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Making of Oliver Stone’s JFK: How the Film Affected Dallas (1991)

Jim Ruddy

Sound | 1991

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Transcript
  •  -downtown, and you said you'd be there until about noon?Yeah, that's 20. 
  •  Woman: Which channel are you shooting for?Man: Channel 8.Woman: Huh?Man: Channel 8.Woman: You're in a restricted area. You gotta go back out there.Man: Oh, okay.Woman: Just so you know, you meet at Channel 2, it's supposed to provide full coverage.Man: Channel 2?Woman: Yeah 
  •  Woman: Yeah, they might still be here.Man: See about lining up a shot on the outside of the tower. 
  •  Jim Ruddy: -tell us what, can you do it without the shades on? Will that blind you? Okay, it'll be quick.  What's your name please?Taylor: James Taylor.Ruddy: James Taylor, like the singer, right?Taylor: Like the singer, yes.Ruddy: Are you from Dallas?Taylor: Yes I am.Ruddy: What do you think about making the movie? What do you think are the positive or negative aspects on making a movie about JFK are?Taylor: It's interesting just from that standpoint that you don't see this every day. I don't know that much about it because I wasn't born when the actual even occurred.Ruddy: What do you think as far as people's attitudes towards Dallas, how they might be affected by this?Taylor: I don't know. Have to see how it's portrayed when the movie comes out. I don't know; it's taken a long time to get over, the feelings- animosity towards Dallas.Ruddy: Do you think this movie might renew those or-?Taylor: It's hard to tell. It really is.Ruddy: Let it go and see what happens?Taylor: Yeah.Ruddy: Good to meet you James, thank you.Taylor: Alright, thank you. 
  •  Ruddy: Uh can you go ahead and tell me what your name is real quickly?Albrecht: My name is Marty Albrecht.Ruddy: Are you from Dallas Marty?Albrecht: Yes, well I've been a resident of Dallas for the last 15 years.Ruddy: What do you think about the making of this movie: JFK?Albrecht: I think it's pretty impressive. They're being real close on detail and everything. Really- it's something to watch.Ruddy: What about the trauma, do you think there's any possibility this is going to reopen some old wounds?Albrecht: Well the people that lived it know what they experienced, and it's just- it may bring it back to the surface for a while, but it'll settle back down again I'm sure. 
  •  Ruddy: So positives, negatives, how would you evaluate it?Albrecht: You can't fault the city for what happened here. It just happened to be the time and place it happened I believe. I mean that's my own opinion, so.Ruddy: Okay great. Thanks Marty. Appreciate it.Albrecht: Thank you. 
  •  Ruddy: Who's that guy?Stewart: He's with the Dallas Morning News.Ruddy: Oh my. It's okay and what's your name, please?Stewart: I'm Ron Stewart.Ruddy: Ron Stewart.Stewart: Yes.Ruddy: What do you think about all this.Stewart: Well it's interesting. I'm intrigued at the automobiles, the old automobiles dating back, the police uniforms, which are a little different than they are right now.Ruddy: What about the potential trauma? Do you think this might reopen old wounds?Stewart: I don't think it will.Ruddy: Why is that? Tell me what it won't do and why not.Stewart: Well for one reason I think half of the people here weren't born when this happened, so this probably seems like ancient history to them.Ruddy: What about to you?Stewart: No it will not. I think we're more sophisticated now that we won't relate to a city as being a cause of a president being assassinated. 
  •  Ruddy: Do you think we're, the general public is going to be more sophisticated than they were in 1963?Stewart: Definitely. Very definitely. Yes.Ruddy: What about the factual aspects of the movie. Do you think there was a conspiracy- if it says there was conspiracy and there wasn't one- do you think all those people in the theater are not going to believe what they see in this movie?Stewart: I think there are still a lot of unanswered questions. I can't lay on to whether there's a conspiracy or anything like that, but there's still some things that haven't fallen back in place yet.Ruddy: So bottom line, what's your opinion about the movie?Stewart: I don't know. I'm anxious to see it.Ruddy: That's the bottom line. Thank you.Stewart: Thank you.Ruddy: Excuse me sir, do you have a moment? 
