Four Days in November (1964): Mel Stuart’s Docu about Kennedy Assassination

Mel Stuart directed Four Days in November, an early documentary about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Four Days in November
Four Days in November FilmPoster.jpeg

Film poster

It was nominated for an Academy Award for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar.

The film includes Dallas radio and television coverage of: The President’s arrival at Love Field (Bob Walker, WFAA-TV 8); Progression of the motorcade (Bob Huffaker, KRLD Radio); First local bulletin of shooting (Jay Watson, WFAA-TV 8); Reports at Parkland Hospital (Bob Huffaker, KRLD Radio); Official announcement of President’s death from Malcolm Kilduff (Roy Nichols, KLIF Radio).

Amateur films and photos include: Scenes along the motorcade route

Orville Nix’s films of the motorcade entering Dealey Plaza, the fatal head shot followed by Secret Service Agent Clint Hill climbing on top of the presidential limousine and the post-shooting confusion at the Plaza
Mary Moorman’s photo taken just a fraction of a second after the fatal shot
Bob Jackson’s photo of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald at the Dallas City Jail

The opening credits indicate that “certain scenes have been recreated in the original locations by the actual participants.”

Some of these recreations include:

Buell Wesley Frazier driving himself and Lee Harvey Oswald to work at the Texas School Book Depository on the morning of November 22. This scene includes commentary from Frazier and his sister Linnie Mae Randle who saw Oswald arrive at their house and place a package (in which Oswald told Frazier it contained curtain rods but really had the murder weapon) in Frazier’s car to take to work.

The segment of Oswald’s post-shooting trek from the Texas School Book Depository to the Texas Theater includes commentary from cab driver William Whaley, who picked Oswald up and took him to his house on North Beckley.

Jack Ruby’s path from his apartment to the Dallas City Jail on the morning of November 24.

Credits:

Produced and Directed by Mel Stuart
Written by Theodore Strauss
Narrated by Richard Basehart
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Vilis Lapenieks
Edited by William T. Cartwright

Production company: Wolper Productions

Distributed by United Artists

Release date: November 21, 1964

Running time: 122 minutes

Note:

TCM showed the movie on April 6, 2021.