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The Kennedys [Blu-ray]

4.5 out of 5 stars 253 customer reviews

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(Sep 20, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

The most famous family in American history comes to life in this epic 8-part miniseries event.

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.

Special Features

  • 45 minute featurette The Kennedys: From Story to Film
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Cast and crew interviews


Without a doubt one of the best, most riveting, historically accurate drama about a time and place in American history that has ever been done for TV. --New York Post

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Greg Kinnear, Barry Pepper, Katie Holmes, Tom Wilkinson
  • Directors: Jon Cassar
  • Writers: Joel Surnow, Stephen Kronish
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Box set, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: September 20, 2011
  • Run Time: 353 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,515 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Kennedys [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on April 8, 2011
In one of the most patently absurd manufactured controversies of this or any year, the History Channel commissioned this dramatized portrait of the Kennedy clan and then bowed to outside pressure not to air it. Other networks soon passed on the finished product, and this television production was all but demonized before it even saw the light of day. What exactly has this miniseries been found guilty of? It plays fast and loose with some of the facts? Well, this isn't a documentary, that's for sure--but who expected it would be? As a superficial and fictional presentation, it is not the least bit surprising that elements of the story are emphasized for entertainment purposes. This is a dramatization, not unlike dozens of others that populate feature films and TV movies, that embellishes its story to fit a certain format. Are the Kennedys really that untouchable? As fodder for countless films, TV shows, and novels through the years (perhaps more so than any other family in history), the Kennedy story has been covered from almost every angle--from reverential to scurrilous. Anyone who is scandalized by "The Kennedys" must surely have had their head in the sand about the clan. I have viewed and read dozens of far more incendiary provocations over the last 30 years!

If anything, this miniseries is guilty of being an old fashioned TV product--a throw back to the days before cable ruled the adult viewing audience. In fact, for that reason alone, the presentation is surprisingly tepid--in other hands, this might have been turned into a piece worthy of controversy. Okay, I promise to get off my soapbox now and talk about the actual film. Shot in eight bite sized nuggets (I mean episodes), "The Kennedys" does not purport to be a comprehensive biography.
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I'be been watching this series on the Reelz channel. The acting is superb, you would really think you were watching JFK himself and Katy Holmes is really great as Jackie. I don't want to discount the actor playing Bobby Kennedy. I don't think he particulary looks like Bobby but he sure sounds like him. If you want a good idea of the politics of the era and the interactions of the Kennedy family, this is a really entertaining way to get it. I haven't seen the whole series yet but what I have seen makes me want to purchase the dvd now. I don't know why this series was rejected by the major tv channels and the Kennedy family. It probably has something to do with the womanizing ways of Joe Kennedy and JFK. I don't think it diminishes my memories of JFK and I still find him to be a great leader. Really, this series should not be overlooked.
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Format: DVD
A somewhat superficial but entertaining focus of the Kennedy family and their rise to power with the early focuses being on Joe Kennedy (played brilliantly by Tom Wilkinson) and later on JFK (Greg Kinnear really gets the mannerisms down of the original JFK). Many of the high points of JFK's Presidency are covered and every scandal or dark secret connected to the family seems to be covered (i.e. JFK's sleeping around, Marilyn Monroe's suicide being because of JFK, Frank Sinatra and the mob, etc). Kennedy fans may consider those focuses a "character assassination" attempt on the man so be warned. Katie Holmes gets criticized for her role in playing Jackie Kennedy but I felt she did a commendable enough job. Barry Pepper did a lot better than I expected as Robert Kennedy and Diana Hardcastle was a startlingly good Rose Kennedy. In fact, I'd say some of the most interesting scenes were the flashbacks between her and Joe especially when their eldest child was put away into a nunnery and later lobotomized. I would have liked something about Ted Kennedy and some argue the assassination was toned down in the last episode which I partly agree with. Historian David Talbot was used as source material in the making of this miniseries. I would surmise they sometimes get it right but it's a truly rare piece that tries to be historically authentic over emotionally engaging. As of the writing of this review the Emmies have nominated this miniseries for: Outstanding Miniseries, Best Actor in and Outstanding Miniseries or Movie (Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper) and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (Tom Wilkinson). CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B plus to A minus; STORY/PLOTTING: B to B plus; HISTORICAL FOCUSES & AUTHENTICITY: B; OVERALL GRADE: B plus; WHEN WATCHED: early July 20ll to late August 2011 (streamed; 8 episodes).
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Format: DVD
"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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