Captains and the Kings (TV Mini-Series 1976– ) Poster

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The Price of Fortune and Power
cmacneil16 September 2002
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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myerstt8 June 2004
Without question,by far the greatest thing I've ever seen on film. The acting,writing,scenery,music,costumes,just incredible!All of it-just incredible!The cast members complimented one another beautifully. The music conducted by Leonard Bernstein was so great! I have to wonder why they can't put together a series or mini-series like it now.I purchased it on tape and can honestly say that if i were forced to destroy every tape I own but one Captains and Kings would be the one I keep without a moments hesitation.Richard Jordans' performance was fantastic. In the beginning he's this youngster protecting his brother and sister and at the end of the movie he's an older man. Charles Durnings' role,what can i say? The man was terrific! Barbara Parkins,soooooooo good. Harvey Jason and Vic Morrow,both great!I seriously apologize for leaving out some cast members due to my bad memory when it comes to names-PLEASE know that ALL of you were GREAT!
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Kim-683 December 2000
I have just seen Captains And The Kings on video and I thought that was the best mini-series that I have ever seen. Richard Jordan was outstanding as Joseph Armagh. This was probably the best performance of his film career. He put his whole heart and soul into this role. And he certainly deserved the Golden Globe award that he won for this. He had me hooked from his first scene to the end, so much so that I just kept watching it until it was finished. I also thought that Perry King was also excellent as Rory Armagh and I think he should have received something for his performance. Patty Duke was terrific as Bernadette and I am glad that she did win the Emmy for her role, she certainly deserved it. I also thought that Blair Brown, Charles Durning and Jane Seymour were also excellent in this. So I highly recommend this mini-series to anybody that appreciates great talent and a great story and this was a classic with outstanding acting.
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Stands the test of time!!
tbob0222 September 2001
Captains and the Kings is such a rich mini-series. From the first episode to the last you can't help being drawn to the characters. I just got the VHS set and I can tell you that the story holds up as well now as it did in 1976. If you get the chance to see Captains and the Kings, don't pass it up. I guarantee it: you'll be hooked!!
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More than a education, but very entertaining.
dadio0725 January 2007
This is one of the best 'movies' I have ever seen. The depth and the detail of Taylor Caldwell's masterwork is likewise, masterfully translated to the screen, (small screen, in this case). But I still remember it as though I had seen it in a theater. A rich and detailed 'period piece', that never faltered or struck a false note in it's production. Ms. Caldwell's story is a primer for all who seek to find the truth behind the "Movers and Shakers" of our societies, (The Captains and the Kings). A nicely but thinly veiled tale of mankind's lusty greed for money, and hence, power. Or power and hence, money. Maybe it was me, but it never failed to hold my interest from the very first to the ending credits. I have seen it only once and that was its original airing back in 1976 as a TV mini-series, but it still holds a huge interest for me. (I just went on-line to find out about it!) I remember the actors and the acting being superb, with the casting flawless. I would love to see it again, but it seems to have disappeared from the marketplace! Could this be the work of some powerful family or group??
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One of the best "family saga" miniseries.
