This sweeping mini-series profiling the Kennedy family ran three nights. The film chronicles 55 years in the lives of the family opening in 1906 with the marriage of Joseph P. Kennedy, a ... See full summary »
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1  
1990  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Robert Kennedy - Ages 12-15 (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Rose's Friend - 1906 (3 episodes, 1990)
Deborah Bancroft ...
 Sissy Thomas (3 episodes, 1990)
Paul Bronk ...
 Bartender (3 episodes, 1990)
Sullivan Brown ...
 King George (3 episodes, 1990)
Allyn Burrows ...
 G.I. (3 episodes, 1990)
Karen Chaffee ...
 Patricia Kennedy - Ages 13-14 (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Ormsby-Gore (3 episodes, 1990)
Mara Clark ...
 Maid Ruth (3 episodes, 1990)
Jordan Clarke ...
 James Reedy (3 episodes, 1990)
Richard Clarke ...
 Neville Chamberlain (3 episodes, 1990)
Father Coppenrath ...
 Priest (3 episodes, 1990)
Joe Costa ...
 David Sarnoff (3 episodes, 1990)
Dawn Couch ...
 Cora (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Billy Hartington (3 episodes, 1990)
Jean De Baer ...
 Josie Fitzgerald (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Joe Kane (3 episodes, 1990)
Bill Devany ...
 Saloon Patron (3 episodes, 1990)
Frank Dolan ...
 Dr. Place (3 episodes, 1990)
Bruce Donaldson ...
 Customer's Man (3 episodes, 1990)
William Duff-Griffin ...
 Henry Fitzgerald (3 episodes, 1990)
Matthew Dundas ...
 Ted Kennedy - Ages 12-14 (3 episodes, 1990)
Paul Dunn ...
 Clark (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 John 'Honey Fitz' Fitzgerald (3 episodes, 1990)
Michael Flanagan ...
 Dr. Coleman (3 episodes, 1990)
Hal Fletcher ...
 Earl Warren (3 episodes, 1990)
Will Gardner ...
 Robert Kennedy - Age 7 (3 episodes, 1990)
Edwin Gerard ...
 Henri (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Irish Driver (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Peter Fitzwilliam (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Joe Kennedy Jr. - Ages 11-12 (3 episodes, 1990)
Sam Gray ...
 William Burke (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Eddie Moore (3 episodes, 1990)
Beth Herzig ...
 Jean Kennedy - Ages 16-20 (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 P.J. Kennedy (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Joe Gargan (3 episodes, 1990)
Venus Irving-Prescott ...
 Club Singer (3 episodes, 1990)
David Ives ...
 Headmaster (3 episodes, 1990)
Keith Jochim ...
 Dr. Martin (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Jim Fitzgerald (3 episodes, 1990)
Kristen Lee Kelly ...
 Patricia Kennedy (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Hill (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Pat Wilson (3 episodes, 1990)
Pete Kovner ...
 Harry (3 episodes, 1990)
Thomas Krajewski ...
 Jack Kennedy - Ages 9-12 (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Erich Von Stroheim (3 episodes, 1990)
June Lion ...
 Nurse (3 episodes, 1990)
Jane Loranger ...
 Agnes Firtzgerald (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Rosemary Kennedy (3 episodes, 1990)
Dante Magnani ...
 Joe Kennedy Jr. - Ages 2-4 (3 episodes, 1990)
Kate Mailer ...
 Victoria (3 episodes, 1990)
Bernie McInerney ...
 Dr. Bowles (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Robert Kennedy (3 episodes, 1990)
Chris Milberg ...
 Newsboy #2 (3 episodes, 1990)
Leah Monagle ...
 Eunice Fitzgerald - Age 5 (3 episodes, 1990)
Bill Moor ...
 Louis Howe (3 episodes, 1990)
Hubert Murray ...
 Secretary (3 episodes, 1990)
Hugo Napier ...
 Butler (3 episodes, 1990)
Kelsey Nichols ...
 Kathleen Kennedy - Ages 8-9 (3 episodes, 1990)
Remi Nichols ...
 Rosemary Kennedy - Ages 8-11 (3 episodes, 1990)
Christina Nikitas ...
 Jack Kennedy - Ages 2-3 (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Gloria Swanson (3 episodes, 1990)
Dossy Peabody ...
 Catherine Falvey (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Joseph P. Kennedy (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Kathleen Kennedy (3 episodes, 1990)
Richard Provost ...
 Chief Justice (3 episodes, 1990)
Mathew Quinn ...
 Pianist (3 episodes, 1990)
Halina Radosz ...
 Eunice Kennedy (3 episodes, 1990)
Beckett Royce ...
 New York Woman (3 episodes, 1990)
Danielle Schonback ...
 Jean Kennedy - Ages 9-12 (3 episodes, 1990)
Fiona Scoones ...
 Young Woman (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (3 episodes, 1990)
Ryan Shaughnessy ...
 Ted Kennedy - Ages 5-6 (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Franklin D. Roosevelt (3 episodes, 1990)
Shaun Sullivan ...
 Newsboy #1 (3 episodes, 1990)
John Terrence ...
 Gloria's Butler (3 episodes, 1990)
Brian Tierney ...
 Jimmy Roosevelt (3 episodes, 1990)
Jennifer Walsh ...
 Rosemary Kennedy - Ages 1-4 (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 John F. Kennedy (3 episodes, 1990)
Bronia Wheeler ...
 Nun (3 episodes, 1990)
...
 Classmate (3 episodes, 1990)
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Storyline

