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Movie Review: The US Vs. John Lennon

Alternate Title: All He Was Saying, was - Give Peace a Chance

Story: He was my favorite Beatle. He was smart, funny, spontaneous, warm and a little bit bad (I liked that part best). I still miss him. Directors and screenwriters David Leaf and John Scheinfeld deliver a sanitized portrait of John Lennon from 1966 until his untimely death on December 9, 1980.

How John Lennon got involved in the US peace movement is not a surprise. Everyone I knew was into the peace movement except the powers that be ( and the people who voted for the bad guys).

The film covers the growing peace movement of the late 60's as the US Gov't. got more deeply involved in Vietnam. When John met Yoko, they ebulliently joined the movement with their 'give peace a chance' mantra. All was fine until they got involved with the Black Panther movement. Nixon's administration (remember J. Edgar Hoover?) added Lennon to their 'enemies list' and we watch as Lennon and Ono go through the five year process of deportation by the US Gov't and the pit bull like tactics of the INS.

I am not sure to whom this film is aiming its audience. I, who lived though the time period, only learned one new thing - AND it was a BIG thing. I learned that it was the rat bastard, Strom Thurmond, who gave the Nixon administration the idea that they should deport John Lennon.

If you liked John Lennon, still have his music floating around in your head, and are still angry at Richard Nixon (I am) , this is a film for you. If you wait a few months, I am sure this documentary will appear on VH1.

To check out some of the FBI files in The US Vs. John Lennon go to:http://www.lennonfbifiles.com/

Acting: Some of the talking heads include: Tariq Ali, Chris Charlesworth, Walter Cronkite, Mario Cuomo, Angela Davis, John Dean, Bob Gruen, Ron Kovic, Paul Krassner, G. Gordon Liddy (good grief), George McGovern, Yoko Ono, Daniel Peel, Geraldo Rivera, Bobby Seale, John Sinclair, M. Wesley Swearingen and Gore Vidal

Predilection: I like documentaries and I like John Lennon.

Critters: none

Soundtrack: A wonderful soundtrack with Lennon's music.

Opening Titles: Zippy

Theater Audience: A handful of old Beatle fans.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: Seeing the Nixon men again made me squirm.

Drift Factor: I admit to looking at my watch after about an hour.

Predictability Level: Unless you were born yesterday (that means under 20) there are no surprises.

Tissue Usage: I admit to some tear welling while listening to some of the music.

Oscar Worthy: no

Soap Box: If there was a draft in 2006 there would be millions of people out in the streets protesting like the good old days.

Big Screen or Rental: Support the Indies and go to a theater. Or wait a few months and see it on VH1.

Length: 90 minutes