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  • Warning: Spoilers
    The continuation of RICH MAN POOR MAN is entirely different from the very beginning. Rudi Jordache (Peter Strauss) makes the political career and leaves Julie Prescott. What is more, it is no longer the story of two different brothers because one of them, Tom, is dead. A kind of replacement for his character appears to be Wesley (Gregg Henry), his son. He is similar, gets into trouble as easily as his father did, and even behaves in a similar fashion. Into view comes Julie's son, Billy Abbot, who is, on the one hand, very ambitious and good at his job, but, on the other hand, falls into serious problems. The sequel is equally involving.

    Most of the content is occupied by two major plots: the problems that Rudi has to cope with as a senator (one of them is indeed the investigation of the mysterious scandals of Tricorp company, the mysterious past of Estepp's wife, and Jordache-Estepp conflict) and the story of Falconetti, who is set free from prison and seeks revenge on the senator and his family.

    The whole story is showed equally well as the first 12 parts. As I already wrote in my previous comments on RICH MAN POOR MAN Book II, all characters are ambiguous, not totally good or evil.

    Nevertheless, Rudi appears to be better than in the first part. His career is not so much of utmost importance but he looks at other people's happiness too. He cares for Tom's son Wesley; helps Billy financially, and aims at other values in life. All other characters are, like most people, very unique. Two interesting new characters, worth mentioning are: Annie Addams (Cassie Yates), who wants to be famous, but later realizes that career is not the most important thing in life; and Ramona (Penny Peyser) who is a wonderful individual, especially when applied to her attitude towards abortion (young girls and women should see it).

    The acting is EXCELLENT. Most cast perform very well. I particularly like Peter Strauss as a tired senator seeking for a calm life, William Smith as crazy Falconetti, and Susan Sullivan as ambitious but jealous Maggie.

    After the sad final scene of dying Rudi, noticed by nobody, I came into conclusion that there is one message not directly but rather implicitly conveyed at the end. The most important thing in life is not career, not riches, not even fame. It is friendship. Friendship between Wess and Roy, between Wess and Rudi, and every single friendship in everyone's life...

    I would recommend everyone to see both parts of RICH MAN POOR MAN. It is, though quite long, a wonderful lesson of life.
  • elio125 September 2001
    It is very strange to see Rich Man Poor Man (book one and two) after all these years. When I was a kid, i remember enjoy both parts. But I haven't seen it since the 80s... And on a french channel TEVA, they rerun part one and two. To be honest the two parts are really different : even if we find some similar characters and apparently the same storyline, it's really not the same thing.

    the first chapter is a strong and brilliant story about the fate of two brothers. The second part gives me (now) a strange feeling : the estep/falconetti storyline is strong and full of suspense. It's a kind of dram/detective/soap show, but it's really enjoying.

    I think you have to appreciate it as a different thing. My wife, who is watching the show (one and two) for the first time love both parts. I have to admitt that it was very difficult test for gregg henry to act after nick nolte. But it is great. And James Caroll Jordan (playing billy abbott) is one of the few characters in the TV history who is very hard to understand. One second, cool and charming (the perfect guy), next second (traitor and a bad guy...)

    Of course, Peter STRAUSS is great like the rest of the cast, except maybe Kaye LENZ (but I suspect the dubbing - her french voice- to be in charge more than the actress).

    I hope americain people can soon watch the show again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Rich Man, Poor Man; Book II" picks up where "Book I" left off and soon fast forwards five years as we follow Rudy Jordache's messy political career, his relationships with his nephew and stepson, with three women who impact him greatly and his inevitable showdown with the slimy Falconetti.

    After a somewhat slow buildup, "Book II" kicks into high gear about 10 episodes in and never lets up. Rudy's battle in the political arena is very well handled, suspenseful and really dramatic. Always lurking in the background is Falconetti, who's vendetta against Rudy proves fateful in the end.

    As said; "Book II" starts out fairly slowly, introducing us to Wes (Gregg Henry), Tom Jordache's son, and Billy (James Carroll Jordan), Rudy's stepson. Wes is definitely his father's son and ultimately hunts down Falconetti to even the score. Billy, like his father in "Book I", proves to be an opportunist as he relentlessly pursues a career in the music industry and betrays Rudy's trust to further himself.

    But the main interest here is Rudy; his political career as he tries to expose a corrupt and venomous businessman and bring him down. The main side story is Falconetti's vendetta against Rudy and as the end draws near; that story takes center stage. And it all culminates in one unforgettable ending.

