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Jul 29th
01:44 am
First 'Parkland' stills & an article  

The hospital scenes for Parkland were shot in an Austin hospital that was a "dead ringer" for Parkland Memorial Hospital, says Landesman. Here, Efron's doctor deals with watching two critically wounded patients die in the span of two days -- President John F. Kennedy and his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. "At this point he cannot believe he has lost them both," says Landesman.

Marcia Gay Harden stars as the head nurse of the trauma unit at Dallas' Parkland Hospital, where the critically wounded president was taken. Zac Efron plays a rookie doctor, the only doctor on duty at the time. “One of the greatest things about Parkland is that a few ordinary men were placed under extraordinary circumstances," says Efron. "It's amazing to witness people defy the odds in the face of chaos.”

Paul Giamatti plays Abraham Zapruder, who happened to be filming the president's motorcade when mayhem broke out. The resulting video is "the most examined and investigated pieces of celluloid in the history of film," says Landesman. The director said Giamatti had "a surreal" moment playing out this historic moment on location at Dallas' Dealey Plaza.

Billy Bob Thornton stars as Secret Service Agent Forrest Sorrels in 'Parkland,' written and directed by Peter Landesman. The look at the Kennedy assassination is due out Sept. 20, near the 50-year anniversary of the fateful day -- Nov. 22, 1963 -- when President Kennedy was killed in Dallas. The film looks at the vital, smaller characters swept up in the terrible drama, including Sorrels, a true professional. "He was all business," says Thornton. "And that's the way I played him."

Jeremy Strong plays an "eerily accurate" killer Lee Harvey Oswald, says Landesman.

'Parkland' shines new light on Kennedy assassination

The movie, out Sept. 20, explores characters around John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Peter Landesman had an ambitious task with his film Parkland -- finding a fresh look at the thoroughly examined assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The screenwriter and first-time director focused on the smaller players with vital but overlooked roles in the chaotic drama which played out on Nov. 22, 1963.

"This is a movie about the ground truth from the ground level," Landesman says about the film due out Sept. 20. "What surprised me was the power and poignancy of those who survived that day and the three that followed -- the heroism, the instincts and the pathos of those swept up in this tsunami. This is an event that happened to individuals."

After the motorcade shooting in Dallas' Dealey Plaza, Kennedy was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead despite desperate attempts to save his life. His assailant, Lee Harvey Oswald, died in the same hospital two days later after being shot in the stomach.

The unraveling and intertwining narrative stays away from prominent characters such as the Kennedys and instead explores the besieged hospital staff -- with Zac Efron playing the rookie doctor on duty and Marcia Gay Harden as the head nurse in the trauma room. The staff was told only that the president was on the way to the hospital, not of the terrible events which had transpired.

"No one was prepared for what was coming. They thought the president had the flu," says Landesman.

Paul Giamatti plays Abraham Zapruder, the accidental witness who happened to be filming the motorcade. "That 26 seconds of film changed his life and all of our lives forever," says Landesman. "It's the most examined and investigated piece of celluloid in the history of film."

Billy Bob Thornton portrays Forrest Sorrels, the head of Dallas' Secret Service office, who took the unstoppable crime personally.

"The Secret Service had never lost a man, and they lost their man," says Thornton. "He felt bound and determined to find out what happened immediately while he was going through the worst time in his life. He felt completely responsible."

Landesman was adamant about shooting key scenes in Dealey Plaza, even painstakingly reconstructing the open-topped stretch limousine in which Kennedy was riding with first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. The setting carried emotional weight for the actors and crew. Thornton, who recalls being sent home from school at age 8 after the assassination, said he had a surreal experience acting in a scene near the plaza.

"Paul (Giamatti) looks so much like Zapruder that it just all seemed very, very real," says Thornton. "You really forgot that you were making a movie for a moment."

Landesman says the film follows Oswald, played by "eerily accurate" Jeremy Strong, and his family. James Badge Dale is brother Robert and Jackie Weaver is mother Marguerite. But Parkland, which will be showcased in both the Toronto and Venice film festivals, does not address any of the conspiracies attached to Oswald's actions.

"That's not what this film is about. No one is putting together any kind of puzzle here. They're just surviving," says Landesman. "But the film will open up a new avenue of debate. And a healthy one."

Source: USA Today
12 12 comments Comment
Bee: Zac – Details - plaid - profilejeezbee on July 29th, 2013 12:02 am (UTC)
That Zac still has the best angle. :D

Great to see them starting with promo.
Sapphirasapphia on July 29th, 2013 06:41 am (UTC)
Great photos. Zac looks great. I really want to see the trailer soon.
And very happy for you about the release of the film on September 20.
My country, as always, don't bought the film. :( But I hope it will happen in Venice.

Edited at 2013-07-29 06:43 am (UTC)
kleth on July 29th, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
He can take my pulse anytime. But I don't think the blood pressure reading would be in the normal range.
countessm3countessm3 on July 29th, 2013 09:09 pm (UTC)
Pap Smear
I was thinking more along the lines of a pelvic exam. He can probe me with his special tool. (-;

Yeah, he looks totally hot in that picture. Think I found my new desktop background.
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on July 30th, 2013 07:26 pm (UTC)
I really like the pictures
kleth on July 31st, 2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
Technical question: Did physicians show up for work with a three-day stubble face, in 1963 when people cared about such things?
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on August 1st, 2013 04:57 am (UTC)
I mean considering it was "okay" to smoke inside hospitals back then, then I would assume things were pretty relaxed.
kleth on August 1st, 2013 07:06 pm (UTC)
I don't think smoking was a social taboo at that time. But consider the whole assassination story. Can you recall anyone, from President Kennedy on down to Oswald and Ruby, who ported three-day stubble? Remember, this was even before the Beatles made slightly longish hair fashionable among young people rebelling against society. Beards were very rare, the stubbly look so popular today was the look that hobos and winos sported.
lilly4848lilly4848 on August 2nd, 2013 01:45 am (UTC)
Why do you say it's a 3 day stubble? First year residents often work long hours; sometimes they have 28 hour shifts. Couldn't the stubble simply be due to him being at the end of a long shift?

Edited at 2013-08-02 01:54 am (UTC)
kleth on August 2nd, 2013 07:41 pm (UTC)
I'm just estimating that it would take three days to grow that length of stubble. It occurred to me that this could be an image from the end of the three day Kennedy-Oswald crisis at the hospital, like he might be on duty the whole time. But he could still take five minutes for a quick once-over with an electric shaver, and probably would. There's questions of social status involved here. This guy is a doctor. The unshaven look was considered normal for alcoholics and bums.
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on August 4th, 2013 01:15 am (UTC)
Most ER doctors and nurses can't take a quick 5 minutes to do anything when there's major trauma events going on.

"the unshaven look was considered for alcoholics and bums" House would disagree.
kleth on August 5th, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
"House would disagree."

I'm talking about 1963 here, when there were still some social standards.