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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Understanding The Clan Kennedy Women

10/10
Author: Kennedy63 from United States
23 August 2007

'Twas truly a marvelous experience to take in all the familial dynamics of the leading ladies of one of the US's great dynasties. Ethel's character being so brassy & foot-in-mouth outspoken was a personality I hadn't imagined. Jackie being so fond of Grandfather Joe was a surprise. Rose is exactly as I imagined her. Joan is more talented, and according to this show, has been under-credited for the successes of Senator Edward (Teddy) Kennedy.

This docudrama is a lengthy one that I could have watched for many more hours. There is so much public knowledge of the Kennedy men so there were few surprises with the exception that I had forgotten two things: Senator Teddy Kennedy had been in a near fatal plane crash and broke his back in numerous places during a campaign; Senator Bobby Kennedy was already deceased at the time of Teddy's Presidential career damaging car accident that took the life of Mary Jo. (In hindsight, since the Kennedy brothers who ran for the US Presidency were both assassinated, I now view that tragic car accident as the blessing that kept Senator Edward Kennedy alive to this day and a senior member of the US Senate).

The tensions that were brought forth between the women reveal that Jackie, the in-law, was oft times the glue that held them together and kept them close. It's time to know more about the rest of the Clan Kennedy women--the younger ones. I am left with wanting more. To me, that's the sign of a very well done docudrama.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

This movie was Amazing!

10/10
Author: (Princesskree@aol.com)
10 March 2001

"Jackie, Ethel, Joan" was one of the greatest mini-series I have ever seen. I especially loved the actresses picked to play the parts of Jackie, Ethel and Joan. Lauren Holly showed what a truly versatile actress she is, as did Jill Hennessy. They were amazing! I've never seen Lauren Holly in a role like this she was so funny and the real voice of the family. Jill Hennessy was great as Jackie she resembeled her so much and her acting was phenomenal, she really got everyone into the character and the pain Jackie went though. This was the first time i saw Leslie Stefanson in a movie and she was great! I never knew much about Joan Kennedy and she just showed a lot of feeling, she showed that Joan cared too much and that probably led to her and Ted divorcing. The men in this movie were great too, especially Bobby, he was so strong and it showed me a lot insite to a time when i was not born and i really enjoyed it. This movie was so amazing that hopefully they will sell it on video, because i would watch it over and over.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Dramatic and relatively true to life

9/10
Author: lenaofthecity (lenaofthecity@aol.com) from New York, USA
5 March 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot was mostly historically accurate and not at all boring. Most of the performances shone (though I found the actress portraying Marilyn Monroe poor) especially Jill Hennessy as Jackie O. The important events from Kennedy history were for the most part accurate, except for one. (Slight spoiler). JFK was shot on a cold, rainy, November day but the show portrayed the shooting as happening in summer, on a nice day. The lead actresses were excellent, though the supporting roles were unstable. All in all, I give it a 9/10.

Lena

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Fabulous!

10/10
Author: Ebony Lovelace (babygirl2638@yahoo.com) from Cincinnati, OH
23 July 2001

I now own this video along with JFK and A woman named Jackie. I find these stories very interesting and this one was just as exceptional. I do agree with another viewer that the actress portraying Marilyn Monroe could have done a better job (the one in A Woman Named Jackie was great) the rest of the performances were Fantastic!

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Amazing

9/10
Author: MissyBaby from Scottsville, Kentucky
12 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow! I can't recall exactly the first time I saw this Mini but I finally caught it in time to tape it one day a couple of years ago and I watch it all the time. Jill, Lauren and Leslie hit the nail on the head with their performances as Jackie, Ethel and Joan. Absolutely amazing.

I've got to say, at certain points in the story I had to get up and go outside and walk around, or stop the tape and turn on the news to remind myself that I was in Scottsville and not Washington or Hyannis Port! HA!

(spoiler) The scene when Jack is assassinated kills me. Just breaks my heart in two. In every movie or mini about the Kennedy's that scene always makes me cry. This particular mini made me cry the hardest. (With "A Woman Named Jackie" I just sat and stared. Then when it was all over, I started to cry.) I remember sitting on the edge of my bed one night watching that scene and when she took off her ring and it wouldn't go on, oh I cried and cried. The funeral is so beautiful. Every time I see it I feel like if I move a muscle or do anything that will take me away from the screen or anything like that that I am disrespecting President Kennedy and his legacy.

This is one of the best in my opinion. Lauren Holly surprised me with her acting. Usually when I heard her name I thought "Dumb and Dumber," you know? But now, I see her as a serious actress with A LOT of potential. Leslie was incredible as well. I'd seen her in "The Mirror Has Two Faces" and something else, I can't remember it at the moment, but with this film I was blown away. She got it right. And Jill, oh Jill, Jill, Jill! I am a Crossing Jordan FANATIC! I have it Season Passed on my TiVo so seeing her as Jackie Kennedy! WHOO! Talk about a 180! She was absolutely incredible. She looked GORGEOUS too! (spoiler) There is a line somewhere when they're remodeling the White House when she says "Oh I have terrible handwriting." That line, for some reason, runs through my head at least once a day. Don't ask why.

