Ruby

There's enough fact bending and half-assed moralizing in this futile attempt to tell the story of Jack Ruby – the man who shot the man who shot Kennedy – to make Oliver Stone's JFK seem like a model of clarity. Danny Aiello gives Ruby, a Dallas strip-club owner with Mob connections, his patented once-over as a lug with a heart of gold. Though Ruby is tough on hoods, he's a sucker for stripper Sheryl Ann Dujean (Sherilyn Fenn ofTwin Peaks). He dubs her Candy Cane and features her on special freebie nights for the Dallas police. That's when Officer Tippit (David Duchovny) – the cop later shot by Lee Harvey Oswald – also develops a yen for Candy, who is soon going places in Vegas and the White House.

Candy, by the way, is a figment of screenwriter Stephen Davis's over-worked imagination. Ditto most of the movie, ponderously directed by John Mackenzie. Davis's theory about the assassination, which he sees as a Mafia-CIA plot, is credible enough. But his human take on history is laughably misconceived. Given all the guesswork, we learn only that Ruby died of cancer in prison in 1967 without ever talking on the record. Tell us something we don't know. Somebody. Please.

From The Archives Issue 628: April 16, 1992