been described as the most famous American military sniper in history. In Vietnam he was credited with 93 confirmed kills. He now conducts police SWAT team sniper schools across the country. Craig Roberts asked Hathcock about the marksmanship feat attributed to Oswald by the Warren Commission. Hathcock answered that he did not believe Oswald could have done what the Commission said he did. Added Hathcock:

“Let me tell you what we did at Quantico. We reconstructed the whole thing: the angle, the range, the moving target, the time limit, the obstacles, everything. I don’t know how many times we tried it, but we couldn’t duplicate what the Warren Commission said Oswald did”. (KILL ZONE, pp. 89-90).

Yes on this. Any Given Sunday and Alexander are great as well. I’m a big Oliver Stone fanboy though

supposedly in the 70s, the Mossad built a replica of the street where JFK was shot and had the gun Oswald did the car JFK was in and everything and the best sharpshooters in the all Israeli armed forces snd the Mossad assassins couldn’t do it either