    It was nearly impossible to replicate the near-perfect success of "Book I" but this follow-up comes damn close. Wes and Billy really grow on you, especially Billy as he becomes more and more decent as the season progresses. Both Henry and Jordan are likable actors and they pull off their roles respectively. Other solid supporting actors include Susan Sullivan, Kay Lenz, John Anderson and especially Peter Haskell as Charles Estep, the corrupt businessman Rudy wages war against.

    But top honors go to Peter Strauss as Rudy and William Smith as Falconetti. Just over 30 years old, Strauss effortlessly plays middle aged Rudy very convincingly and injects fire and passion into this very subdued character whose life is never very pleasurable for too long. William Smith is just perfect as Falconetti, who here gets much more screen time and you get a good glimpse into his twisted mind.

    Highly recommended.
  • The gripping sequel to the award-winning television mini-series 'Rich Man, Poor Man' stands the test of time, and also is a stand alone representation of a well-produced piece of drama. Peter Strauss returns in fine form as Senator Rudy Jordache (the original 'Rich Man' of the title) as the story continues to chronicle his life, career and family. The story proceeds to 1968 and is transfixed to this period of time as opposed to relaying the action over a period of years as per the mini- series. The introduction of Rudy's nephew, Wesley and stepson, Billy adds a new entertaining dimension to the elements over 22 episodes. The series features some very good acting performances in support which includes Susan Blakely, Van Johnson, Ray Milland, Peter Haskell, Susan Sullivan, John Anderson and Kay Lenz. However, it is the portrayal of the psychotic 'Falconetti' by William Smith that illuminates the on- screen chills in his ongoing vendetta with anything connected with the name 'Jordache'. The young guns of the cast also shine with notable turns from Gregg Henry, James Carroll-Jordan, Penny Peyser and Kimberly Beck. The series received two Emmy-Award nominations and upon viewing the cliff-hanging courtroom scenes in Washington it's not difficult to understand why, as Rudy attempts to bring to justice the corrupt billionaire, Charles Estep; the dramatics are wonderfully executed. 'Rich Man, Poor Man - Book II' was never going to hit the heights of the classic status of the preceding mini-series, but it has achieved popular worldwide recognition as a welcome, and most enjoyable, sequel of a great story.
  • I enjoyed book II because it showed how the family after many year's of fighting and being bitter towards each they finally realized by sticking together they could accomplish so many more things in life. I also liked how Rudy became some what of a father figure for Wesley and Billy. He tried to show them just how important family really is and being bitter about things in their life does not have to continue you have to except the past and learn from it.Once the boy's saw how Rudy was alway's there for them trying to help them learn from their mistakes overcome them with out using their fist help make them better men.He wanted them to overcome their past so they could have a better life.Abuse tore his family apart and knew it had to stop.He also taught them that a good education was very important.I would love to purchase book II to complete the story.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a hard to find sequel but it is worth having. Performances were well done. Julie Prescott dies in an assignment in Vietnam. Falconetti is released from prison and is out for revenge against the entire Jordache clan,Dwight Dwyer and the significant others of the Jordache men. Rudy wants Falconetti back in prison.Wesley wants Falconetti dead. Billy and his step-cousin Wesley have a great friendship until Billy sleeps with Wesley's girlfriend and becomes pregnant.Wesley then takes up with Diane daughter of his Uncle Rudy's main squeeze (after Julie) Maggie Porter.Rudy also enters into a one time only affair with his late brother's widow Kate who is now the mother of his niece who does not appear in the story but only mentioned. Falconetti is revengeful indeed he murders Dwyer,Kate leaves town to get away from the vengeful Falconetti,beats up Wesley so bad that he ends up in a coma,tries to rape Wesley's second girlfriend in the series Diane Porter and stabs Billy. The instigated murder of his brother Tom,the murder of good friend Dwyer,Kate's fleeing town,Wesley in a coma due to being badly beaten,the attempted rape of his girlfriend's daughter and lastly the stabbing of his stepson Billy throws Rudy into a physical showdown with Falconetti in an alley.Falconetti this time is dead and Rudy either dead or near death as far as Billy goes he might have made it.Wesley might not have made it it's hinted that he might have went the way of his father Tom. Most of the first Rich Man Poor Man fans were not too happy with this sequel and wrote letters to the network at that time "Please no Rich Man Poor Man Book III". Sadly, four years later another sequel an official sequel novel by Irwin Shaw to the original novel came out which was absolutely horrible