February 14, 1962

Jackie Kennedy had a love for history and art, which was why in 1961 she formed the Fine Arts Committee.  She wanted to create a living museum out of the White House to preserve American history and leadership rather than continue the trend of replacing the furniture of former presidential families.  The televised tour was to showcase Jackie’s work to the nation and justify the amount of money that had been spent on preserving and locating historical furniture and art.[1]  Jean Rabasse was the French production designer tasked with recreating the tour for Jackie in Paris.  To do this he and his team found the actual blueprints of Jackie’s renovations which were then used to place artwork and furniture.[2]  The scene would be cut with archival footage meaning everything had to be exactly the same to ensure smooth transitions.  Rabasse would face the same difficulty as CBS in 1962 when trying to get the correct shade of red to appear on film as both Kennedy and Portman had different suits for the color and black and white shots.  Jackie is the first English speaking film for Larraín and this scene is particularly important for understanding Jackie outside of the American myth.  Larraín stated that he had only thought of Jackie as the stylish wife of JFK until he watched the White House Tour on Youtube and became enamored with her passion and self-reflection.[3]  Jackie describes the efforts of Mary Todd Lincoln to restore the White House and her devastation after her husband’s assassination, it is an incredible moment of self-awareness for Jackie.  Larraín insisted that this scene of the tour be included to show that Jackie was so much more than just a woman of fashion or domesticity.

[1] “The White House Tour Seen in ‘Jackie,’ as Described in 1962,” Time, accessed November 10, 2020, https://time.com/4586913/white-house-tour-jackie/.

[2] Tim Gray, “Global Crew Forges an American Icon,” Variety 334, no. 10 (December 14, 2016): 175–76.

[3] Peter Sobczynski, “Building a Mystery: Pablo Larraín On,” https://www.rogerebert.com/, accessed November 10, 2020, https://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/building-a-mystery-pablo-larra%C3%ADn-on-jackie.

Bettmann. “Mrs. John F. Kennedy on White House Tour on CBS-TV.” Getty Images.


Bettmann. “Mrs. John F. Kennedy on White House Tour on CBS-TV.” Getty Images. Accessed November 9, 2020. https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/mrs-john-f-kennedy-on-white-house-tour-on-cbs-tv-news-photo/515026360?adppopup=true.

Gray, Tim. “Global Crew Forges an American Icon.” Variety 334, no. 10 (December 14, 2016): 175–76.

Jackie (2016) White House Tour Comparison. Searchlight Pictures , 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=espe9jaGBv0.

Sobczynski, Peter. “Building a Mystery: Pablo Larraín On.” https://www.rogerebert.com/. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/building-a-mystery-pablo-larra%C3%ADn-on-jackie.

Time. “The White House Tour Seen in ‘Jackie,’ as Described in 1962.” Accessed November 10, 2020. https://time.com/4586913/white-house-tour-jackie/.