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The U.S. vs. John Lennon

Music Video & Concerts movie directed by David Leaf and John Scheinfeld

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Evolution of "Revolution"

  • Apr 18, 2007
'The U.S. vs. John Lennon' is made in two parts: There are the newsreels and the interviews. Then, there are the references to his life and to his involvement in the protest movement. David Leaf's documentary wisely pieces together Lennon's life that made him a rebel and an activist--particularly for peace. Featuring interviews that are intersliced between the archives, everyone from fellow activists (Jerry Reuben, Ron Kovic) [author of 'Born on the Fourth of July'], Black Panthers (Angela Davis), journalists (Geraldo Rivera, Walter Cronkite) to former government agents during the Nixon Era (G. Gordon Liddy, John Dean) weigh in on Lennon's involvement, and how it effected him personally. It is helpful that his music and interviews shed light specifically on his peace stance. In the video clips Lennon expertly fields questions by the press.

Once Lennon's background is established for his motives, the film shows the anatomy of his protests, but leads us to the conflict between himself and the U.S. government, especially over his immigration battle. Admittedly, some of it is speculative, but much of the information is compelling, leading us to understand the personal toll Lennon took for his protest against the Vietnam War. In some ways his high profile shielded him from some harm, however, for when we see John Sinclair put in jail for ten years on marijuana possession, we understand authorities had to tread on eggshells with him. The best evidence is when they reveal John Lennon's Immigration and Naturalization file. The INS had tabs on him that went all the way to the White House. Lennon is on tape talking about being followed and his premises bugged. Add to that tapes of President Nixon where he states that entertainers "...make a personal sacrifice..." for their viewpoints and his approbation of J. Edgar Hoover, then it all adds up. (Not that anyone would be surprised by wiretapping from the Nixon Administration.)

Another document about John Lennon is always welcome. This video completes the gamut with revealing thoughts by thoughtful people who reconstruct an important aspect of Lennon's life with great finesse. With more to reveal, there is much more to ponder by seeing the video for yourself.

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More The U.S. vs. John Lennon reviews
Quick Tip by . April 27, 2010
An instant classic rock doc that shows how scared conservatives are of leftist artists in the media. Nixon versus Lennon... Guess who won?
review by . April 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: interesting interviews, startling information     Cons: a bit long     The Bottom Line:   "Imagine there's no countries  It isn't hard to do  Nothing to kill or die for  And no religion too  Imagine all the people  Living life in peace..."  ~Lennon     When I started watching U.S. vs. John Lennon I was taken back to some trying and difficult times. I’ll admit …
review by . March 18, 2007
This movie is about the political activities of John Lennon during the late 1960s and 1970s in which he supported the peace movement. This included public speeches, demonstrations, and formation of friendships with activists such as Rubin, Seale, Hoffman, and others under the watch of the US Federal Government. As a result, the Lennon came under the close scrutiny of the Nixon administration. The latter tried to deport him but he fought and fought, and eventually won his case, ironically on the …
review by . October 25, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
The movie was produced by one of my favorite and most trusted of independent film companies: Lionsgate Entertainment. They tend to put out high quality movies that i don't have to think twice about seeing.    After about 2 minutes into it I knew something was quite different about this documentary. Either Leaf and Scheinfeld are amazingly crafty or Lionsgate hired some premium Avid Xpress editors, because they managed to make the stills from the 60s and 70s come alive. They moved …
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John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #99
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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In retrospect, it seems absurd that the United States government felt so threatened by the presence of John Lennon that they tried to have him deported. But that's what happened, as chronicled in directors David Leaf and John Scheinfeld'sThe U.S. vs. John Lennon. The film starts slowly, with a familiar look at the former Beatle's troubled childhood, his outspokenness as one of the Fabs ("We're more popular now than Jesus Christ," etc.), and his eventual hookup with Yoko Ono, paralleled by the growth of political protest in '60s America, particularly against the Vietnam War. John and Yoko went on to stage their own peaceful demonstrations, like the Canadian "bed-ins," but these were largely harmless media stunts. It was when the Lennons moved to New York in the early '70s and took a more active role in the anti-war movement, making friends with radicals like Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Black Panther Party founder Bobby Seale, that the government got interested--and paranoid--and men like President Richard Nixon, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, and right-wing Sen. Strom Thurmond began actively looking for ways to silence him (it was Thurmond who came up with the deportation idea). That's also when the film picks up. An array of talking heads weighs in, ranging from Ono and others sympathetic to Lennon's plight (Walter Cronkite, Sen. George McGovern, even Geraldo Rivera) to those on the other side, including Watergate ...
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Genre: Music, Musical
Screen Writer: David Leaf, John Scheinfeld
DVD Release Date: February 13, 2007
Runtime: 99 minutes
Studio: Lions Gate
First to Review

"Worth watching."
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