7 Things We Learned About NatGeo's ‘Killing Kennedy’ at Its Premiere

7 Things We Learned About NatGeo's 'Killing Kennedy' at Its Premiere

The film's least-known lead steals the show in the network's adaptation of Bill O'Reilly's book

National Geographic Channel threw its West Coast premiere of “Killing Kennedy” at the Saban Theater Monday night, six days before the TV debut and a few weeks before the 50th anniversary of the infamous assassination.

The TV movie, which stars Rob Lowe as JFK, Ginnifer Goodwin as Jacqueline Kennedy, Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald and Michelle Trachtenberg as Marina Oswald, was shot in just 18 days on an independent film budget, but feels much larger. Perhaps that's the subject matter.

Monday evening's celebration mimicked a campaign party, down to the balloons and “Kennedy/Johnson” buttons and bumper stickers. Here are seven things we learned at the event:

See photo: Rob Lowe Channels JFK in ‘Killing Kennedy’ First Look

1. Rothhaar steals the show in a movie filled with larger than life characters.
The man who played Lee Harvey Oswald did a killer job (pun unintended, but not revoked) in the challenging role. Rothhaar had a very uphill battle in the TV film: Play one of the most despised men among known leads and still be interesting, beyond just being creepy. He nailed it, adding depth to the bad guy.

2. Michelle Trachtenberg can speak Russian.
Apparently. At least, she does so for most of the movie. The “Adventures of Pete & Pete” actress is all grown up as Oswald's wife from Minsk, who is brought back to America for the promise of a lifestyle that never came to fruition. And Mrs. Oswald is not down with Lee's murderous antics — the film makes that opinion quite clear as she leaves her husband, hides his guns (but gives them back) and sobs when the president is shot.

3. There are no conspiracy theorists here.
The National Geographic Channel had a very clear message in its movie: Lee Harvey Oswald killed John F. Kennedy. He acted alone, it was very premeditated. Those surrounding Oswald were only guilty of naivety — if even that. Except the FBI, perhaps. The term “grassy knoll” was apparently not even in the script. (Not that we're complaining, mind you.)

See video: Rob Lowe Explains ‘Parks and Recreation’ Departure: ‘Amy Poehler's a Prick’

4. The movie presents Kennedy as an incredible president who never did anything wrong.
“Killing Kennedy” is unapologetic about the slain president, depicted as a great man that occasionally dabbled in other women. Jackie loved him unconditionally. Oh and the Bay of Pigs was not his fault, understand? You will.

5. America Loves Jackie Kennedy, but Canada wouldn't let her go.
Goodwin, who played the First Lady, was scheduled to appear at the screening and reception but could not get out of the airport in Canada, NatGeo President Howard T. Owens told the audience. Don't worry, she sent her regards from our neighbor to the north.

Also read: Rob Lowe Lands Role In Yet Another ‘Sex Tape’

6. NatGeo has the Rob Lowe stamp of approval.
“I've worked for everyone” the actor reminded the audience in his pre-film speech, adding that NatGeo knows what they are doing. Lowe spoke of the efficiency with which they shot the relatively low-budget TV film. His first day on set took from Camp David to the Cuban Missile Crisis to the Oval Office. No wonder Kennedy was so beloved — the man was everywhere.

7. Hollywood does not love Bill O'Reilly.
The Fox News host wrote the eponymous book that was adapted into the TV film. Everyone else got a nice, warm Saban Theater round of applause during the closing credits — but not O'Reilly. What he got would be considered more of a polite smattering. Welcome to Los Angeles.

“Killing Kennedy” airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on National Geographic Channel.

