Television: Garbling History

THE TRIAL OF LEE HARVEY OSWALD ABC, Sept. 30 & Oct. 3

Even by the often slippery standards of TV's other so-called docudramas, this two-part made-for-TV movie is preposterous. In four mindless hours, it purports to resolve the major mysteries surrounding John F. Kennedy's assassination. To do so, Trial garbles history with wild abandon, but unlike ABC's similarly reckless Washington: Behind Closed Doors, it never entertains.

The movie is basically a speculation about what might have happened if Oswald had lived to stand trial. The first half dwells prosaically on the accused assassin's marital...

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