This study examines three presidential assassination films in their relation to the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. They have long been neglected as potential factors in Lee Oswalds motivation. The study presents some major revelations.MoreThis study examines three presidential assassination films in their relation to the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. They have long been neglected as potential factors in Lee Oswalds motivation. The study presents some major revelations. Oswald was definitely very aware of The Manchurian Candidate, from reviews, advertisements, and his daily walks and bus rides right past a Dallas theater (the Palace, on Elm near Ervay) where it played for one month in late 1962.
It then played for a second month at other Dallas theaters, including the Texas, near his apartment. Since Oswalds wife Marina later reported that he went to movies alone during the same period, it seems probable that he even saw the film. Within weeks thereafter he bought his fateful rifle, a near-twin of the one featured in the film. In April 1963 he used the rifle when trying to assassinate General Edwin Walker, a nationally-prominent Dallas conservative. The attempt failed, but emboldened Oswald in his militant Marxism. Then, in October 1963, only days after learning that President Kennedy would soon visit Dallas, Oswald definitely saw another presidential assassination film, We Were Strangers (1949).
He saw it on television and even watched it twice on the same weekend, October 12-13. Dallas TV guides prove that it was broadcast twice, Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, during hours when Oswald had access to a television and was known to watch it. Moreover, his widow Marina reported in December that he had seen the film twice. Finally, Oswald did not see a third presidential assassination film, Suddenly (1954, starring Frank Sinatra) in autumn 1963, despite some claims to the contrary, but he was also influenced by it, at least indirectly.
In sum, this study strongly supports the lone assassin conclusion about Oswald by adding significant copycat factors to it.