Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981) Jaclyn Smith, James Franciscus, Rod Taylor, Stephen Elliott, Claudette Nevins, Donald Moffat Movie Review

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jaclyn Smith and James Franciscus in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981)

The President's Wife

Jaclyn Smith stars as Jacqueline Kennedy in this 1981 biopic which takes us from her childhood and her closeness to her father 'Black Jack' Bouvier (Rod Taylor). It shows her early career in journalism before meeting John F. Kennedy (James Franciscus) who right from the word go intrigued her as he was completely confident in becoming the President of the USA. And then it takes us through the campaign trails, the Presidency and to beyond the assassination of JFK.

That isn't much of a synopsis considering that "Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy" was a two part mini series which although listed as lasting 150 minutes felt a lot longer. But that is what we get, a glimpse at various parts of Jacqueline's life which I will say now whilst interesting doesn't actually do a great deal to really tell us how she came to be the person she did as in more than being first lady who became a fashion icon. Basically I don't feel like we get beyond the facts which are now well known.

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981)

But whilst I wouldn't say that "Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy" is the most in-depth or factually accurate biopic it does a few things very right. One of those is the look at the marriage of Jacqueline and John as it shows that it wasn't without its issues especially as he and his family were so focused on becoming President that she often felt just part of a business. But we get to see how their relationship found its groove with Jacqueline being both part of his political life but also a wife and a mother with John changing his ways, mellowing. What we also get is a touch of style as we are taken back to the 30s, 40s and so on and it has to be said that Rod Taylor as 'Black Jack' Bouvier looks as though he is loving every minute of playing her charming scallywag of a father especially when he drives the most gorgeous vintage car.

But at the same time there are some things in "Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy" which are terrible and scenes where Jaclyn Smith is meant to be a teenage Jackie are terrible. Fortunately these scenes are few and come early on with things taking a quick step in the right direction when the story gets to her starting her journalism career.

What this all boils down to is that "Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy" is a flawed but entertaining look at the life of Jacqueline Kennedy which whilst not the most informative almost has a touch of classic Hollywood romantic drama about it.