All in all I'd give "Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot" a 9, simply because I haven't seen a film yet that is a full 10. I'd say the only flaw....hmm....well, not seeing anything about Arabella, the first baby Jack and Jackie had, they acted as though she was never a part of the picture. But she was born, and died, around the time Jack was being elected to Senate, so I can understand it not being in this film. And maybe not seeing more of the assassination, the actual assassination. I did, however,(spoiler) really enjoy watching Leslie as Joan in that sequence. She did an amazing job with the whole panic look. Lauren was incredible. Playing the supportive Etthy. She was so great in that scene.

Great film. Ab Fab! Loved it!

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Behind every great man...

9/10
Author: Robert W. (Robert_duder@hotmail.com) from Ontario, Canada
29 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am most definitely one of the world's biggest Kennedy fans. I am sure that I own every series, movie, documentary about the Kennedy family (anyone who has a list of Kennedy movies please email me and make sure I have them all.) I finally got the opportunity to watch this 2001 mini series focusing on the Kennedy women, Jackie, Ethel and Joan and on a lesser extent Rose the matriarch.

The mini series follows the lives closely of the Kennedy family for the better part of 3 decades from JFK's presidency to Ted's defunct run at the Presidency in 1980. However it follows the events of their lives from the perspective of the three wives and how it effected them and how they played a part in it.

The movie jumps around a lot and it takes more than half of the time to really get a feel for the pace of the film and what it's aiming to do. The film aims to be less of entertainment than it is a chronicle, and recreation of the major events of the Kennedy family from the point of the women. What role they played, their personalities etc. The men have all been done to death but who has really shown the women? I know this is the first Kennedy film I ever saw that really went in depth into Joan Kennedy.

The casting was done (in my opinion) in an attempt to capture the best possible most realistic looking person they could find. Director Larry Shaw really puts forth an incredible effort to recreate scenes and the look of famous pictures and events possibly better than any other I have scene. Although actor Daniel Kelly who played JFK doesn't look all that much like the late President, there are certain angles and shots used that are downright startling as to how much he looks like him. Add in the fact that they recreate the death scene of Bobby and use word for word speeches and announcements and also work to recreate news footage with the actors as opposed to the real people.

Jill Hennesey is quite possibly the best Jackie I have ever seen. She portrays her brilliantly and looks a lot like her. She comes across as a strong, independent, woman and not the quiet laid back, always calm woman that she is often portrayed as in the past. I think Hennesey's Jackie is much more accurate. Leslie Stefanson gives a powerful portrayal as Joan Kennedy. Strong, yet afraid, withdrawn, stressed, and misunderstood. She was definitely a sore thumb to the Kennedy brood. The real brilliance here is Lauren Holly. She absolutely floored me as the rather harsh Ethel Kennedy. She is very brash and outgoing, loud and obnoxious and nails the voice. I thought for sure she would disappoint me but for certain this was the performance of Holly's career. The men were all well casted in particular Ted Kennedy played by Matt Letscher. Basically despite it's rather rapid time line and it's jumpy story this is one of the best recreations out there I have no doubt. It didn't get the critical acclaim that it should have. I am somewhat biased being I love all things Kennedy but I will forever have this one in my top favorites because of the performance of these women. I think they perhaps assumed too much when it came to their roles in certain situations but you have to assume to make things believable because none of us were there and I think Shaw did a decent job in his assumptions. I liked that he never focused on just one of the women which is easy to do being Jackie was really the forefront of the Kennedy women. Instead he took each women and showed the critical events in their lives and the lives of their men. Overall a great mini series. 9/10

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Moving and well made film about the kennedy's from 1961-1980.

7/10
Author: Maddyclassicfilms from United Kingdom
18 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pretty good film about the Kennedy family and the tragedies they suffered. It may not be all that accurate but it's well made and acted.

I felt the most sympathy for the gentle Joan Bennett Kennedy(Leslie Stefanson) who was Ted's wife. Joan was thrust into the spotlight and sadly but not surprisingly, just couldn't take the pressure and the tragedy anymore.

I felt most sorry for Joan and Teddy as they were the youngest couple and at the beginning very in love, but as time progressed and the tragedies became more frequent Ted had to enter politics and become the head of the family.

Jill Hennesy is very good as Jackie, she looked a lot like her and was both moving and strong as the First Lady who loved her husband but didn't have the easiest marriage.

Lauren Holly is superb as Bobby's wife Ethel, she is the one I felt most sorry for, a tough, bouncy and fun woman she became a broken woman by the end. The murder of Bobby and the fact that their last child Rory, was born a few months after Bobby's murder really affected her deeply. The scenes where Ethel cries are moving because she is not someone who usually feels sorry for herself.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

I actually found the movie captivating!

