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Kennedys, The - Miniseries / Les Kennedys - Miniseries (Bilingual)

Greg Kinnear , Barry Pepper , Jon Cassar    DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 22.99
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Kennedys, The - Miniseries / Les Kennedys - Miniseries (Bilingual) + Kennedy Comp Series + Thirteen Days (Widescreen)
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Product Description


It's not hard to see why the History Channel declined to air The Kennedys after members of America's "royal family" objected to the series' more salacious aspects. To be sure, there are plenty of them: drug habits, mobsters, election fixing, enough philandering to shame Tiger Woods, bad behavior ranging from cynical manipulation to outright cruelty… and Marilyn Monroe. But it's not as if these things haven't been covered at length elsewhere. And in any case, this is hardly a documentary; the eight-part miniseries, which spans the years from just before World War II to 1968, has been variously described, including by the filmmakers themselves, as "history through personality" and "a Greek tragedy," with a dose of hagiography added for good measure. The emphasis on the personal approach (commingled with major political events like the Bay of Pigs debacle, the Cuban missile crisis, and the forced integration of the University of Mississippi) is something of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, there's something appealingly juicy about being privy to the private conversations of this very public family; but at the same time, the dialogue created for such scenes is often on the nose ("Men can't say no to me," Monroe says as she tries to seduce Robert Kennedy), melodramatic, and risibly portentous ("I've never been so happy in my life," says Jackie Kennedy to her husband… as Air Force One lands in Dallas on November 22, 1963).

The complete absence of Edward Kennedy--who is never mentioned, let alone seen--is peculiar; sisters Kathleen, Eunice, and Jean are also nowhere to be found. That leaves the primary focus on paterfamilias Joseph Kennedy Sr., wife Rose, sons Jack and Bobby, and Jackie, and the portrayals of these near-mythic characters are among the best ever filmed. Tom Wilkinson plays Joe as a thoroughly ruthless, imperious kingmaker who, after his own and eldest son Joe Jr.'s presidential ambitions are ended (Sr. was fired from his post as British ambassador after disagreeing with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's war policies, while Jr. died in combat), forces the reluctant JFK to enter politics. As Jack, Greg Kinnear beautifully conveys the late president's humor, charisma, and compassion, while Barry Pepper is a revelation as the rebellious but strait-laced and dutiful Bobby, whose principal responsibility seems to be cleaning up after his older brother's many sexual indiscretions (Katie Holmes's long-suffering Jackie is a bit of a cipher, as was the first lady in real life). That these and other performances, including Diana Hardcastle's Rose and Don Allison's Lyndon Johnson, are in the service of material better suited to a soap opera than a serious drama hardly matters; any way you look at it, The Kennedys is compulsively watchable and never less than entertaining. --Sam Graham

Product Description

Inspired by one of the world’s most iconic families, this eight-part scripted drama/miniseries ventures upstairs at the White House to chronicle the saga of America’s first “royal” family during the 1960s. Through exhaustive research, THE KENNEDYS provides an intimate look at how Joseph Kennedy, Sr. shaped his sons John and Robert to become two of the most influential men in America’s history. With political events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, Bay of Pigs and the civil rights movement playing background to the personal stories of the relationships between brother and brother and father and son, THE KENNEDYS details how the two men handled their father, whose ambition exceeded their own, and ultimately made them who they were. THE KENNEDYS recounts the scandal, tragedy, public greatness and private frailty of our nation’s most fabled political family during one of the most momentous decades in history.

BONUS FEATURE: Includes 45 minute featurette The Kennedys: From Story to Film with behind-the-scenes footage, cast and crew interviews.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tales of a family Aug. 25 2011
"The Kennedys" caused a big stir before it was even aired, since the History Channel refused to air it, allegedly because it was a smear job.

Well, it wasn't a smear job, and reportedly the History Channel pulled out because the Kennedys put pressure on them. But it also wasn't the great American epic that you would expect -- its stately beginning and exploration of the world-changing effects of the Kennedy administration are marred by a rushed ending and lackluster direction.

The miniseries follows the Kennedy family as John F. Kennedy (Greg Kinnear) is elected as the President of the United States, with the help of his bombastic father Joe Sr. (Tom Wilkinson) and his devoted brother Bobby (Barry Pepper). But JFK had many obstacles, both personal and professional -- he's crippled by a bad back, his father made many enemies, and his marriage to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Katie Holmes) was troubled.

And over the course of his administration, the Kennedy brothers grapple with Cuba, Russia, riots over civil rights for African-Americans, and chasing down the mob. But there are also many personal crises -- drug use, a baby's death, Joe Sr.'s stroke -- that they struggle to deal with, until the shocking assassinations that destroyed both men.

First off: is "The Kennedys" a smear job? Answer: no, it is not. However, it contains a lot of material that the Kennedy family doesn't like to publicize despite its truth: Rosemary Kennedy's lobotomy, the frequent infidelity by Joe Sr. and Jack, the First Family's drug use, and the fact that Joe Sr. wasn't above using crooked associations to get what he wanted.

However, the miniseries is a fair and sympathetic look at the Kennedy clan overall.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minisérie sur les Kennedy Nov. 22 2012
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Excellente série, bien faite. Elle nous fait revivre une époque fantastique et tragique à la fois.
Très satisfait de ces DVD
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kennedy's DVD Nov. 9 2011
By Cheryl
Verified Purchase
I got the DVD much sooner than I thought I'd get it. I watched the movie and loved it. It was in perfect shape. I'm very impressed with the service I received from this vendor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fast paced Feb. 16 2012
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What is it about the kennedys,we just can,t seem to get enough..well at least i can,t..Well here is some more Kennedy morsels to feed a ravenous appetite,and vey satisfying too you won,t leave hungry..Well done!Of course thirteen dats the cuban missle crisis will probably always be my favourite,starring Kevin Coster and bruce greenwood as John F kennedy. President Kennedy was born to steer the world through that very dangerous time in world history!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Une belle série May 13 2014
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J'ai beaucoup aimé la série, qui nous a montré une autre facette des Kennedys. L'acteur qui a joué le rôle de John Kennedys est excellent.À voir.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! Dec 24 2013
''This mini-series tells the fate of charismatic John Fitzgerald Kennedy, his election to the presidency of the United States in 1960 to his assassination in Dallas three years later. A murder that still gives free rein to the wildest theories.''

I'm very interested in everything about the Kennedy's. This mini-serie is really great. The actors are amazing and the story is well built. I've seen the serie twice and will watch it again. Many things have been said and written about the Kennedy's and we have to... in french we say '' trancher ''. But whatever it is, I think that when it's brought to us with so much quality, it's a great pleasure to sit and watch. I recommend '' chaudement '' this serie. :-)

Whatever you see, whatever you hear, whatever you think you know, nothing is ever what it seems. So...
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