Kennedy The Complete Series (DVD)

Just barely missing the twenty-five year anniversary of the show, MPI has captured the 1983 mini-series Kennedy and released it this year. I was not aware of this series before receiving this title from MPI themselves: after investing six hours of my time, I soon realized that not familiarizing myself with the show before then was a folly. Martin Sheen captures all the mannerisms and idiosyncrasies of John F. Kennedy; similarly strong would have to be Blair Brown in eir role as Jackie Kennedy and John Shea playing the part of JFK’s brother.

The one thing that fascinates me the most about Kennedy: The Complete Series is the fact that the director (Jim Goddard) made the decision to pull no punches when it comes to the titular character’s foibles. This means that there are scenes regarding JFK’s philandering as well as the ordeal that ey was put through following the death of ey son so early in life. If you want to see exactly what was such a big deal back in the early days of the eighties, give Kennedy: The Complete Series a spin. The years that have passed since the show was first aired meant virtually nothing: the storytelling and pacing easily could be compared to a Godfather. The colors are rich and sharp, with strong audio. MPI has not placed anything in the way of bonus features in this DVD set, but the low price point ($20) and costs associated with getting rights to this title should explain this exclusion well.

I am unsure if this series was intended to ride the wave of viewers wanting to further educate themselves about presidential histories (Frost/Nixon), but for my money, I would rather taken on the narrative of Kennedy: The Complete Series than the much more limited Frost/Nixon. There seems to be a little more to Kennedy: The Complete Series, and I am not talking about the run time. The characters are further fleshed out as well as (what I can glean) being more true to form. The minor historical inaccuracies that are present in this title are no worse than a Glory, and do not detract from the title in the slightest. Pick this up.

Rating: 9.0/10

Kennedy The Complete Series / 2009 MPI / 348 Minutes / http://www.mpihomevideo.com

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