I have a dream – An American Dream

They're smiling because they've gone 13 hours without a beatdown.
They're smiling because they've gone 13 hours without a beatdown.

Everyone has a list of movies that they are compelled to watch when they happen across them on TV – no matter how late it is, and no matter how much of it has already been shown. At or near the top of my own list is the immortal 1992 musical biopic, The Jacksons: An American Dream.

I don’t even care about the Jackson 5 all that much. I downloaded one of their greatest hits collections to my iPod, but that’s about it. So I’m at a loss to explain why I love this movie (originally a two-parter broadcast on ABC) so much. Maybe it’s the voyeur in me who loves getting a peek at the secret dysfunction of one of the most successful groups of the 1970s.

Sure, Tito and Jermaine Jackson may have had scores of prepubescent girls fawning over them, but when Joseph (brilliantly portrayed by Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington) told them to cut a switch, boy howdy they had to do it lickety-split!

There’s just so much classic stuff here – the Jacksons’ routine of hauling cinder blocks across the lawn for character-building (seems they didn’t haul enough); Billy Dee Williams’ great role as the super-suave, pseudo father figure, Berry Calriss…err, Berry Gordy; and of course the sure but steady erosion of Michael Jackson’s emotional stability – capped off by the infamous Pepsi Jheri Curl Conflagration of 1984.

Never mind that all of this takes place over five long hours – every minute is golden. And I can’t be the only one who feels that way, since multiple stations have aired the movie many times over the last 15 years. One day my dream will be realized, and the JAD (Jacksons American Dream) Network will be launched. Then it’ll be 24/7 melodramatic, soulful bliss. Shamon!

9 Comments

  • Shannon

    This movie is on Vh-1 classic right now! I watch it every time it is on and I have probably seen it about 20 times. RIP Michael.

  • Shannon

    This movie is on Vh-1 classic right now! I watch it every time it is on and I have probably seen it about 20 times. RIP Michael.

  • i think marlon and michael when they was seekin on jermaine and that girl in the hotel and then there laugh and when marlon said rose pattels love that an i love there laught they were so hhhhhhoooootttttt!!!!!! and ffffffiiiinnnneeeeee!!!!

  • tbizzy

    i think marlon and michael when they was seekin on jermaine and that girl in the hotel and then there laugh and when marlon said rose pattels love that an i love there laught they were so hhhhhhoooootttttt!!!!!! and ffffffiiiinnnneeeeee!!!!

  • Tamarra

    I think the movie is great I loved it and I think the last boy who played Jermaine was so fine and the boy who played Jackee was fine I thought michael was kind of cut for the actors in the movie other wise I love this movie it is great it gives you a chance to look back on the life style that the Jacksons wnet through to make their dream happen I even like alot of their songs.

  • Tamarra

    I think the movie is great I loved it and I think the last boy who played Jermaine was so fine and the boy who played Jackee was fine I thought michael was kind of cut for the actors in the movie other wise I love this movie it is great it gives you a chance to look back on the life style that the Jacksons wnet through to make their dream happen I even like alot of their songs.

  • Ah…I just finished watching about two hours of the middle of The Jacksons: An American Dream this weekend. I don’t know what it is, but when that movie is airing, I’m instantly hooked. I must have seen sizable chunks of it at least a dozen times now (although I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen the whole thing start to finish).

    Good times.

  • Ah…I just finished watching about two hours of the middle of The Jacksons: An American Dream this weekend. I don’t know what it is, but when that movie is airing, I’m instantly hooked. I must have seen sizable chunks of it at least a dozen times now (although I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen the whole thing start to finish).

    Good times.

Comments are closed.