Rush to Judgment (1967)

Rush to Judgment (1967)

“I figure there’s somethin’ else been goin’ on besides what should be.”

Documentarian Emile De Antonio films lawyer-author Mark Lane speaking with various individuals regarding the veracity of the Warren Commission‘s inquiry into the murder of JFK.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Assassination
  • Documentary
  • Emile De Antonio Films

Counterculture documentarian Emile de Antonio made a handful of must-see films covering various controversial topics in American history — including Point of Order (1964) about the McCarthy hearings, In the Year of the Pig (1968) about the Vietnam War, and this “alternative view” of the JFK assassination, featuring numerous witnesses whose testimony wasn’t necessarily taken into account when the government crafted its notorious report on the crime. The result is a disturbing insight into how and why conspiracy theories immediately began to circulate, given what seems like clear and ample evidence that complicates the Warren Commission’s findings. Many individuals here seem justifiably distraught — including a man hit by gunfire debris while watching the Dallas motorcycle, a man who witnessed the assassination from a close distance with his five-year-old son next to him, and Abraham Zapruder (who shot the 26.6-second assassination footage seen world-wide), among others. All Americans should make a point of watching this film as part of their overall understanding of what may have happened on the infamous day of November 22, 1963.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Invaluable historical footage

Must See?
Yes, at least for American film fanatics, for its historical relevance.


  • Historically Relevant


One thought on “Rush to Judgment (1967)

  1. First viewing. Must-see, for its importance in cinema / American history. As per my post in ‘Film Junkie’ (fb):

    “And my actual investigating did not begin until I started reading the Warren Report and realized that something was very, very much amiss, in reading that report.”

    ‘Rush To Judgment’: This is a 1966 documentary film by Emile de Antonio, referred to as “the most important political filmmaker in the United States during the Cold War”. His other films of note include ‘Point of Order’ (about the McCarthy hearings), ‘In the Year of the Pig’ (about the US involvement in Vietnam) and ‘Millhouse: A White Comedy’ (about Nixon).

    This documentary is based on the work of NY state legislator and civil rights activist Mark Lane – who wrote at least four major works on the JFK assassination, including the one this documentary highlights. Lane serves as host for the film.

    ‘RTJ’ is an indictment of the Warren Commission and its Report. And it’s a startling one at that, as Lane interviews a large number of eyewitnesses to the Kennedy assassination who were never even called on by the Commission.

    While a good part of the doc naturally has its focus on clarification re: Lee Harvey Oswald, an equally compelling segment later on sheds light on Jack Ruby. In particular, while there is footage of a Dallas police chief stating that relatively few men on his force even knew who Ruby was, a former female associate of Ruby’s (who operated a bar he owned) attests to the fact that Ruby was personally acquainted with at least half of the 1200 men on the Dallas police force. She says that Ruby made it very clear to her that, in her job, she was to basically treat the police like royalty.

    Yes, this is an old documentary. Nevertheless, it’s explosive. The eyewitness accounts are stunning – as are the revelations re: various other witnesses to events who were either told to ‘keep quiet or else’ – or who died under very mysterious circumstances.

    A recommended film for those with an interest in corruption and intrigue throughout American history.

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