'The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew & Associates' on DVD

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's


Robert Drew’s journalistic style of documentary filmmaking is front and center in this 2-disc set of films focusing on the Kennedy administration. This Criterion Collection includes some insightful new supplemental features making The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew & Associates a landmark set for anyone interested in the first few years of the 1960s.

Primary is a look at the Wisconsin primary of 1960. The filmmakers followed John Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey as they stumped for votes at a time when primaries were not as important as they are today. And comparing the campaigns of that time with what is going on this year is like night and day. It was indeed a kinder, gentler time in politics. There were no swipes at the other candidates. Perhaps candidates today can take a lesson from this documentary. The full film is included as well as an edited down version.

Adventures on the New Frontier looks at how JFK conducted his days in the White House. This was filmed six weeks after he took office. The filmmakers used clips from the previous film, Primary, in this documentary to show how he got to where he was.

Crisis is a telling documentary focusing on the showdown in Alabama between the Kennedy administration and Governor George Wallace who did not want the university to integrate and admit Vivian Malone and James Hood. This film starts out with Robert Kennedy having breakfast at home with his children then switches to Wallace’s morning in the Governor’s mansion, showing that these two, while heading to a monumental event in history, were simply men who also had families and convictions. The film flips back and forth between the strategizing in Washington as to how to safely get the two students past Wallace to enter the school, and the situation in Alabama. It’s a fascinating look at this historic event.

Faces of November is a compilation of scenes from the days after the assassination. This is an emotional film which shows only snippets from these days with absolutely no commentary or narration.

The supplemental features are just as interesting and educational as the actual films. It’s pointed out that while in the Oval Office, the men always wore their jackets in deference to the office. In their private offices they wore ties. These are just two major differences between how those in power back in the twentieth century honored their commitment to the country. They were always thinking about the people and the fate of the nation, not their personal ambitions.

A look at the relationship between John and Robert Kennedy as well as the health of the president sheds light on the way the president handled his time in office.

There are plenty more insightful tidbits about the films, the filmmakers, and the events of the early 1960s, making this collection a new, fresh, updated way to learn about the life and times of President Kennedy and the situations in the world at that time.

The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew & Associates is available on DVD and on Blu-ray.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for 20 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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