MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 19,785 this week

Taking on the Kennedys (1996)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary  -  28 May 1996 (USA)
7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 33 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 4 critic

What would it be like to run against one of the most powerful political families in America? Enter the backrooms of American politics as a doctor named Kevin Vigilante takes on the Kennedys... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 8 titles
created 06 Aug 2012
 
T
a list of 3152 titles
created 28 Nov 2012
 
a list of 574 titles
created 19 Dec 2012
 
a list of 105 titles
created 10 Aug 2013
 
a list of 49 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Taking on the Kennedys (TV Movie 1996)

Taking on the Kennedys (TV Movie 1996) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Taking on the Kennedys.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bob Roberts (1992)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A right-wing folk singer becomes a corrupt politician and runs a crooked election campaign. Only one independent muck-raking reporter is trying to stop him.

Director: Tim Robbins
Stars: Tim Robbins, Giancarlo Esposito, Alan Rickman
Power (1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Pete St. John is a powerful and successful political consultant, with clients spread around the country. When his long-time friend and client Ohio senator Sam Hastings decides to quit ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Richard Gere, Julie Christie, Gene Hackman
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two former U. S. Presidents, hated rivals, join forces to expose the current, corrupt President at the risk of their lives.

Director: Peter Segal
Stars: Jack Lemmon, James Garner, Dan Aykroyd
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The filmmakers follow Oliver North's unsuccessful 1994 bid for a Virginia Senate seat, focusing on North's campaign strategist, Mark Goodin, and a Washington Post reporter. Mudslinging ... See full summary »

Directors: R.J. Cutler, David Van Taylor
Stars: Don Baker, Mark Goodin, Mark Merritt
Recount (TV Movie 2008)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A chronicle of the weeks after the 2000 U.S. presidential election and the subsequent recounts in Florida.

Director: Jay Roach
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban, Denis Leary
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A Florida con man uses the passing of the long time Congressman from his district who he just happens to share a name with, to get elected to his version of paradise, Congress, where the ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Lane Smith, Sheryl Lee Ralph
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A career thief witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris
The Contender (2000)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sexy secrets from a womans past come to light as she runs for Vice President.

Director: Rod Lurie
Stars: Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Comedy-drama about a widowed U.S. president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all above-board, but "politics is perception" and sparks fly anyway.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen
Stalin (TV Movie 1992)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The life and career of the brutal Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin.

Director: Ivan Passer
Stars: Robert Duvall, Julia Ormond, Maximilian Schell
Drama | History | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Reporters Woodward and Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Nixon's resignation.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
...
Himself
...
Herself
Patrick Kennedy ...
Himself
Robert F. Kennedy ...
Himself (archive footage)
Ted Kennedy ...
Himself
Kevin Vigilante ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

What would it be like to run against one of the most powerful political families in America? Enter the backrooms of American politics as a doctor named Kevin Vigilante takes on the Kennedys. In his first race for public office, Kevin Vigilante challenges Ted Kennedy's youngest son, Patrick, and gets the political education of a lifetime. Dedicated to running a clean fight, Vigilante soon finds himself in the midst of a mud slinging contest. With negative ads about Vigilante filling the airwaves, and John F. Kennedy Jr. signing autographs outside polling stations, Vigilante realizes he has no chance of winning without slinging mud of his own, and proceeds to take off his gloves. Endemic of contemporary campaign politics, the sound byte takes precedence over the speech as issues are overshadowed by negative television advertisements. Taking on the Kennedys aired as a part of PBS' P.O.V. series. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 May 1996 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The song played over the opening credits is "Rhode Island is Famous For You", performed by Blossom Dearie. See more »

Connections

References Rocky (1976) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Little TV documentary that moves more like an Oscar-worthy motion picture
17 February 1999 | by (WA) – See all my reviews

The situation is not made up and the characters are very real, but "Taking on the Kennedys", a gripping documentary that covers a congressional election and its effects on two candidates, features enough drama and plot twists to make it just as good as any motion picture. The drama begins as viewers meet the two candidates: Kevin Vigilante, a hard working doctor facing his first election, and the incumbent, Patrick Kennedy, who just happens to have one of the most famous last names in politics. At first, nobody seems to think twice about Kennedy winning the election, but Vigilante makes a wonderful "underdog", who ends up being more of a threat than Kennedy might have thought. Much of the film follows the Vigilante campaign, with the occasional shots of Kennedy at work. When we see Kennedy, we see the glamour and riches that he put behind his campaign with money from various donors, including actors, lawyers and doctors. We also see such family members as cousins John and Caroline and father Ted saying some nice words on Pat's behalf. Family members are present in the Vigilante campaign, but they're simply Rhode Islanders, nobody "special" like the Kennedy's. Much of Vigilante's campaign seems to consist of phone calls and little else. Hardly any of the town members know his name, and even his fellow doctors have thrown their support behind Kennedy, who, needless to say, is leading in the polls. The Vigilante campaign does not give up, though, even after Kennedy suddenly airs a string of negative and somewhat dishonest ads about Vigilante. Vigilante continues to work and he gains support in the form of a talk show host who happens to loathe Kennedy. He also manages to hold his own against Kennedy in a debate. Kennedy fights back with another string of negative ads, where he is basically accusing Vigilante of being a liar and a criminal. Vigilante then goes and confronts Patrick at an important campaign meeting, demanding that he pull the ads. When Patrick refuses, Vigilante is faced with a great moral choice...should he ignore that ads (as he chose to do before) and face jeopardizing his reputation, or should he fight back? While Patrick faces his moral dilemma, his campaign is able to unearth a skeleton in Patrick's closet, and just two weeks before the election, they make an ad of their own. The ad is of course a major success and now Kennedy and Vigilante are literally neck-in-neck in the polls. Vigilante now faces a chance of winning, but is he happy? As he comes to the emotional revelation that he has become just like his running mate, a great moral lesson is learned. Suddenly the election matters little to Kevin, for he's had enough of an experience to last a long time. As viewers, we are fortunate to be "along" with Kevin during all of his experiences as a struggling, but happy candidate, who is unfortunately roped into the world of dishonesty that gives politics its bad name. As it is, "Taking on the Kennedy's" is in a class by itself for "educational" documentaries for it's honest, yet fascinating coverage. I can only hope that some Hollywood producer will one day view it, because I would love to see this done as a motion picture. Excellent film!


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Taking on the Kennedys (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?