Sen. Ted Kennedy’s political career was tarnished on July 18, 1969, when his car crashed off a bridge on the tiny Massachusetts island of Chappaquiddick, plunging into the dark waters of the tide-swept Poucha Pond and killing 28-year-old passenger Mary Jo Kopechne — a mystery that continues to haunt “America’s Royal Family.” The shocking events leading up to the political aide’s demise are the subject of Fox Nation’s new documentary titled “Scandalous: Chappaquiddick,” which aims to investigate how the youngest Kennedy narrowly escaped from drowning and returned back to his hotel room unharmed. The Fox Nation special features never-before-seen interviews and retellings of the events that night, cracking down on the truth, pieces of evidence and errors that were apparent. That fateful night, Kennedy offered Kopechne a ride from a party at Chappaquiddick — and less than 10 hours later her dead body was being pulled from the soaked vehicle. At the time of the accident, Kennedy told police he was “unfamiliar with the road,” and that he came up to a narrow bridge at which point the car “went off the side of the bridge.” According to a description from a 1969 New York Times article, the road approaching the bridge is “narrow” with “no warning side on the approach.” Kennedy also claimed he had “no recollection” of how he got out of the car but added he “came to the surface and repeatedly dove down to the car in an attempt to see if the passenger was still in the car,” noting he was “unsuccessful in the attempt.” The accident was not reported by Kennedy, but rather by a mother of a little boy who saw the overturned car in the pond when he was fishing. Kennedy later described his failure to report the incident to police as “indefensible.” At the time members of the media swarmed Chappaquiddick, right off the east coast of Martha’s Vineyard, and unraveled Kennedy’s multiple mistakes during the evening — derailing Kennedy’s presidential ambitions for certain. Kennedy would go on to become one of the longest-serving U.S. senators, despite previously speaking of a “Kennedy curse” following the incident, questioning whether “some awful curse did actually hang over all the Kennedys.” The circumstances surrounding Kopechne’s drowning remain muddled nearly 10 years after the senator’s death in 2009 at age 77.
How Ted ever got elected to the Senate, and was re-elected over and over, speaks to the mindset of the folks in MA during that time. Had any one of us done the same thing, we would have been charged (and yes, convicted) of at least involuntary manslaughter and fleeing the scene of the crime. But, he was a Kennedy. So, he literally got away with murder, and became a U.S. Senator. Typical.. For more on this story, click on the text above.
The producer of “Chappaquiddick” took an unusual approach in making the film by deliberately avoiding conspiratorial excess and partisan fury. “It’s a piece of history. You can’t worry about the politics,” said producer Mark Ciardi. “We just present the facts as we know them. It’s supposed to make you think and feel conflicted.” He expressed confidence that audiences won’t view the film as a hit job on Democrats in general or the Kennedys in particular. “Everybody on the movie is more liberal in their leanings,” Mr. Ciardi said, noting that the film’s director, John Curran, has long admired the legacy of the late Sen. Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy. “Chappaquiddick,” which opens Friday, reconstructs the 1969 car accident and its aftermath that left 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne dead and Kennedy’s political career in jeopardy. Australian actor Jason Clarke embodies a craven Kennedy foundering amid a moral quandary and vainly attempting damage control by donning a fake neck brace at Kopechne’s funeral. Focused squarely on the facts, the film ignores rumors of a dalliance between Kennedy and Kopechne or that she was pregnant at the time of the accident. (Conspiracy theorists note that no autopsy was performed on Kopechne’s body.) Like many modern news stories, the tragedy in Chappaquiddick has fed much supposition and speculation. “Everyone has a different opinion on what happened that night. … There’s all these different conspiracy theories,” Mr. Ciardi said. “We tried not to be swayed in any way by them.” Instead, the film production relied heavily on a 1970 inquest by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to guide its retelling of the tale. That left the film’s creative team to imagine conversations behind closed doors at the Kennedy compound in the days after the crash. The writers knew that the senator called the family compound three times in the hours after the incident. That inspired a chilling sequence featuring Bruce Dern, playing patriarch Joe Kennedy. The stroke-stricken elder croaks out “Alibi” to his last surviving son hours after the accident. Early “Chappaquiddick” reviews are laudatory for the evenness of the presentation. The New York Daily News sums up the consensus, describing the filmmakers’ sober approach in exploring an ugly chapter in Kennedy lore: “Those are the facts and director John Curran doesn’t try to make them any prettier. Any uglier, either, to be fair.”
After SO many movies about Watergate, and Nixon….while he was still alive, no less.. It’s curious why it took HollyWEIRD so long to do a movie about this incident in which someone actually died (unlike Watergate). And, of course, it’s clear that they waited til after Ted Kennedy had passed away.. We look forward to seeing Chappaquiddick.. For more on this article, click on the text above.