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Recreating the Zapruder Film

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

There are not that many from our generation who has not seen or heard about the infamous Zapruder Film. Maybe you did not know the name of it, but this is the film that captured the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. In November of 2012, we traveled to Dallas an to the plaza to re-create that film.

The Zapruder film is a silent, color motion picture sequence shot by private citizen Abraham Zapruder with a home-movie camera, as U.S. President John F. Kennedy's motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, thereby unexpectedly capturing the President's assassination.

Though not the only film of the shooting, it has been called the most complete, giving a relatively clear view from a somewhat elevated position, and on the side from which the president's head wound is visible. It was an important part of the Warren Commission hearings and all subsequent investigations of the assassination, and is one of the most studied pieces of film in history. Of greatest notoriety is the film's capture of the fatal shot to President Kennedy's head when his limousine was almost exactly in front of, and slightly below, Zapruder's position. (Wikipedia)

Here is a view of the Zapruder video, if you have lived in a cave since 1963 and have never watched it before. Although this is showing on this page as being blocked, just keep following through to watch it directly on YouTube to see a copy of the actual film. CAUTION THIS IS A VERY GRAPHIC VIDEO, but it is still available on YouTube.

When Marianne and I visited Dealey Plaza, I pointed out the cement pillar explaining that this was the location where Abraham Zapruder stood while filming this famous piece of history. He jumped up on the cement pillar so that he would be able to record the President driving by over the grounds that were lining the streets that day.

Of course Marianne had to jump up and see the view form up there on top of the pillar, the exact same location that Mr. Zapruder was standing on that fateful day.

While up on top of that pillar, Marianne was inspired to recreate the film. See if you recognize this video...

The following is the short clip that she made on her camera, which really was not much better technology wise than Mr. Zapruder's high-end Model 414 PD Bell & Howell Zoomatic Director Series Camera.

Here are some more photos from Dealey Plaza.

If you would like to see some more information from our visit to Dealey Plaza, you can check out our following blog posts:

Please leave us a comment below if you have been to Dealey Plaza and tell us about your experiences there.

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