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The fact that this mini-series came to be is unbelievable in itself. The source biography by C. David Heymann is full of details, but they never seem to be put into any sort of sensible order. Roger O. Hirson scripted an almost unreadable book into three, two-hour segments which were not only comprehensive, but also intriguing. The film spans Jacqueline's life up to the late 1980's. She was still alive at the time this film aired. Roma Downey as Jackie Kennedy is very believable. She carries herself most of the time as we all saw Jackie...very aloof. At other times, usually with her children, she is very human. Downey's Irish accent is constantly present just below the surface, and this bothered me a bit. But never the less, one believes that she is Jackie by the end of the film. The other great castings are those of Josef Sommer as Joe Kennedy Sr., Wendy Hughes as Janet Auchincloss, Carlin Glynn as Lady Bird Johnson, and William Devane as Jack Bouvier. As for the rest of the cast, I feel they were not wise choices for the roles they played. Stephen Collins is nothing like Jack Kennedy. He cannot even hold the accent through one scene. Historical accuracy is NOT one of this film's strong points. Some of the wardrobe is not accurate, i.e. Ethel Kennedy's dress at Good Samaritan Hospital, Jackie's hair styles, and the interiors of the White House are not correct in any way. But this shouldn't distract you if you are not a purist. This film will be entertaining to anyone interested in Jackie Kennedy Onassis, because it tells her story in a non-biased, honest fashion.
I played the physician who treated JFK at Parkland Memorial. I removed
him from the car and told Jackie (Roma) "You've got to let me have
him." As far as the factual depiction, I brought up to the director
that, if JFK had been shot in the neck (as we were being told), he
wouldn't have been orally intubated, he would have had a tracheotomy.
Even though this created more work for the staff, when the fact checker
found that JFK DID actually have a "trach," that was the way it was
If you notice the scene where we are actually working on JFK (filmed in an old surgery suite at the Richmond, VA Veteran's Administration Hospital), you will see that he is being "bagged" via a tracheotomy tube. I thought the film crew paid an incredible amount of attention to detail.
As a side note, having been in the room when Roma Downey filmed the scene where JFK is pronounced dead, she was spectacular! She had the cast and crew in tears! NOW THAT'S ACTING!
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