  •  Mr. Elhers: 38 years. 38 years.Mr. Elhers: That's good. We rolling? Okay, can you tell me what your names are please?Mr. Elhers: Cliff and Cecil Elhers. We're from-Mr. Elhers: E-E-L-L-E-R-S?Mr. Elhers: E-L-H-E-R-S.Mr. Elhers: And you're from?Mr. Elhers: Tualatin, Oregon, just south or Portland.Mr. Elhers: What do you think about this- the idea of making a movie about the assassination of John F. Kennedy?Mr. Elhers: Oh I think it's important to keep history alive and do things like that.Mrs. Elhers: Sure.Mr. Elhers: I think it's good.Mr. Elhers: A lot of people were traumatized in Dallas about the events in '63 and the image that people then had of Dallas for a number of years as being not a nice place. Do you think a movie like this might reopen old wounds like that? Re-urge those kind of old attitudes.Mr. Elhers: Oh I don't think so. We've only been here a day and looked around. It's a nice town.Mrs. Elhers: It's a beautiful town.Mr. Elhers: Beautiful town.Mrs. Elhers: We're really excited about being here. 
  •  Ruddy: So you- what are your thoughts about whether this movie will affect how people feel about Dallas. Say it in a sentence form.Mr. Elhers: I wouldn't think it would change anything. You know, that's long history and it's- it's a nice town-Mrs. Elhers: In fact I think it will be good for Dallas to have the movie made.Ruddy: Okay, great. Listen, thanks. Enjoy your- 
  •  Ruddy: How's that. What's your name.Fontenot: Claude Fontenot.Ruddy: Claude Fontenot?Fontenot: Yes.Ruddy: How do you spell that?Fontenot: F-O-N-T-E-N-O-T.Ruddy: And where are you from, Claude?Fontenot: I'm from originally Beaumont, TX but living in Oklahoma City right now.Ruddy: What do you think about the making of this movie?Fontenot: I- I'm really not sure. I haven't given it much thought. I think it's good.Ruddy: What about- people in Dallas were kind of traumatized by the attitude people had towards them after Kennedy was shot. Do you think this is going to reopen any old wounds like that?Fontenot: No, I don't think it will. I really don't. I really don't know.Ruddy: Okay. Fontenot: Sorry.Ruddy: Thanks Claude. Have a good day. 
  •  Ruddy: You got a minute? Hear me?Man: Yeah. 
  •  Bowman: My name is Gary Bowman.Ruddy: Gary Bowman?Bowman: Yes sir.Ruddy: And are you from Dallas?Bowman: No, I'm from Santa Fe, Illinois.Ruddy: What do you think about them making this movie down here?Bowman: I'm kind of interested about it. It was an interesting time.Ruddy: A lot of people in Dallas were kind of traumatized by the Kennedy thing. What do you think about this movie? Do you think it's going to bring back old memories or what?Bowman: It really shouldn't if it tells the truth. I don't think anyone should fear the truth.Ruddy: Okay, do you think there's enough truth known that a moviemaker is going to be able to figure out what it is an put it on the screen?Bowman: That's I guess the question. They're investing a lot of money, so maybe they think so.Man: Alright.Ruddy: Thanks for your time. 
 
TAMI Tags
  •  Classic Cars 
  •  Downtown Scenes 
  •  Texas School Book Depository 
  •  James Taylor Interview (not the singer) 
  •  Marty Albrecht Interview 
  •  Ron Stewart Interview 
  •  Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Cecil Elhers Interview 
  •  Claude Fontenot Interview 
  •  Gary Bowman Interview 
 
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This unedited interview footage, taped by Dallas-based director Jim Ruddy for “Entertainment Tonight”, documents the behind-the-scenes commotion surrounding the filming of the Oliver Stone’s “JFK” in 1991. Ruddy interviews Dallas citizens watching the filming about whether or not they think that the film will be reopening the wounds from the JFK assassination and whether it will be detrimental to Dallas as a community. The general consensus is that the film will not open old wounds, but instead will ultimately be good for the community, as it is guaranteed to bring in revenue. Ruddy also captures images of the set and props used in the film.