The Kent Chronicles [3 Discs] [DVD]

Adapted from a trilogy of bestselling novels by John Jakes, The Kent Family Chronicles are actually three epic-length movies that originally aired on prime time television in 1978 and 1979. Each individual film - The Bastard (1978), The Seekers (1979) and The Rebels (1979) - is adapted from the Jakes novel of the same name. The first tells the story of Phillipe Charboneau, the illegitimate son of an English lord who makes a failed attempt to claim his inheritance and then journeys to pre-Revolutionary War America, where he works as a printer's apprentice and eventually fights on the battlefront. The second installment tells of Judson Fletcher, a Virginian who enlists to escape from the clutches of his father and ultimately befriends Phillipe; the two team up on a mission to retrieve a cannon from Fort Ticonderoga. The third installment tells the story of Jarod Kent, who fights in the War of 1812 on the high seas, then eventually heads into the west with his cousin Amanda. The films feature an all-star cast including Andrew Stevens, Tom Bosley , Kim Cattrall, William Shatner and Olivia Hussey.
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The Bastard
Produced for the syndicated "Operation Prime Time" series, The Bastard is the first of John Jakes' "Kent Family Chronicles" (followed by The Rebels and The Seekers). Presented in two parts, the story begins in 1771, with 17-year-old French commoner Philippe Charboneau (Andrew Stevens) discovering that he is the illegitimate son of a British Duke. He goes on a long journey, girdling several countries, to claim his birthright, with his mother (Patricia Neal) along for the ride. Settling in America in 1772, our hero--now known as Phillip Kent--becomes involved with the American Revolution. The all-star cast includes Buddy Ebsen, Barry Sullivan, Harry Morgan, Lorne Greene, Donald Pleasence, Tom Bosley (as Ben Franklin), William Shatner (as Paul Revere) and William Daniels (as Samuel Adams). Distributed nationally beginning May 22, 1978, The Bastard was re-titled Kent Family Chronicles in the more conservative TV markets. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Rebels
The Rebels was the second "Operation Prime Time" miniseries to be based on author John Jakes' Kent Family Chronicles (the first was The Bastard). The saga of Philip Kent (Andrew Stevens), illegitimate son of a British blueblood, picks up with Kent fighting in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Part One of this two-part endeavor busies itself with setting up characters, places and events; Part Two finds Kent and his pal Judson Fletcher (Don Johnson) teaming up to prevent the assassination of General George Washington (Peter Graves). The enormous all-star cast includes Richard Basehart, Doug McClure, Joan Blondell, Tom Bosley, Macdonald Carey, Robert Vaughan, William Daniels and Nehemiah Persoff; William Conrad does off-screen duty as narrator. The Rebels was syndicated to local TV stations beginning the week of May 14, 1979. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Seekers
The Seekers was the third and last TV movie based on John Jakes' Kent Family Chronicles (the others were The Bastard and The Rebels). Heading the huge all-star cast is Randolph Mantooth as Abraham Kent, son of elderly Revolutionary War vet Andrew Kent (played by Martin Milner, replacing the first two films' Andrew Stevens), who has resettled in the treacherous Northwest Territory. Part One of this two-part, four-hour production finds young Abraham trying out a series of occupations, while his brother Gilbert (George Deloy) goes into his father's publishing business. Part Two takes us up to the War of 1812, as seen through the eyes of Jarod and Amanda Kent (Timothy P. Murphy and Sarah Rush), who shortly thereafter head westward. Originally syndicated as part of the Operation Prime Time package, The Seekers made its debut during the week of December 2, 1979. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Noah Beery, Jr.
    Noah Beery, Jr.
  • Peter Bonerz
    Peter Bonerz
  • Tom Bosley
    Tom Bosley
  • Raymond Burr
    Raymond Burr
  • Kim Cattrall
    Kim Cattrall

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