Joseph Armagh was a poor Irish immigrant who came to the United States in the mid-19th century, and proceeded, through struggle, heartache and hard work, to become one of the richest and most powerful men in the country. This nine-part miniseries details Armagh's path to success. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
The story follows an Irish immigrant's rise from poverty to power. Though set a generation earlier, it is obviously inspired by the Kennedy clan with Joseph Francis Xavier Armagh [Richard Jordan] in the role of clan patriarch Joeseph Kennedy. Some of the parallels include Armagh as a blockade runner during the Civil War - Kennedy was reputed to be a rum-runner. Armagh married a senator's daughter - Kennedy married a Boston mayor's daughter. Armagh lost a son in the Spanish American War - Kennedy a son in World War II. Armagh's daughter was brain damaged in a horse-riding accident - Kennedy's daughter was born mentally handicapped. Both Armagh and Kennedy had sons assassinated while running for president. See more »
The comparison of the fictional Armaughs to the Kennedy clan can't be escaped. Still, this is a magnificent entertainment piece about an Irish immigrant who claws to the top of power and money (remindful of Joe Kennedy Sr.?)with the crown jewel being son Rory's bid to become the nation's first Irish Catholic president. "Captains and the Kings" is riveting from its beginning when a young Joseph Armaugh is left by his mother's death to care for two younger siblings and through the end where the elderly Joseph is left alone questioning the cost of his power and wealth. The late Richard Jordan is brilliant in presenting his Joseph as the scrapping improverished immigrant turned industrialist power broker but who, in the end, pays a horrible price. The mini-series also introduced us to Blair Brown as the daughter of Joseph's role model, and she manages to grab our empathy despite her being a mistress in Joseph's extra-marital pilferings. But, in a role that landed her a second Emmy, Patty Duke (Astin)is devastating as Joseph's wife in an arranged marriage who gradually is pushed by the price of power (and alcoholism) to insanity. There is a lesson in "Captains and the Kings," especially to those who hunger for more. As with all things, costs come, and the question is at what cost do we feed our hunger and our willingness to pay it.
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