called Beggarman,Thief. No one from either cast was in the sequel. This sequel begins right after the death of Tom. Wesley is after someone tied in to his father's death but not Falconetti.Billy is not the son of Julie but of Gretchen Tom and Rudy's older sister whose character was combined with two other characters in Rich Man Poor Man Books 1 and 2 was played by Jean Simmons. Jean Simmons is a wonderful actress but she is no Gretchen Abbot Burke.Kate was an English girl just like in the novel and played by Lynn Redgrave. Kay Lenz played Kate as an American girl. Kate in Beggarman Thief had a son by Tom called Tom and Kate unlike the Kate in Rich Man Poor Man 1 and 2 hated Rudy's wife whom she rightfully blamed for Tom's Death.Billy ends up having an affair with a beautiful German terrorist called Monika who ends up dying as a result of being terrorist. Watching the two sequels to Rich Man Poor Man 1 I would say Rich Man Poor Man 2 was the better. Another problem with Beggarman, Thief is that it was a sequel that should have followed a remake of Rich Man Poor Man. Beggarman, Thief is to Rich Man Poor Man what Scarlet was to Gone with the Wind- LOUSY. In order to have a good sequel to an original one needs to have the same cast. Good examples: The Godfather Saga,Richard Lester's Three Musketeers trilogy and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
  • barneybut12 February 2014
    I saw the DVD at my local library, and recalling how I liked the show when I saw it years ago, I checked it out. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing again the first part of the series. The characters were well played, believable and interesting, as was the plot. However, the second part was a disappointment. The writing seemed stilted, focusing on prurient and unlikely sexual encounters to the detriment of continuation of the story. It seemed that the supposedly upright and principled male characters lost all self control when it came to dealing with women. They had to have 'it'. I don't watch the Soaps, but I think this segment was pretty much written with that venue in mind. Too bad.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Book 2 doesn't hold a candle to Book One. Standard soap opera fare punctuated by a weekly scene of Falconetti doing something violent, being it slapping a woman or torturing a cockroach. The romance between Rudy and Maggie is challenged by Kate. Rudy sees both of them and must choose. Now, you don't tell a woman that you have to choose between her and another woman. Women don't take this well, so this scenario was not realistic. Also, Rudy and Maggie are perfectly matched - same age, well educated....Kate seems like a giggling teenager and her scenes with Rudy are rather creepy. One common theme here is a lack of motherhood - all of the women in books one and two are lousy mothers. Rudy's mom favored him and ignored her other son, Tom. Julie ignored her son, Billy - sending him off to boarding school. Wes's mom was a prostitute and the courts took him away from her. Wes's stepmom, Kate, told him she didn't want him around. Maggie ignored her daughter, Diane, and sent her off to boarding school. Kate was always apart from her daughter - you never saw her. Ramona's mom died when she was a child. Anyway, the plot was predictable. Billy fell for Annie and kept getting rejected. Estep was always plotting and his goons killed for him. Wes and Ramona never worked it out....the whole thing had a very disappointing ending and nothing was resolved...just a bunch of people with shattered lives and life-threatening injuries. Had Rudy, Wes, or Billy ever bothered to call a cop instead of taking matters into their own hands, everything would have worked out just fine...duh...
  • Really stolid potboiler, scene chewing sessions abound. The ONLY thing that set with apart from other 70's dross in the final episodes was the interaction between Nolte and Bill Smith's Falconetti, one of the great TV villains ever.
  • tavi-915 January 2007
    Hi there fans of Rich Man Poor Man.I managed to purchase Book 2 and I must admit that watching it, I became increasingly sadder and sadder.I felt so sorry for Rudy and his family as nothing goes their way and Estep, Falconetti and co triumph.I just couldn't watch the episodes from 17 onwards.Blows after blows, I felt so involved, it was like I took all these blows.I generally like reality to transpire in films and can't say that I am a big fan of happy endings,but what's happening here is too much.It's even darker than book 1 by comparison.I mean, Rudy is such a nice guy and despite the love of 3 special women, career and money he cuts such a lonely, dramatic figure.There seems to be So I must admit that I have only one curiosity ( I know what happens between Rudy-Falconetti at the end)does Rudy manage to get back at Estep even in a small way.Please let me know.Thanks. PS It would be such a relief to know that Estep gets some punishment that would probably give me enough courage to go thru the episodes which I couldn't previously watch thru sheer frustration. . .I was also thinking that maybe if Roots wasn't running at the same time this show would have continued.Who will ever know?