IMDb > "American Experience" The Kennedys (Part 1): the Father, 1900-61 (1992)

"American Experience" The Kennedys (Part 1): the Father, 1900-61 (1992)

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View company contact information for The Kennedys (Part 1): the Father, 1900-61 on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
20 September 1992 (Season 5, Episode 1)
User Reviews:
The Fall of Legends. See more (3 total) »


 (Episode Cast)

Episode Crew
Directed by
James A. DeVinney 
David Espar 
Marilyn Mellowes 
Phillip Whitehead 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
James A. DeVinney  writer
David Espar  writer
Geoffrey C. Ward  writer
Phillip Whitehead  writer

Produced by
Carol Lynn Alpert .... associate producer
Elizabeth Deane .... executive producer
James A. DeVinney .... producer
James E. Dunford .... post-production producer
David Espar .... producer
David Espar .... senior producer
Carter Harrison .... co-producer
Susan Mottau .... coordinating producer
Mark Samels .... executive producer
Gregory Shea .... post-production producer
Phillip Whitehead .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Bacon 
Cinematography by
John Hazard 
Film Editing by
David Espar 
Daniel McCabe 
Charles Scott 
Richard Smigielski 
Production Design by
Alison Kennedy (series designer)
Production Management
Frank Capria .... post-production supervisor
Harlan Reiniger .... post-production supervisor
Anita M. Scarry .... unit manager
Art Department
Alison Kennedy .... graphic designer
Sound Department
Sam Aronson .... narration recordist
Skip Beach .... sound
Michael Becker .... sound
Richard Bock .... sound editor
Richard Bock .... sound mixer
John Cameron .... sound
Francis X. Coakley .... sound
Andy Cottom .... sound
John Fitzpatrick .... sound
John Haptas .... sound
John Jenkins .... sound editor
John Jenkins .... sound mixer
Steve Longstreth .... sound
Greg McCleary .... sound editor
Greg McCleary .... sound mixer
Sean O'Neil .... sound
John Osborne .... sound
Mathew Price .... sound
Bob Rodriguez .... sound
Larry Scharf .... sound
Ernest T. Shinagawa .... sound
Tiegh Thompson .... sound
Geoff Thurber .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Birchett .... camera operator
Sean Bobbitt .... camera operator
Michael Chin .... camera operator
Harry Dawson .... camera operator
Jim Deering .... video playback operator
Jon Else .... camera operator
Boyd Estus .... camera operator
Tom Evans .... camera operator
Mark Gunning .... camera operator
John Hazard .... camera operator
Christopher Li .... camera operator
Animation Department
Alison Kennedy .... animation photographer
Editorial Department
Mary E. Fenton .... editor: video tape
Brad Haehnel .... editor: video tape
Brad Hawes .... editor: video tape
Dan Lewis .... editor: video tape
Doug Martin .... editor: video tape
Elizabeth M. Spencer .... assistant editor
Mark Steele .... on-line editor
Dan Watson .... editor: video tape
Location Management
Ivan Allen .... location assistant
Kenneth Chin .... location assistant
Dee Ann Dart .... location assistant
Philip Fegan .... location assistant
J. Chris Hoge .... location assistant
Gail Macfarquhar .... location assistant
Kate Montgomery .... location assistant
Mark Petsche .... location assistant
Alexandra Pollyea .... location assistant
Susan Haven Scheer .... location assistant
Anthony Slide .... location assistant
Zoya Spivakovsky .... location assistant
Elena Talton Hineck .... location assistant
Music Department
Mark Adler .... music theme
Other crew
Johanna Baker .... publicist
Gabriel Bayz .... film researcher
Alan Brinkley .... historical advisor
Mary C. Brockmyre .... researcher
Karen Cariani .... director of research
Tia Chapman .... intern
David Condon .... production assistant
Maria Daniels .... multimedia director
Rana Dershowitz .... intern
Margaret Drain .... vice president of programming
Nancy Farrell .... project administration
Jay Fialkov .... legal
Raine Gifford .... footage coordinator
Sharon Grimberg .... series editor
Anne Helmstadter .... intern
Kimberly L. Hertz .... intern
Ravi Jain .... media coordinator
Lewanne Jones .... film researcher
Maureen Jordan .... legal
Valerie Linson .... researcher
Beth Norman .... intern
Daphne B. Noyes .... publicist
Vanessa Ruiz Ezersky .... project administration (as Vanessa Ruiz)
Helen R. Russell .... project administration
Rebekah Suggs .... project administration
John Van Hagen .... business manager
Adrian Wood .... film researcher
Dana Wrubel .... intern
Amy Blitz .... thanks
Sheryl Ellerin .... thanks
Alan Goodrich .... thanks

