Bad Times At The The El Royale still leaves one mystery unanswered at the film’s close. Who was on the highly coveted tape that Darlene decided to burn during her and Pretend Priest Daniel Flynn’s escape?
Throughout the movie there are several clues dropped as to the featured person’s identity and I believe that I have the answer.
The Discovery Of The Tape
The tape is first mentioned when the FBI Agent, Played by Jon Hamm, discovers hidden microphones and a camera behind a two-way mirror overlooking the rooms. The Agent is there recovering microphones after a surveillance operation. So, we can draw the conclusion that whoever they were spying on was a VIP. The Agent’s superiors also tell him that retrieving the microphones is of the utmost importance and therefore we can guess that should they be discovered it would have disastrous consequences for the agency.
Father Flynn later discovers the tape hidden in Miles’ room and instantly recognises the man on it. He attempts to take it along with the money and when Billy Lee and the rest of his cult look at the film they summarise that it’s worth more than both lots of money combined. It is hinted that the man on it is dead which is another huge clue to it being the ex-president, John F Kennedy.
Evidence to support this comes when Miles is confined and he confesses that he saw a Senator, something which Kennedy was before his Presidency, beating up a prostitute. The time setting of 1969 makes it plausible that it could be Kennedy, as he had been assassinated by this point. Behind the reception area we can also see a photograph of Marilyn Monroe who was rumoured to be having an affair with JFK.
The El Royale itself is based on the real-life hotel Cal-Neva which was on the border of California and Nevada. This was a hotel that The Kennedy’s frequented regularly during the 60s.
In 2001, the hotel was reopened and an employee giving a tour stated that Marilyn Monroe stayed there and got it on with JFK in a circular bed.
Whilst Bad Times At The El Royale never out and out states who is on the tape, to me it is crystals clear. Perhaps they avoided naming the person on it due to potential law suits but I love that there are little clues that hint towards the identity of the man in question.
So, what are your thoughts on who is on the tape! Comment below and let me know and if you enjoyed this video check out my Ending Explained one on the full movie, linked at the end of this.
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Thanks again for taking the time to watch this. I’ve been Deffinition, you’ve been the best and I’ll see you next time, take care, PEACE!