  • John

    The lone gunman fraud has long been contraindicated by a cloud of witnesses. The 50 years is over. So is the Big Lie. The locusts (so-called TV “journalists”) who come forth from the smoke from the bottomless pit only have the power to hurt those who fear death for five “months” (five decades, or 50 years–see Chapter 9–you know which book). The Big Scam is over. The Truth is widely known by seekers and will soon be widely known by everyone despite the still strenuous efforts of media leaders who themselves have always also been major players in this diabolical murder conspiracy coup d'etat in league with LBJ, Hoover, Murchison, Nixon, Ford, Haig, Bush, the CIA, the Mafia, etc. etc, . . . ask Dr. Crenshaw, read Col. Prouty, read “No Smoking Gun” and consider Dan Marvin's testimony . . .DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK. Oswald never fired a singe shot.
    Kennedy was hated because he was a man of peace, an unwritten “profile in courage” who stood up against the military-industrial complex that Ike warned him about.
    He also made his share of mistakes.
    Which is why so many “loyal” American aparatchik played along once the deed was done and the reasons for it were known. Such men were terrified that Jack's broken promise not to invade (or destabilize?) Cuba was going to get us into a nuclear war.

    • airbrushdan

      Ben Gurian of Israels ‘mossad, is the one who ordered the hit on JFK, because he was investigating them for trying to build atom bomb. Oswald was the fall guy. notice how close Oliver stones movie JFK was. Clay Shaw did work for the CIA thru the Italian Office, whose director was friends with, and helped start mossad, along with mi6's help. The Iluminati [Rothschild Zionists] uses the mafia, CIA, etc… not to mention the Media who helped craft the made up story about Oswald. Oriley is full sh…, but then, nobody believes him anyway[ he works for the[Rothschild Zionist] and they have screwed up the world so bad because they are still trying to take over the world

      • GR Arnold

        I did not like his “Killing Lincoln” perspective neither. He was too pro-North and the bias was obvious.

      • John

        The Mossad may be connected to the JFK assassination or it might not. But such a connection is totally unnecessary for an understanding of what is KNOWN to have happened. (And that angle may just be more misinformation to confuse the issues by breaking the camel's back by going one straw too far. The truth is already so tangled a web of lies and the players so many that the media has it easy convincing the gullible that “conspiracy” is for fools. lt is not. What is now very well-known is the fact that the Mafia felt double-crossed after buying the election for Kennedy and then being driven from their usual haunts by the Kennedy brothers who clearly felt no obligation to pity their criminal backsides and, in fact, made it a major part of the Kennedy purpose to rid the world of organized crime such as it was possible for them to do so. See “All American Gangster: the Johnny Rosselli Story” for details. And while you're at it, ask yourself why J.Edgar Hoover maintained for years that there was no such thing as the Mafia. The major details of this conspiracy are all well-known enough that certain vested interests have been spreading much falsehood in an ongoing attempt to discredit every detail of this extremely complex reality. The key players were the mob and elements of the the CIA. This is KNOWN. Pappy Bush did not go from an oil rig in the Gulf to being chief of the CIA on a whim. He was in Dallas on 11/22/63. This is DOCUMENTED. So was Nixon. DOCUMENTED. LBJ knew in advance. DOCUMENTED. Once you understand the connection between these war-mongering presidents and the JFK assassination, you can understand that the United States as a WHOLE was HIJACKED on 11/22/1963 by the very same people that have been in power EVER SINCE THEN. Google Ed Lansdale, David Ferrie, and You Tube for “The Men Who Killed Kennedy” and forget this MSM baloney nonsense smokescreen. They're STILL at it! HINT: When they start mocking you for thinking for yourself and believing the truth, you're onto something they don't want you to think about. LBJ? Yes, yes, and capital Y YES! Nixon? YES! Bush, too? That sounds crackpot doesn't it? NO, it's the TRUTH, people! Who made money off of going to war? Who sent your children off to die for THEIR agenda?
        Yes, Bush!!! He didn't become Director of the CIA by being “an independent oil man from Houston,” people. Get your head out of your pants and do some serious THINKING with it for a change.

    • markinblue15

      John, you've been watching way too many Oliver Stone movies.

  • GR Arnold

    I will not entertain any lone gunman theory. The Warren Commission is a proven fraud as is any lone gunman theory. I will not waste my time watching this ridiculous show because it is nothing more than ongoing perpetuation of hiding the truth from the American people.

  • Chris s.