This sweeping mini-series profiling the Kennedy family ran three nights. The film chronicles 55 years in the lives of the family opening in 1906 with the marriage of Joseph P. Kennedy, a Harvard graduate, to Rose Fitzgerald, the daughter of Boston's Mayor. The first night focuses on the marriage's troubled years and Rose's strength in developing a real family. The second night covered the years of 1928 - 1940 and Jospeh's years as working as a movie producer and then an ambassador. The final night follows the Kennedy's tragedies during World War II and follows the post war years political successes of John Kennedy. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The secrets of an American Dynasty. See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys  »

Filming Locations:


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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (5 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Then "98-year-old matriarch Rose Kennedy . . . was instrumental in enabling both the author [Doris Kearns Goodwin] and the producers to tell this latest version of the Kennedy legend" according to a 20th November 1988 article by Clarke Taylor published in the Los Angeles Times. It continued: "This, despite the fact that Doris Kearns Goodwin pulls few punches in chronicling the darker sides of Camelot." See more »

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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable, intelligent and even-handed
17 December 2015 | by (Paris, France) – See all my reviews

"American royalty" may not be technically correct, but such a qualifier is not wholly inappropriate when it invokes not only the notoriety but also the fascination and scrutiny to which every aspect of the lives of Joe and Rose Kennedy and their descendants have been subject. The passions they arouse are also very telling: evaluations of the Kennedys tend to fall somewhere on the scale between glorifications of a latter-day Camelot, and cynical exasperation with a band of hypocritical, womanizing, calculating "Massachusetts liberals." For all their very deep flaws, however, the Kennedy's Darwinian and cultural success does command very deep respect: there must be SOME virtuous sensibilities down there.

"The Kennedys of Massachusetts" portrays this integral picture quite well, incorporating the various strains and experiences that made Joe and Rose and their family into who they were. Central to the story is their Roman Catholic identity, to which they were both fervently attached and which they determined (and managed) to pass to their children. But the tension between Catholicism as expressed through Rose's more purely ultramontanist social, psychological and cultural mindset - which she transmitted to none of her children (Eunice a possible, partial exception) - and the ambitions of Joe to rise in WASP society. The film does not condemn Rose's staunch, sometimes brittle approach to her faith nor castigate Joe for his shirking of its finer points or of his numerous betrayals of the matrimonial covenant, but simply lays out the facts for what they are.

All the way, the grace and glamor of Old vs. New World is undeniable. The major points in the marriage of Joe and Rose and the evolution of their children are chronicled very cohesively and convincingly. William Petersen and Annette O'Toole play their roles very well and have good chemistry; nevertheless, the scenes between O'Toole and Charles Durning (as John "Honey" Fitzgerald) steal the show, and his cynical recapping of Rose's religious and intellectual path early on turns out to a harbinger for the whole Kennedy political project. We are left at once admiring of the great accomplishments of Joe and the earnest if naïve and not wholly adroit quest for beauty on the part of Rose, if perhaps regretful that he could not have listened to her earlier: "You're a very successful and wealthy man at a young age; isn't that enough?" and spared his family so much of the agony that came as the price of their admission into Anglo-Protestant high society. (An uncharitable cynic might add, spare the U.S. of an incompetent president and an alcoholic road-unworthy senator. I'll let my readers judge for themselves.)

All the same, one ends the mini-series wanting to do something, wanting to beatify one's life. If entertainment can so inspire, perhaps it is not so indispensable as we sometimes suppose.


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