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Chappaquiddick Movie Poster

Trivia for Chappaquiddick

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  • In the years following the Dyke bridge/Ted Kennedy tragety, and to this day, the Dyke bridge is affectionately referred to as "The Kennedy Car Wash" by Edgartown locals.
  • The extras to play the captain and the deckhand on the ferry sequence are actually captains and deckhands on the boat in real life dressed up to match their 60's counterparts
  • Jason Clarke, who plays Ted Kennedy in this film, was born on July 17th, 1969, just one day before the Chappaquiddick incident on July 18th, 1969.
  • Part of the film was filmed in Rockport, Massachusetts.
  • How Ted Kennedy got out of the car has never been explained. Neither he nor all the investigators (and investigations) offered an explanation.
  • Though not mentioned in the movie, there were three other men at the cottage with Ted Kennedy, Joseph Gargan, and Paul F. Markham. They were Charles Tretter, Raymond La Rosa, and John Crimmins.
  • When Ted is being chastised by his lawyers for his actions, they refer to his actions as "John Wayne stuff." Bruce Dern, who plays Joseph Kennedy, Sr. in this film, had previously appeared with Wayne in the film The Cowboys, killing his character. It was one of Wayne's few on-screen deaths.
  • From the phone booth, Ted asks to make a collect call to his father. However, he never identifies himself as Ted Kennedy; just Ted; and never tells the operator whom he is calling.
  • The 'father' and 'son' that find the car in the water the morning after the crash are actually father and son in real life and were chosen from a photo of the father fishing with his son. They shot in Chappaquiddick, Ipswich, MA and Rosarito, Mexico.
  • While the portrayed events take place in July, the background foliage is not the lush green of mid-summer. Rather, it's fading very slightly toward yellow, betraying the movie's having been shot towards the beginning of Fall.
  • -The film originally premiered at the Gala Presentations section at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2017.
  • -It was the closing film of the first Brussels International Film Festival (BRIFF) on 30/06/2018.
  • The car, a late model Oldsmobile with a curb height overall of about 4 feet, was lying on its crushed-in top and the wheels were out of water at low tide. High tide at Edgartown that night came at 3:54 A.M., and its rise and fall is only 2 feet. The accident, if it occurred around 11:30 P.M., came at about two hours after low tide, and therefore there could not have been much more than 4 feet of water, and perhaps less, at the point where the car lay. The bottom is presumably sandy, since the entire island is made of sand. Senator Kennedy gave credit to Messrs. Markham and Gargan for having "dived" at "risk to their lives" in an attempt to reach Miss Kopechne. It would be more appropriate to refer to wading and stooping.
  • The film depicts Kennedy being rowed across the Katama Bay Channel to Edgartown after the accident. Kennedy testified that he swam the 500 feet. How Kennedy returned to the mainland is one of the many inconsistencies with the events of that night. Columnist Jack Anderson reported only a month after the incident that Kennedy was, in fact, taken to shore by boat as shown in the film.

Spoilers

  • Chappaquiddick is the name of the island in Massachusetts where the accident occurred that killed Mary Jo Kopechne.
  • Joseph Kennedy Sr. (Bruce Dern) has only three lines. Twice off screen he says "Alibi," while in person he only says "You'll never be great."
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