(“Looking glass” warning…)
This movie came and went when first release, giving rise to speculation (OK, by my mom…) that it had been suppressed.
I can’t speak to that, and in fact can’t figure out why “they” would suppress a film that perpetuates the “ultraright cabal”/Dallas/AmeriKKKA/’you and me’ did it” theory of the JFK assassination — “At the rate we’re going, by the centennial of the assassination, lefty websites will be claiming that it was Walker who fired at JFK from the Texas Schoolbook Depository before being apprehended by the heroic Officer Oswald”. Behold the film’s pedigree:
Plots against politicians can be launched by radicals from either end of the ideological spectrum, but the villains of Executive Action are explicitly identified as ultraconservatives, and it’s fair to say that the film’s creative team was a family gathering of Hollywood liberals. Ryan supported civil-rights and pacifist causes throughout his career, even when the characters he played tilted strongly in other directions. Lancaster had similar views, and Geer was blacklisted for refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities during the McCarthy era. The screenplay was penned by Dalton Trumbo, a member of the Hollywood Ten whose resistance of McCarthyism led to blacklisting and prison time, and the original scenario was co-written by Mark Lane, author of the 1966 bestseller Rush to Judgment, which calls the Warren report into serious question. The filmmakers’ liberal perspective is plain to see, and that may partly explain why unfavorable press drove the picture out of many theaters within days of its debut.
Mark Lane’s views were first encouraged by the far-left Ramparts magazine (where David Horowitz made his bones before he got religion.)
Lane had Soviet ties, although he may have been a mere dupe. The Soviets were very interested in encouraging the “conspiracy” theories in order to (successfully) undermine the average American’s trust in his nation’s institutions.
But Lane has a long history of playing fast and loose with the facts. In the early 1970s he used unreliable testimony to accuse American soldiers of multiple atrocities during the Vietnam War, according to New York Times correspondent Neil Sheehan, a prominent critic of US involvement in the Vietnam War. Sheehan investigated the accounts in Lane’s book, Conversations with Americans Testimony from 32 Vietnam Veterans, and found most of them to be bogus.
A cynical warning that the pleasant sensation you experience listening to the following may be no more indicative of its wholesomeness and legitimacy as the one you get watching porn: