LBJ: The Early Years Reviews

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jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ April 9, 2011
Solid recap of LBJ's climb obviously told in shorthand-a necessary evil due to the constraints of a TV format. Still you do get a feeling for the hard charging bull from Texas who confounded many when he emerged as a great advocate for civil rights. Quaid is excellent in the lead, a very good actor whose reputation has now been sullied by bizarre off screen behavior.
He and Lupone who are seemingly an odd match work well together as Johnson and Lady Bird, who even though they forged a strong bond themselves were an unusual match as is shown here. For history buffs and bio fans a worthy entry.
June 4, 2009
It is strange how obscure this movie is. Probably the best biography of a president that I have ever seen. Randy Quaid gives a dynamic performance as Lyndon Johnson, making even the biggest of "Christmas Vacation" fans such as myself forget that it is actually Cousin Eddy that we are watching. Absolutely fantastic biography of a great president.
½ November 2, 2010
A mighty and impressive role played by Randy Quaid who deftly moves from young Texan Johnson to older and more seasoned politician extrodinaire. Just great history here.

Well made, revealing look back at the life and times of the 36th President of the United States, doing so at the death of the 35th, John F. Kennedy. This television movie inserts actual news film footage of the eras that Johnson lived in and brings to life his wife (Lady Bird), Robert Kennedy, John Kennedy and all the notables during his life.


Randy Quaid and his portrayal of Lyndon Baines Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years. This made-for-TV film chronicles the years 1934 through 1963, tracing the beginnings of Johnson's public career, chronicling his reputation for down-and-dirty politicking, and following his progress from congressman to senator to majority leader to vice president.

Staunchly at LBJ's side through thick and thin is faithful-wife Lady Bird (Patti LuPone), whose fidelity remains unshaken even while Johnson dallies with other women. Charles Frank co-stars as John F. Kennedy, whose assassination catapults the reluctant Johnson into the presidency that he'd always wanted to win on his own merits.

****NOTE: Less than six days before LBJ: The Early Years premiered on February 1, 1987, author Larry L. King picked apart the film's inaccuracies in a TV Guide article.*****

"Audiences cared not for absolute truth, and had a grand old time watching Randy Quaid impersonate the amazing Mr. Johnson. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide"

Thoughtful, well made movie for political history buffs or those just interested in the rise of the last century's most accomplished politico.

Duration: 98min
Cast: Patti LuPone, Randy Quaid, R.G. Armstrong, Barry Corbin, Pat Hingle, Kevin McCarthy, Peter Werner, Morgan Brittany, Charles Frank
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