7/10
Author: Izzi_Hep
31 August 2005

I was flipping through my telly and I stopped upon seeing Jill Hennessy in dated attire on the Hallmark Channel. After a few minutes I realized she was playing Jackie Kennedy and I kept watching... Lauron Holly popped up on screen soon after and I took a liking to the characters at once. The next day I watched the second/last part of the miniseries. I thought it was well acted and it gave depth to the Kennedy women (I haven't read the book) that I had not previously seen (except Jackie). I loved Jill Hennessy in it, we see a Jackie post-JFK. I cried my eyes out when JFK was shot.. Hennessy's best part of the series.

The guy actors all seemed the same to me... they had that kind of "every-man" face... I guess that was the point. If you like seeing shows about strong women, you'll like this, but I didn't follow the historical accuracy of it, and I didn't get such a sense of 60-ies in it (prob coz the series spans over 30 years) except for the change of clothes. If you watch it with an open mind, ready to enjoy yourself, you'll like it, if you take it too seriously you might not.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

I enjoyed the mini- series!

7/10
Author: Rosemea D.S. MacPherson from US
6 March 2001

Finally a series about the Kennedy women that had a new perspective. "Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot" was enjoyable, well cast and nice photographed series. Like most Americans I am also fascinated by the Kennedys. Every time one of them dies I mourn. I like fashion, and have always wondered about this Marilyn Monroe story. Although it is still only rumors, the series showed that "Jackie" Jill Hennessy ( Molly, Law & Order) was very aware of the situation. We all know the facts around Camelot, but how their wives kept all having babies, how the family was back them, and how the women acted towards each other was added by the women was well covered by the series. I specially liked Jill Hennessy's portrait of Jackie. I liked Jackie a lot and when she died it took me weeks to recover. Even though I never met her!!!!!!! Lauren Holly (Beautiful Girls) as Ethel was also good. I hardly recognized Lauren as "Ethel Kennedy." In the series Ethel was the sanguine type, that kept speaking her mind every time and went around apologizing. " Joan Bennett Kennedy" played by Leslie Stefanson (As Good As It Gets) is someone that I hardly knew anything about, except that she and the Senator were divorced. I enjoyed the series, and if you have the chance to watch you might enjoy it also. I am looking forward to a mini-series on the children's of Camelot.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A great opportunity badly missed...

4/10
Author: HansWind from United States
8 January 2012

I can't recall having ever given any film, mini-series or TV series a '1' out of 10 before... and sadly I can't here. There is just barely enough good here to warrant a '4'. However, if ever any production deserved it, this one probably does. The casting is, for the most part, abominable. The acting is generally stiff and unsure. The attempts at accents are atrocious and laughable. The portrayal of Marilyn Monroe is bizarrely comic at best and insulting to both Monroe and the audience at worst.

Jill Hennessy does have a few solid moments as Jackie, but not nearly enough to carry this painfully disjointed soap opera. Lauren Holly's Ethel would be more believable in a trailer park than Washington and Hyannisport. Leslie Stefanson's Joan is interesting and is easily the best of the three women's portrayals.

The portrayal's of the Kennedy men are all weak and unconvincing. The only plus with the Kennedy men is that they are not on screen very often.

Historically, it runs wild with rumor, innuendo, supposition and ignores many facts as they have been recorded by serious and knowledgeable historians. Sadly what could have been a tastefully done classic instead just reeks of the two-bit paperback hacks who wrote this tripe.

I will say that the 2nd half of this mini-series is distinctly better than the first half. Unfortunately, by the time the 2nd half rolls around, it's way too late to save it overall.

Another issue it has that seriously detracts from it coming across as a quality production is a very strong sense of being constantly 'rushed'. It literally speeds from one tragedy to another with no opportunity for the viewer to take in any real sense of sorrow. Oddly enough, despite my feeling that this isn't a very good production as it is, I think it would have probably benefit from an additional 90 minutes. This would have allowed the viewer a real chance to get to know and empathize with the characters.

One exceptional line does rise above all others in this otherwise dismal program and it is delivered by Charmion King (as Rose Kennedy): "Great men have great flaws. It takes great women to accept them." This is as close as this film ever comes to being anything close to great.

For those who want a strong, clear sense of some of this subject matter with first rate acting, writing and true 'Camelot' style, watch 'Kennedy', the 1983 production with Martin Sheen and Blair Brown. Sheen is very strong as Kennedy and Blair Brown is nothing short of brilliant as Jackie. The supporting cast is exceptional. The only serious weakness of that production is Vincent Gardenia's over the top portrayal of J Edgar Hoover. This is now available on DVD.

In closing, all I can say is that with this much incredible material how could those involved have made... this?

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