"Oswald's Ghost" -- A Personal Review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by David Von Pein, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  2. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Thank you for the thoughtful and thorough review of Oswald's Ghost. I missed the PBS airing of the show this week and was thinking of picking up the DVD.

    I've been to Mark Lane lectures, heard other conspiracy seminars, seen Oliver Stone's version in JFK, and harbored my own theories about the assassination over the past 40-odd years. How could any person who lived through that cultural experience and felt the solid ground underneath their feet pulled out from under them not? But it's really hard to believe, in today's blabbermouth world, that there is anyone with any tangible evidence or testimony who is also disciplined enough to keep their mouth shut about a larger conspiracy. And to keep the mouths shut of everyone else that would have had to be involved. That stoic personality type is a vanished breed, perhaps another legacy of Oswald's Ghost.

    Conspiracy theories will persist because, at least for us baby boomers, it is still unimaginable to conceive how a lonely little loser like Oswald could bring down the presidency of John F. Kennedy and all that it promised. It's not fair. It just didn't fit with our idealized view of the world and the way things should be.

    And we've been trying to live with that adjusted view of the world ever since.
     
  3. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Which is fine, but I gotta admit I thought Ghost was lackluster just because it seemed like the 976th take on the same thing. Why make another JFK assassination documentary that tales the same story again?

    I also thought it lacked focus. One minute it wanted to be a psychological assessment of LHO, while the next it tried to get into conspiracy theories, and then it'd go for a grand evaluation of how the assassination impacted society. That's a lot of subjects to pack into one fairly short documentary, and it doesn't do the "jack of all trades" thing well.

    It's entertaining enough but it doesn't really seem to have any particular reason to exist in this day and age...
     
  4. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    The doc touches on that concept. Frankly, it's a terrible reason to support conspiracy theories. I'm not attacking you, BTW - I'm just saying that the "it's not fair" idea is a pretty lousy basis for grandiose theories of what "really" happened. One lone nut CAN alter the world - you don't need a massive plot to pull off enormous change...
     
  5. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    No offense taken. My point was exactly that our 'idealized' view of what should be fair conflicted with reality. I don't buy most conspiracy theories anymore ... except for whoever puts security sealant tape on DVD cases - that's obviously an insidious attempt to drive us all nuts.
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    FYI, we also have a discussion about this documentary occurring in a thread in the After Hours section, though the thread -- started by this thread's creator -- has been around for a while. We can consider this the "DVD thread."
     
  7. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    That's incorrect. This "Lounge" thread wasn't actually started by me, but I have contributed a bunch of posts to it. [​IMG]
     
  8. BobSchneider

    BobSchneider Second Unit

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    I actually watch "Oswalds Ghost" this week on my local PBS station , I give it at face value B- because as other posters mention it lack focus and needed better editing to make it the best JFK assassination documentry. But, in hid site I give it a A- because it did a fabulious job at showing what a fool, nut case and charlatan Jim Garrison was and how Oliver Stone was a bigger fool, nut chase and charlatan for releasing fraudumentry JFK. I still think best documentary I seen on the JFK assassination was frontlines excellent "Who was Lee Harvey Oswald" it had the best focus on Oswald and the assassination, I havent had a chace to view the dvd extras (which most are online PBS web site)but they may enhance Oswalds ghost , in my mind it good but not the best treatment of JFK assassination.
     
  9. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    That is a very good program indeed. In it, you also get to see one of the leading lone-assassin researchers before he became an "LNer", Dale Myers. Interesting stuff.

    "WHO WAS LEE HARVEY OSWALD?" (PBS-TV)

    As mentioned in my "Ghost" review above, I'd still vote for "Four Days In November" as the best JFK program ever made. I'm rather amazed (still) at all of the various Warren Commission-backed facts that "Four Days" was able to cram into its 123-minute running time.

    And it's a film (produced by David Wolper) that was actually being made before the WC released its Final Report in Sep. '64. The film debuted in NYC on Oct. 7, 1964, just 13 days after LBJ was handed the Warren Report.

    I've never been quite sure how David Wolper, director Mel Stuart, and United Artists (the studio involved in making "Four Days") were able to get that movie filmed, edited, narrated (very nicely by Richard Basehart), and scored (by Elmer Bernstein, in what is a fabulous musical soundtrack) prior to the Warren Report ever being released?

    I think I can assume that Wolper & Company didn't pull off a movie-making, cram-session miracle by making a 2-hour movie in 13 days' time, between Sep. 24 and the movie's debut on Oct. 7.

    It would appear to me, via this tight timeline, that UA/Wolper must have been privy to some of the WC's conclusions and details of the case prior to the general public having knowledge of such information, apart from the several "re-created" scenes that were filmed exclusively for the movie.

    That's just a guess on my part, but it's something I've always wondered about each time I watch the film on the MGM/UA VHS videotape.

    In any event, "Four Days" is a documentary I'd recommend to anyone interested in the assassination. Some of the wealth of archival TV and film footage found in that film, like "Oswald's Ghost", you're not likely to find anyplace else.

    Another great source of info for delving into the inner mind of JFK's assassin is Jean Davison's 1983 book "Oswald's Game". Plus, of course, the new JFK Bible, which is Vincent Bugliosi's masterpiece "Reclaiming History", which includes a 276-page biography on LHO.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Plus the evil people who manufacture the clear type of CD jewel cases where it's virtually impossible to open the tray portion of the case (in order for artwork to be inserted) without cracking the dang thing to bits.

    That's gotta be a conspiracy by the case-makers (so that customers are forced to buy more and more cases to replace the ruined ones).

    (Maybe E. Howard Hunt was the real brains behind this "jewel case plot". After all, he can usually be conveniently blamed for pretty much any conspiracy anyone can dream up. Right?) [​IMG]
     

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