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Stephen Fitzmeyer  developer
Henry Hampton  creator

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

120 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
The Fall of Legends., 11 November 2010
Author: Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA

There seems hardly any reason to go over the details of the Kennedy family history since the general outline, at least, must be familiar to anyone who knows anything about American history. But, okay.

1. Joseph P. Kennedy was the family patriarch, born to a modest family in Boston, who wangled his way to a place near the political peak by honest work, rabid ambition, and chicanery. He got into and through Harvard, which was an accomplishment for a Boston Irishman around 1900. He made a great deal of money by pulling out of the stock market just before it crashed and established a brief but tumultuous career as a Hollywood mogul. He had a large number of children and instilled in the four boys his own need for political achievement, the presidency always a prize scintillating in the distance.

Joseph Kennedy was an industrious Roosevelt supporter and was rewarded not with the Vice Presidency or the cabinet position he coveted, but with an ambassadorship to the Court of St. James. That is, he was our ambassador to England. He didn't particularly like the English and he blew any chances he had for a distinguished career in politics by being an isolationist and speaking out about Hitler's winning the war, and by commandeering space allotted to official materials being sent by ship back to the states and filling the space with crates of liquor to be sent back home. Hitler would win the war, he proclaimed. Good-bye career.

2. Carefully groomed Joe Junior was to be president, but he was killed during a dangerous mission in World War II.

3. The next oldest, casual and good-humored Jack, did in fact become Congressman from Boston, then Senator from Massachusetts, and finally president. He had the inestimable help of his Daddy. Joseph Kennedy actually bribed editors of some Republican newspapers to endorse his son's candidacies. During Jack's initial run for Congress, there was a tough competitor named Rossi on the ballot, which would have read KENNEDY and ROSSI. Joe P. saw to it that another candidate with the same name entered the race, so the ballot now read KENNEDY, ROSSI #1, and ROSSI #2. (Jack won.)

But Jack had more going for him than his father's money or his father's underworld friends. He had an abundance of Irish charm that was perhaps no more than half fake. Here's an example, not from the film but from William Manchester's biography. Manchester and Kennedy are playing chess. Kennedy is clearly going to lose and, in shifting his chair, manages to upset the chess board and spill the pieces all over the floor. Manchester erupts with anger, shouting that the trick "violates all moral parameters." Kennedy is unabashed. He exults over the phrase "violates all moral parameters" and produces a notebook and pencil to write it down for use in a speech some day. Disliking someone like that is to dislike someone like Harpo Marx.

4. After Jack's assassination, the next oldest, the impassioned Robert, ekes out the Senate seat from New York and in the face of the president's continued escalation of the Vietnam war, decides to challenge Johnson in the primaries. He probably wouldn't have won but we'll never know because Robert too is assassinated.

5. The burden of Joseph P. Kennedy's ambition now falls on the youngest son, handsome but troubled Edward Kennedy, who is elected Senator from Massachusetts, presumably the first step to the White House, but blows it when he drinks too much and is involved in a shameful car accident resulting in the death of a pretty young campaign worker.

That's a lot of triumph and a lot of tragedy packed into a generation or two of a Boston Irish family that was originally of little consequence.

The documentary treats all these people and events in a reasonable, balanced, and largely unsentimental manner. A lot of time is given over to the funerals, but then there were a lot of funerals to give time to. And JFK's notorious affairs with ladies met through the pandering of underworld figures is given their due. So is Ted Kennedy's blunder.

I must say it's difficult to sit through a viewing of all those assassinations and funeral rites. Even when presented in their briefer form, as here, they redintegrate all those losses during the 1960s -- and not just the Kennedys.

That's not the fault of the two-part series on the Kennedy family, of course. It's the fault of Fortuna, the director of all things.

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