    Sounds like a real piece of s**t. Anyone with a 3rd grade education who studies up on it can tell you there was a conspiracy. How come all these pro-oswald-as-the-only-assassin nuts totally disregard the House Select comm. on Assassinations report in '76 that found “in all probability” a conspiracy?? Look who was in charge of the Warren Report: Johnson, Dulles(whom Kennedy fired from the CIA), Arlen Specter(creator of the single-bullet theory). Johnson twisted just about all the members’ arms just to get them to be on it. Any idiot can tell u Oswald did not do that shooting in 6 seconds. Ludricrous. And publishers have the nerve to perpetuate the lie over and over again with the likes of Bill O'Reilly and others. The world JFK wanted was not the world the powers-that-be wanted. He had to go. Period.

    • R P

      Wrong again.

  • http://www.triond.com/users/cosmokatt7 cosmokatt7

    …Revisionist History at it's best…! If you saw it on TV, you should believe it…! (sic)

  • Hollywood Mark

    What a fraud. I counted over a dozen lies in the teaser alone. But they win. All they want to do is move the needle on public opinion regarding the assassination. Once at a point in the high 80% range, now “just” 59% of the American people believe JFK was killed by a conspiracy. A couple of lies of commission. I say commission because any deviation from the factual truth of the assassination is does with intent. RE: Oswald signals the bus to stop, jumps off, runs through the street and hails a cab. Why is that important? Because the actual facts, even according to the Warren Commission are that when he went to the taxi stand, yes, the stand, there was an elderly woman there who was also getting a cab. So despite having “killed JFK” and on the run, this southern gentleman, gave up the cab, opened the door for the elderly lady and waited patiently for the next one. So this event would have shown his humanity and also his lack of hurrying home. Solution? Have him run and hail a cab. Easy. In the opening scenes Oswald is depicted moving the numerous book boxes towards the window in the creation of his so-called “sniper's nest”. Never happened. What did happen is that he and three other workers all moved the boxes in the morning before lunch because new flooring was being put down and the boxes had to be moved to the extreme ends of the space. Film depicts Oswald as remaining behind on the 6th floor during lunch – never happened. Affidavits of numerous witnesses have him eating lunch up until 12:25 (Carolyn Arnold). Hey, where is Bonnie Ray Williams? He ate his lunch in the so-called sniper's nest until at least 12:20 PM. Plenty of signed documents to prove that. Chicken sandwich, Dr. Pepper and Fritos – all belonged to Bonnie Ray Williams. He went down to the fifth floor moments before the shooting. In the opening, Oswald is shown opening window almost three feet to shoot standing up. In reality, the window only opened 12 inches and the sill was less than 18 inches from the floor. No steam pipe in this depiction either. Nice try. That dog wont’ hunt. In addition, the scenes in Minsk are a joke. Plenty of documentation in past 20 years regarding his stay there. None of it incorporated. Example: film depicts Oswald reading off a card in Russian asking Marina to dance. Never happened. Marina said his Russian had an accent of another Baltic State, put was flawless. He spoke and wrote fluently in Russian. Why is it important? Because the filmmakers would then have to explain how he learned Russian so quickly. In fact, even the Warren Commission in their closed door hearings said the had to deal with the rumor of Oswald's attending the Army's Monterrey Language School up by Big Sur, something they did not want to leak to the public back in 1964. The point is there are hundreds of “errors” in Killing Kennedy but they are not errors in the traditional sense. They are errors with an intentional purpose. And that is called propaganda. Read Breach of Trust, Spy Saga, JFK and the Unspeakable, Oswald and the CIA or Brothers. The information is out there people. Just read it.

  • R P

    No conspiracy. Oswald acted alone. The obvious seems to be the most difficult for many people to accept. Classic case of the principle of Occam's Razor.

  • R H

    One of my favorite sayings is: “You can't argue with faith”. Therefore, I don't argue with conspiracy theorists, because no amount of fact, research, reason, logic, argument or proof is ever to going to change their mind. In 50 years, not one single, irrefutable piece of evidence has ever been produced that there was a conspiracy, yet the conspiracy theorists are unswayed in their position. They tend to bring up percentages of people who believe that there was one, which is a straw man argument since about the same percentage of people don't even know who our Vice President is!
    Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman. He may have believed that there was a conspiracy of some kind, in his warped mind, but there is no proof or evidence of a second gunman.