Skragg10 April 2006
I really can't say enough about it here, because I've been hugely attached to it since it came out. There are several reasons to watch it - along with the "historical romance" reasons, there are the political ideas (which are that much bigger in the novel, but a very big part of this TV version). Whether it's borderline "conspiracy" thinking (with "those men" who influence everything) or not, those ideas have influenced plenty of my political thinking. (Partly because of this story, I always think the phrase "opportune little war" when I hear about ANY given war- and quite some time BEFORE the past three years.) Richard Jordan was just great as Joseph, an Irish character who hardly fits any of the images of Irishmen (even the positive ones), who's almost completely "cool", and whose emotions don't come out (in a big way) except in certain dramatic scenes, like the scenes with Catherine or Tom (for opposite reasons). There isn't enough room to mention all the best actors and characters, or scenes, but there's Perry King as Rory Armagh, Patty Duke Astin as Bernadette (I think someone here mentioned how great she was as a tragic character, and she won an Emmy for it, very deservedly), Jane Seymour as Margery, Cliff DeYoung as Brian Armagh, the aviator-film-maker etc., with his star Pearl Gray (Pearl White), Vic Morrow, who was extremely good as Tom Hennesey (and whom you really feel sorry for in that last scene with him, in spite of everything he's done), Beverly D'Angelo as Miss Emmy, Charles Durning as Big Ed Healy (I don't know if he's ever played a more entertaining character), and Harvey Jason as Harry Zeff. As far as I know, he's mainly a supporting actor in comedies, and you see that in his "sidekick" kind of relationship with Joseph, but of course with other levels to it - the scene where Joseph accuses Harry of being disloyal to him, which is the one kind of talk Harry can't stand to hear from him, and the scene where Joseph turns his back on blackmailing the senator, and Harry is glad for all three of them (not knowing what's coming next). And of course, the big guest stars, like John Houseman as Mr. Chisholm and Henry Fonda as Senator Bassett (two of the best scenes). Again, I could go on and on, but it's simply a very underrated story, as far as I know (in spite of the Emmy). Though to me, underrated is putting it pretty mildly.
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Excellent mini-series, but read the book also.
rockk48020 September 2008
In 1976 I was given a copy of the book by Taylor Caldwell by a dear friend who suggested I read it. I was not too keen initially in reading it , but did find it quickly becoming a book that was difficult to put down. While I usually prefer to watch a movie than read a book, the book added more to the story than the movie. The only problem I have with the movie (my vote as the best mini series ever)is that a list of non-fiction books she listed at the back of the book she used to form her novel are regrettably missing at the end of the movie. Joseph Armagh's recognition of a powerful group of individuals determining national politics so intrigued me that I have spent the last thirty years investigating the concept, beginning with the books she recommends at the end of the book. My world view has been unalterably formed by this historical novel and the subsequent investigations over the ensuing years. While I highly recommend this movie, I would also recommend reading the book and beginning your own search for political insight.
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The Captains and the Kings
Therby29 October 2005
Robert Jordan is great in the lead role. From the end of slavery to the forming of the unions (as I remember) this story peaked my interest. A great demonstration of what can to a person who pursues riches and power their entire life. Just how far would a person go is acted out in a rich environment of clashing personalities in a time period of some the greatest opportunities in history. I have been checking off and on for a couple of years now hoping to find this great program on DVD. This is one of the best mini series ever made. I haven't seen it since it was on Television but will purchase it as soon as it is released on DVD.
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Thundering Historical melodrama
Joseph Harder5 May 2001
Taylor Caldwells typically over blown and over written epic essentially offered history ala' John Birch.You see, America is secretly ruled by the Council On Foreign Relations, who together with the international bankers and the munitions makers, RULE THE WORLD. Yep, you got that right, they rule the world, and they had Lincoln, Garfield and Mckinley rubbed out. Despite this mildly lunatic view of history, the Captains and the Kings is a superbly acted, written and filmed melodrama, one of the MOST gripping things ever put on TV. The always brilliant Richard Jordan was superb.
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Coming out on DVD in January
trob22624 November 2008
Finally! Powerful and spectacular miniseries. Marvelous actors, led by the always brilliant Richard Jordan (may he rest in peace) who makes us adore Joseph Armagh before he takes him to a ruthless, power-hungry SOB we still somehow care about. Bit by bit he destroys his life while he thinks he's building it. Harvey Jason is terrific as the only friend who always believes in him. Other supporting actors are the likes of Henry Fonda (brief but absolutely mesmerizing), Vic Morrow, Ray Bolger, Patty Duke Astin, Jane Seymour and a score of others at the top of their craft. Our terrible loss is that so many of them are gone now, but boy, what they left behind. Having so many of them in one work is a genuine treat.
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