Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Randy Quaid avoids caricature and cliché in his multifaceted portrayal of Lyndon Baines Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years. This made-for-TV film chronicles the years 1934 through 1963, tracing the beginnings of Johnson's public career, chronicling his reputation for down-and-dirty politicking, and following his progress from congressman to senator to majority leader to vice president. Staunchly at LBJ's side through thick and thin is faithful-wife Lady Bird (Patti LuPone), whose fidelity remains unshaken even while Johnson dallies with other women. Charles Frank co-stars as John F. Kennedy, whose assassination catapults the reluctant Johnson into the presidency that he'd always wanted to win on his own merits. Less than six days before LBJ: The Early Year premiered on February 1, 1987, author Larry L. King picked apart the film's inaccuracies in a TV Guide article. Audiences cared not for absolute truth, and had a grand old time watching Randy Quaid impersonate the amazing Mr. Johnson.