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:
Corruption cocktail 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
Music Department
Mark Adler .... music theme
Other crew
Ivan Allen .... location assistant
Johanna Baker .... publicist
Gabriel Bayz .... film researcher
Alan Brinkley .... historical advisor
Mary C. Brockmyre .... researcher
Karen Cariani .... director of research
Tia Chapman .... intern
Kenneth Chin .... location assistant
David Condon .... production assistant
Maria Daniels .... multimedia director
Dee Ann Dart .... location assistant
Rana Dershowitz .... intern
Margaret Drain .... vice president of programming
Nancy Farrell .... project administration
Philip Fegan .... location assistant
Jay Fialkov .... legal
Raine Gifford .... footage coordinator
Sharon Grimberg .... series editor
Anne Helmstadter .... intern
Kimberly L. Hertz .... intern
J. Chris Hoge .... location assistant
Ravi Jain .... media coordinator
Lewanne Jones .... film researcher
Maureen Jordan .... legal
Valerie Linson .... researcher
Gail Macfarquhar .... location assistant
Kate Montgomery .... location assistant
Beth Norman .... intern
Daphne B. Noyes .... publicist
Mark Petsche .... location assistant
Alexandra Pollyea .... location assistant
Vanessa Ruiz Ezersky .... project administration (as Vanessa Ruiz)
Helen R. Russell .... project administration
Susan Haven Scheer .... location assistant
Anthony Slide .... location assistant
Zoya Spivakovsky .... location assistant
Rebekah Suggs .... project administration
Elena Talton Hineck .... location assistant
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:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Corruption cocktail, 14 March 2015
Author: Goingbegging from United Kingdom

"Everyone's against us Irish Catholics."

So Joseph Kennedy believed, although his father had moved up in politics by getting on just as well with the Boston brahmins as he did with the docksiders. But this was Joe's excuse for being frozen-out by the prestige clubs of Harvard, when in fact it was his boorish habits that they had found so off-putting (as the film incidentally fails to take on-board.) And it was this persecution-mania, along with his empty claim to have pulled himself up from poverty, that fed his intense longing to make conquests.

At 25, he made a conquest that was enviable indeed - the Mayor of Boston's daughter, beautiful, gracious, educated, and definitely too good for the locals in the eyes of her mother, who wanted to get her away from the boozy and sloppy ways that her (largely estranged) husband was encouraging her into. But Rose Fitzgerald said yes to the self-styled banker, and thus began the rise of a dynasty, fuelled by the ambitions of a man viewed by many as the biggest crook in America. Whatever his other abilities, Joe Kennedy's chief talent was for sheer barefaced corruption, in a city where it was endemic. (Both his father and father-in-law were up to their necks in it.) Soon the arrival of Prohibition would open up the bootlegging industry, and Joe rushed aboard, along with the mafia, with whom his family would be fatefully entwined for generations. Having backed the stock-market through the Twenties boom, he suddenly got out, a few months ahead of the crash. Then with Prohibition over, he followed the mafia to Hollywood, where he rescued Gloria Swanson's finances in exchange for favours that might be guessed-at.

The new Democrat president, Roosevelt, needed him and mistrusted him in equal parts, sending him to London to get him out of the way. His appeasement of Hitler, and his claim that democracy might even be finished in America, ended his own presidential ambitions (and wouldn't Rose have made a scintillating First Lady). From then on, he would be the puppeteer, trying to manipulate his heirs...

Joe's career-story is familiar enough, but the film sheds new light on the upbringing of the nine children at the palatial Hyannisport compound. Despite his periodic absences, Joe was a devoted father, especially keen to instil the boys with his own competitive spirit. Less well-known is that Rose would often disappear on trips to Europe, leaving Joe to manage the house, which he did, efficiently and without complaint.

Perhaps he realised in the end that he had tried too hard with his children. Eldest daughter Rosemary shows signs of mental trouble, so he uses his wealth to give her a new untried brain-operation that renders her totally incapable. Jack, beset by health problems that were kept from the public, shouldn't be on active service at all, but again Joe buys him a posting to the Pacific, where a distinctly minor (and dubious) incident is blown-up into one of the epic feats of war, in a film shown nationwide, thanks to Joe's influence in Washington and Hollywood. For this reason, Joe Jr., having flown his full quota of bombing missions, and free to return home with honour, now feels he must outdo Jack by volunteering for the disastrous Aphrodite operation, where he gets blown to bits.

I hadn't realised that Jack was considered such an unlikely congressman for Boston (being totally unfamiliar with the city) that the mayor had to arrange for an extra candidate to run, with the same name as Jack's chief opponent - muddying the water, as they say. Or that he was so badly drugged-up at his meeting with Khruschev, that the Soviet leader took home the impression of a weak and irresolute man.

Finally there is no mention that Jackie was actually selected by Joe as a future First Lady, when he was trying to persuade Jack that it was time to get married, and was driven to distraction by the unsuitable mafia-molls that the future president was wasting his time with.

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