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The U.S. vs. John Lennon 2006 PG-13 CC

(132) IMDb 7.4/10
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A documentary on the life of John Lennon, with a focus on the time in his life when he transformed from a musician into an antiwar activist.

John Lennon, Stew Albert
1 hour, 40 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Romance, Music, Documentary
Director David Leaf, John Scheinfeld
Starring John Lennon, Stew Albert
Supporting actors Tariq Ali, Carl Bernstein, Robin Blackburn, Chris Charlesworth, Noam Chomsky, Walter Cronkite, Mario Cuomo, Angela Davis, John Dean, Felix Dennis, David Fenton, Bob Gruen, Ron Kovic, Paul Krassner, Yoko Ono, G. Gordon Liddy, George McGovern, Elliot Mintz
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 115 people found the following review helpful By ewomack VINE VOICE on October 15, 2006
Format: Theatrical Release
Some fans of John Lennon's music couldn't swallow what he eventually became. For such people, hearthrobbing memories of the loveable moptop didn't gel with the later scraggy haired peace toting activist. "The U.S. vs. John Lennon" shows a reporter confronting Lennon on this very issue. She tells him outright that he should take a look at himself and suggests that he should feel ashamed. Lennon tells her that he's all grown up, and when she asks "to what?" he answers simply "29."

That answer should perk brows. It's easy to forget that Lennon, a larger than life figure in life and in death, was rather young during the most controversial part of his life. Fresh from the breakup of the Beatles, the incomprehensibly famous twenty-something focused his energies on activism. His life as the "intelligent" Beatle may have made him feel somewhat infallible - and in some ways he was untouchable. The head-on clash he had with the United States government, documented in this film, probably bolstered that feeling. That he accomplished what he did at such a young age remains astonishing.

Anyone familiar with Lennon's career knows that he had a penchant for making bold statements. Some of these led to public outcry. After a brief overview of Lennon's childhood, the film shows the fallout from his 1966 "we're more popular than Jesus" statement. Beatle bonfires, condemnation in the press, boycotts, and defamation resulted. The band survived, of course. But that controversy failed to staple his tongue. With almost unprecedented candor for a rock star, Lennon began to speak out against the Vietnam war. One scene shows the Beatles poised press-conference style. An interviewer throws out a question about the United States' involvement in Vietnam.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By R. DelParto VINE VOICE on September 24, 2006
Format: Theatrical Release
THE US VS. JOHN LENNON is a riveting documentary that shows how the judicial and immigration system works in the United States. John Lennon was placed under the microscope by President Nixon and the US FBI during the early 1970s because he posed as a threat to Nixon's political campaign, and an intense influence on the youth of America as a result of his music and iconoclastic image. Bottom line, the film focuses on Lennon's activism as well as the controversial and gray aspects of the meaning of activism and dissent.

Director David Leaf interweaves Lennon's music within the documentary with a collage of images of the mop-top Beatle to the bearded-hippie shouting for world peace from an Amsterdam hotel room alongside the press and fellow peers. The core participants and leaders of the late 1960s and early 1970s are presented in the film, such as John Sinclair, Angela Davis, J. Edgar Hoover, President Richard M. Nixon, and various writers and journalists who reported about Lennon. The interesting aspect are the recent interviews of those political activists who attempted to make a mark on society. Within Leaf's documentary is the past, but the political atmosphere of the present appears to parallel or bear similarities to the past.

THE US VS. JOHN LENNON is entertaining. In light of serious events that occurred in Lennon's life, he tend to press on. There are funny moments in the film as well as serious ones. But the film also presents the chilling aspects of the system of government, and the powers that be. Lennon may have been one the last influential figures of the 1960s who spoke and sang a thousand words to a generation that just wanted to be listened and understood, and politics did not stop him from creating his love of music for all to hear.

This film is highly recommended for all Lennon fans as well as those who would like to understand the relationship between politics and music.
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Format: DVD
John Lennon was not the sort of man who could be bullied. He was a man of incredible principle who, once he believed he was right, simply would not budge. This DVD allows us to revisit the years John Lennon transformed himself from being a musician into a type of politician who used both words and music to deliver his message. His wife Yoko and other peace activists including Abbie Hoffman and John Rubin influenced him greatly, too.

Lennon was always the rebel; and one DVD narrator comments that in Yoko John found the other half of his voice. John and Yoko both thought outside the box and were not afraid to stand up for their beliefs. This DVD demonstrates that they knew the press would constantly hound them so they used the media very cleverly to transport their political beliefs, especially about the war in Vietnam, to the world. John and Yoko's honeymoon "bed-in" in The Amsterdam Hilton is an example of how skillfully they used the media to their advantage. Excellent!

Of course this made the Nixon administration very nervous. Nixon believed that Lennon had the power to steal his thunder; and Nixon was at the very least partially right. Nixon campaigned in 1968 for the presidency with the offer of "a secret plan" to end hostilities in Vietnam. As we now know, that certainly was not the case; after Nixon took office Vietnam continued and the conflicts worsened. As more and younger voters were influenced by their idol John Lennon's political beliefs, Nixon became increasingly paranoid and eventually stooped lower than any other president has ever done.

At the same time, Lennon and Ono had good reason to be nervous themselves; their phones were almost certainly tapped and they were followed by government "officials" everywhere they went.
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