Tom Hanks Talks THE PACIFIC, Upcoming Series on JFK Assassination

by     Posted 4 years, 210 days ago

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In a profile piece by Time Magazine, Tom Hanks is depicted as the accidental history buff.  He wasn’t interested in history when he was in school, but now he, along with Steven Spielberg, is about to release his second ten-part World War II mini-series.  HBO’s eagerly awaited The Pacific follows three soldiers as they travel through the Pacific campaign.  In the piece, Hanks notes that they won’t shrink from the horror of America’s own brutality in the war, and he’s eager to show how our battle in the Pacific compares to a current war in the Middle East:

“From the outset we wanted to make people wonder how our troops can reenter society in the first place.  How could they just pick up their lives and get on with the rest of us. Back in World War II we viewed the Japanese as ‘yellow slant-eyed dogs’ that believed in different Gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. Does that sound familiar by any chance to what’s going on today?”

Hit the jump for what Hanks had to say regarding his plans for a mini-series about the JFK Assassination.  The Pacific premieres March 14th at 9/8c on HBO.

tom_hanks__2_.jpgHanks also commented on his plan to give the mini-series treatment to Vincent Bugliosi’s 1,648 tome, Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy:

Hanks and Gary Goetzman will act as executive producers, and Hanks hopes the adaptation will air in 2013. He believes the public has been snookered into believing that Lee Harvey Oswald was framed. “We’re going to do the American public a service,” Hanks says. “A lot of conspiracy types are going to be upset. If we do it right, it’ll be perhaps one of the most controversial things that has ever been on TV.”

I think it will be controversial insofar as conspiracy buffs will rail against it and some people will go, “Huh, that’s interesting.”  The JFK Assassination is fascinating, but it’s hardly a hot-button issue.  Hopefully, Hanks will not only systematically debunk of conspiracy claims (as Bugliosi’s book does), but get to the heart of why Kennedy’s assassination created such theories in the first place, and why people have invested in these theories for over forty years.




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  • Alex Hiddell

    Look forward to seeing the JFK miniseries. Hopefully it will be a bit easier to swallow than Bugliosi’s book, which is written in an obnoxiously unscholarly voice, and published in such a cumbersome volume that it’s almost impossible to put on your lap without breaking a leg. In the end, Americans should not be encouraged to get their history lessons from Hollywood types—whether it’s Tom Hanks OR Oliver Stone.

  • Alex Hiddell

    Look forward to seeing the JFK miniseries. Hopefully it will be a bit easier to swallow than Bugliosi’s book, which is written in an obnoxiously unscholarly voice, and published in such a cumbersome volume that it’s almost impossible to put on your lap without breaking a leg. In the end, Americans should not be encouraged to get their history lessons from Hollywood types—whether it’s Tom Hanks OR Oliver Stone.

  • WWII daughter

    Tom Hanks is an uneducated idiot. Accidental historian is factually incorrect. Even my fourth graders know the motivation for our entry into WWII was Pearl Harbor. American atrocities? Really? Here is an easy lesson for you Tom. The Japanese never signed the Geneva Convention, and took full advantage of mistreating our captured troops accordingly. You might want to look it up in one of those things with information. They're called books, but I,m sure you can afford a Kindle.

  • Kyle

    United States soldiers sent home heads of Japanese soldiers as trophys of war. There was profound racism on both sides. The Japanese certainly committed awful atrocities but history must also acknowledge the fact Americans did it too, even if it was less frequent. WWII daughter, I have a 'thing with information' that might expand your brain beyond one dimensional idiocy: John W. Dower's War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War.'

  • Kyle

    United States soldiers sent home heads of Japanese soldiers as trophys of war. There was profound racism on both sides. The Japanese certainly committed awful atrocities but history must also acknowledge the fact Americans did it too, even if it was less frequent. WWII daughter, I have a 'thing with information' that might expand your brain beyond one dimensional idiocy: John W. Dower's War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War.'

  • anthonypetroff

    The JFK issue will go round and round.

    However, there is concrete evidence readily available, that will not go away, that we can exam and discuss.

    The most recent consensus (and apparently Hanks slant) is that Oswald was the assassin, that he was lucky, and that his personality profile proves that he was a simpleton seeking to go down in history, and maybe he was involved in a conspiracy.

    Very possible.

    However, my problem with this relates to the concrete video footage that we can examine–better evidence than 99% of what is discussed during the JFK assassination.

    1) If Oswald was seeking historical recognition due to some mental dysfunction, why do the images of him, documented at the time of his arrest, show a calm, rational, disgusted individual?

    2) If he was such a simpleton, how was he able to master the Russian language, defect to Russian, return, and carry on with life at a time when our government hounded anyone connected with communism, not to mention being a traitor; furthermore, it is documented Oswald had a high IQ and came from a very modest background.

    We do not see a person gloating his success; we do not see a person who achieved his goal and ready to accept the consequences.

    We see an individual factually, and fully composed, requesting legal representation. We, frankly, see an individual disgusted with himself–disgusted for letting himself be used–probably as a covert plant that had knowledge of the circumstances but conditioned to think he had a different role.

    Oswald's look, repeatedly, is one of self-disgust; he knows his goose is cooked and that he fell for it hook, line and sinker.

    Never one inkling of satisfaction having achieved his alleged “historical” goal.

    He portrayed his disgust right up to the time he was forced to admit to himself, and to appeal for help: “I am a patsy.”

    You can talk about angles, sounds, magic bullets, conspiracy, etc., from now until the end of time; however, Oswald's demeanor, on film, is all the concrete proof I need.

    Oswald was probably a covert plant; a plant to be used, and expendable, when necessary by highly sophisticated operatives that were common during the cold war.

    If has been proven that the US maintained a wealth of covert plants, whose lives were expended at whim, around the globe; why would we believe such an extensive staff did not include personnel groomed for use in the U.S.?

  • Tigertim

    –Endless cultural incest and anachronistic, PC WWII retreads aside–

    —even as, while Hollywood, having been catering to the franchise
    slum denial needs of history's –MOST– awesomely genocidal regime
    -bar none! —ACROSS the Pacific —manages to 'mysteriously
    overlook' the 60th Anniversary of the genuinely, indeed, urgently
    relevant KOREAN WAR and legacy…

    –TOOOOOOO FUNNY!

  • Cinderelly

    I don’t think Matt knows a thing about the assassination or he would not have written such a crap article.

  • Alan Bennett

    Bugliosi points out that in a crime, an innocent person could have, at most, three pieces of evidence pointing to his guilt. In his book, he lays out 53 separate pieces of evidence that irresistibly points to Osawald’s guilt. Only in a fantasy world (or in the feverish minds of conspiracy buffs) could an innocent person have 53 pieces of evidence pointing to his guilt.You can nit pick all you want, but I prefer to live in the real world!

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