Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long (1995) starring John Goodman, Matt Craven, Anne Heche, Ann Dowd, Bob Gunton, Bill Cobbs, Hoyt Axton, Kirk Baltz directed by Thomas Schlamme Movie Review

Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long (1995)   3/53/53/53/53/5

John Goodman in Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long (1995)

The Long Story

As with so many made for TV biopics I find myself in the position of watching one where I have no idea of who it is about. Now I doubt I am alone in that admission when it comes to "Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long" as this is the story of an American politician who was assassinated in 1935 and I am sure that many outside of America will have never heard of the man. But that never puts me off and "Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long" might or might not be accurate but is an entertaining movie with a great performance from John Goodman in the lead role.

Now as I said I had no idea who this Huey Long was before watching, other than a quick glance through an online bio as to familiarise myself with the man and what he did and as such I can't say how much fact and fiction we have going on in "Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long". But what we have is this entertaining portrayal of a man who thought to help the little people with his "Share the Wealth" plans which make him an enemy of those who were well off. Yet at the same time we also have this portrayal of a dictator and bully whose actual practices were not as clean cut as they should be.

This combination of a man who was both good guy and bad guy works well because it toys with our feelings. On one hand with his plans to help those less well off than others you want to champion him but then we see him bully and intimidate others and it is hard to champion because of that nasty side. That may not be how things were in real life but it is what this move thrives off of as well as some nice nostalgic sets and music.

What "Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long" also thrives off of is John Goodman who once again delivers a powerful performance of a larger than life character. Watching him take Huey from a young political man to one who bordered on dictatorship is fantastic and he gives him such colour and charisma that it is hard not like the man, well at least to start with. Goodman has good support though with Matt Craven and Anne Heche providing solid characterisations in supporting roles.

What this all boils down to is that "Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long" is certainly an entertaining movie thanks to its energy and the performance of John Goodman as Huey Long.