Assassination movies

In honor of this week's Parkland, here are five political-assassination movies worth getting paranoid over.

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  • BLOW OUT (1981)

    John Travolta is fully believable as a fastidious sound engineer who unwittingly records a Chappaquidick–like accident (or is it?) while collecting wind noises in a park. At this point in his career, director Brian De Palma was taken seriously.

  • JFK (1991)

    Vibrating with a batshit sense of total conspiracy, this epic Hollywood courtroom drama pits a lone district attorney (Kevin Costner) against evil government forces as he tries to expose the truth. Only Oliver Stone could get this made.

  • THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

    The classic Hollywood conspiracy movie, John Frankenheimer's political thriller plays on then-current McCarthyite anxieties and the deceptively calm exterior of Angela Lansbury, as one of cinema's most memorable monster moms.

  • THE PARALLAX VIEW (1974)

    Released in the final summer of the Nixon Administration, this ultraparanoid thriller has newspaper reporter Warren Beatty running down the loose ends of a murder, after a presidential candidate is iced at the top of Seattle's Space Needle.

  • Z (1969)

    Costa-Gavras's French-language drama goes deep into the details of grassroots activism and ominous blowback as an inspiring leftist speaker (Yves Montand) is murdered while crossing the street, only minutes after delivering a speech.

BLOW OUT (1981)

John Travolta is fully believable as a fastidious sound engineer who unwittingly records a Chappaquidick–like accident (or is it?) while collecting wind noises in a park. At this point in his career, director Brian De Palma was taken seriously.


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