Executive Action

Synopsis: A dramatization about how the high level covert conspirators in the JFK assassination might have planned and plotted the assassination based on the data and facts of the case. It posits that a covert group of rogue intelligence agents, ultra-conservative politicians, unscrupulously greedy business interests, and free-lance assassins become increasingly alarmed at President Kennedy's policies, including his views on race relations, winding down the Vietnam War, and ending the oil depletion allowance. They decide to terminate him through an "executive action" utilizing three teams of well-trained snipers during JFK's visit to Dallas and place the blame on supposed CIA operative Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin.
Genre: Crime, Drama, History
Director(s): David Miller
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min

Never before in American history...

...has one family held such an enormous

concentration of political power.

The plan is perfectly plain.

To return and perpetuate this power

for decades.

Two terms for JFK, two for Bobby

and two for Ted.

And in each administration,

the brothers who are not president...

...would take over

the most powerful cabinet posts.

They have several

hundred million dollars...

...and some of the best brains

on Earth to carry it through.

They have put together a powerful

coalition of big-city machines-

Labor, Negroes, Jews, liberals...

...and the press.

- that will make him

unbeatable in 1964.

Wait a minute, professor.

He's appointed Republicans

to the Treasury, to the Navy.

Another's head of the CIA.

Brother Bobby worked

on Joe McCarthy's committee.

The old man is farther to the right

than I am.

Ancient history, Harold.

Man's come out for cuts

in oil-depletion allowance.

He's stopping mergers

under the Antitrust Act.

He promises to close down 52 domestic

and 25 overseas military bases.

Foster, since when do you believe

the promises of politicians?

- Especially in an election year?

- Times have changed, Mr. Ferguson.

And tactics along with them.

In the next few months,

you're going to see JFK do the following:

One, he is going to lead

the black revolution...

...instead of fighting it.

Now we all know what that means.

Damn right, a white backlash.

Federal troops backing up the blacks.

Blood in the streets.

Two, he's going to try to put across

a test-ban treaty with the Russians.

Three, he's going

to try to pull out of Vietnam...

...and turn Asia

over to the Communists.

Ridiculous, the American public

would never stand for that.

Come on, Harold.

The American public will stand

for what it has to stand for.

What it's told to stand for

or what it's educated to stand for.

Done effectively, the public would soon

be disenchanted with the war.

Which would make action imperative.

- What kind of action?

- Executive.

I'll take it from here, Bob.

- Let's all go in the other room.

- Why in the other room?

Just a short walk. Do you good.

- Nothing wrong with my heart, James.

- He's got you there, Jim.

Tell me, sir, to what do you ascribe

your great, good health?

Hard liquor and soft women.

Southern gentlemen.

This country was not made...

...by people who sat

in their own community...

...and followed

their own private interests.

Instead, it was made...

...by the men who recognized

that change means progress.

And progress means

the welfare of our people.

That's what makes this a great country.

How are you?

In Europe, heads of state always die

at the hands of conspirators.

Our presidents are killed by madmen.

The pattern is remarkably consistent.

Abraham Lincoln, April 14th, 1865.

sitting and stationary.

six inches. Successful.

James Garfield, July 2nd, 1881.


at two-and-a-half miles per hour.

three feet. Successful.

William McKinley.

September 6th, 1901.

standing and stationary.

one foot.


Theodore Roosevelt,

October 14th, 1912.

standing and stationary.

six feet.

Wounded, survived.

Franklin D. Roosevelt,

February 15th, 1933.

sitting and stationary.

23 feet.

Five shots, five misses.

In no case was the killer

an expert marksman.

In every case,

the Secret Service was unprepared.

In every case,

the assassin was a political fanatic...

...willing to die to get the president.

No professional can be expected to

lay his life on the line for such a cause.

So we've determined that our action

can best be carried out...

- ... during a motorcade.

- How so?

Because they're scheduled

well in advance.

They give you a chance

to fire from cover...

...and get away in the confusion.

- How do you select your operatives?

- I can tell you, Harold.

Now, you used to have to train

your own men from the ground up.

Keep them on your payroll

the rest of their lives.

No more.

Do you know many men were fired

by the CIA after the Bay of Pigs fiasco?

There's a small army

of anti-Castro Cubans.

They're all ready. They're all available.

And they can do anything

from picking a lock...

...and bugging an embassy

to taking care of an ambassador.


- How many of them do you need?

- A team of three men.

I've had two teams in the field

for over a month.

- Why two?

- One team will be selected for action.

The other for backup and getaway.

These are all men

I've used before, Harold.

Trained, reliable, professional.

Now, one man firing from long range

at a moving target is out of the question.

Even with two, we found

the percentages of failure are too high.

The only possible scenario

is three rifles with triangulated fire.

Two firing at a retreating target.

And the third firing

as the target advances.

Three misses, three hits.

Take the target back.

Stand by to go again.

Start the target.

Stand by to fire.


While there's a climate of violence

in the country now...

...in which anything can happen,

the people won't protest it...

...or even fight it

for fear of becoming involved.

What about the Secret Service?

They give the president less protection

than any other head of state on Earth.

De Gaulle travels

surrounded by 47 motorcycles.

Kennedy with eight, sometimes 10.

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Dalton Trumbo

James Dalton Trumbo (December 9, 1905 – September 10, 1976) was an American screenwriter and novelist who scripted many award-winning films including Roman Holiday, Exodus, Spartacus, and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. One of the Hollywood Ten, he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 during the committee's investigation of communist influences in the motion picture industry. He, along with the other members of the Hollywood Ten and hundreds of other industry professionals, was subsequently blacklisted by that industry. His talents as one of the top screenwriters allowed him to continue working clandestinely, producing work under other authors' names or pseudonyms. His uncredited work won two Academy Awards: for Roman Holiday (1953), which was given to a front writer, and for The Brave One (1956) which was awarded to a pseudonym of Trumbo's. When he was given public screen credit for both Exodus and Spartacus in 1960, this marked the beginning of the end of the Hollywood Blacklist for Trumbo and other screenwriters. He finally was given full credit by the Writers' Guild for all his achievements, the work of which encompassed six decades of screenwriting. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Executive Action" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 27 May 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/executive_action_7835>.

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