New Film Sheds Fresh Light on Ted Kennedy Chappaquiddick Scandal

A trailer released Wednesday has people across the country talking once again about the 1969 scandal involving the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy.

On July 18 of that year, Kennedy drove back from a party on Chappaquiddick Island — near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts — with 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne. But Kennedy accidentally drove off a bridge into a pond and was unable to get Kopechne, who died in the car, out of the water.

After the accident, it took him about 10 hours to report the crash to police. In the aftermath of the incident, many believed that the married Kennedy was having an affair with Kopechne and attempted to cover up his involvement in the accident before telling police what had happened.

There has also been controversy over whether Kopechne’s life could have been saved if Kennedy had immediately reported the incident. Kennedy claimed that he and several friends attempted to save Kopechne’s life, though some have wondered why he did not simply go to the police.

Moreover, though Kennedy said he was driving Kopechne back to where she was staying, it was later revealed that she left her purse and room key at the party, according to the History Channel.

Almost five decades later, a new movie, titled “Chappaquiddick,” is set to tell the story of what happened on that night and how the scandal transpired in the days that followed.

The John Curran-directed film stars Jason Clarke as Ted Kennedy and Kate Mara as Kopechne. Bruce Dern, meanwhile, plays Joe Kennedy, the patriarch of the famous family and Ted’s father.

“Chappaquiddick” is set to be released on April 6 of 2018, according to People magazine. But the trailer, released Wednesday, gives potential viewers an idea of what to expect.

“Oh my God, what have I done,” Kennedy can be heard saying in the trailer, while adding in another scene, “It was an accident.”

The full trailer can be seen below:

As noted by Townhall, “if the trailer is any indication, the filmmakers did not go easy on Ted Kennedy at all, and it appears to brutally skewer the members of the Kennedy family.”

Kennedy eventually pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident. His driver’s license was suspended for a year and he also got a two-month suspended prison sentence.

But though he did not receive any serious legal punishment for the incident, questions remained regarding what really happened that night.

As a result, Kennedy, who had once been considered a future contender for the presidency, spent the remainder of his career in the Senate.

“Chappaquiddick” has received mixed reviews from those who have seen it, as the film currently holds a 64 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Writing for Variety, Owen Gleiberman called the movie “meticulous docudrama” that “achieves what too few American political dramas do: a reckoning.”

But Hollywood Reporter reviewer Todd McCarthy was less impressed, noting that the film is “a detailed but less than gripping account of a dicey Kennedy family incident.” (For more from the author of “New Film Sheds Fresh Light on Ted Kennedy Chappaquiddick Scandal” please click HERE)

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