One of the absolute worst moments in Parkland, for me, came near the end when Ron Livingston, playing FBI agent Jim Hosty, faces off against his superior, James Gordon Shanklin, played by David Harbour who confronts him regarding a piece of paper delivered to Hosty by Lee Harvey Oswald ten days prior to the assassination of the President. The letter threatens Hosty and the field office, but as Hosty, in this clip, tries to relay to Shanklin it’s just one of several he receives each week, not to mention he was already investigating Oswald as was previously revealed in the film.
It’s when Shanklin screams, “We had the assassin of the President in our office,” that I really start to lose it. The rest of the conversation (if you can call it that) between the two is just increasingly infuriating. I hate, hate, hate when people such as this Shanklin character scream irrational and illogical sentiment and simply believe just because they are loud they are right.
Yes, you could argue this clip exhibits how “on edge” everyone was and how irrational many of them were thinking, looking to place the blame somewhere or to skirt blame if at all possible, which is what this clip eventually leads up to. But I simply cannot watch it without cringing.
“But Brad, if it was that affecting, why did you give the film such a bad review?” you ask. Because this is simply one piece of a puzzle that never comes together. Had something like this been presented within a greater context rather than the feeling of “elsewhere in the Dallas area” maybe it would have felt like a small piece of a greater whole, rather than a fragment of a fragment.
Either way, give it a watch if you like. Parkland hits theaters on October 4 and you can can watch three more clips and check out some pictures from the film right here.