: : : Tribute to Ronald Reagan

Story

Calling this a tribute hardly does it justice: it's an exercise in absolute hero worship. The program presents, in no particular order, the major events of Ronald Reagan's presidency, making use of film shot during the Hollywood-type productions at which Reagan's media advisors excelled as well as news footage of such events as the Grenada invasion and the assassination attempt by John Hinckley. Reagan's early life in Hollywood is also covered, though the choice of film clips is at times mystifying. At one point Kate Smith performs her trademark "God Bless America" in its entirety, though what, if anything, that has to do with Reagan's film career is never explained, and a lengthy showstopper from a musical in which Reagan had a bit part is also shown in its entirety, though Reagan doesn't appear in that particular number. This production doesn't presume to be serious history, of course, and it makes no attempt to present a balanced or even a particularly informative look at Reagan's political career. Interviews with Reagan cabinet secretaries Caspar Weinberger and James Baker, apparently shot while Reagan was still president, offer platitudes but little insight. There are plenty of clips of Reagan giving speeches and telling funny stories, and lots of bunting and balloon drops, but even those who embrace the general theme of these tapes, that Ronald Reagan was unquestionably the savior of America, may find this production incoherent and puzzling. --Robert J. McNamara

DVD Features

  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Complete, unedited broadcast footage of Ronald Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" speech
  • "When Character Counted," a video of William F. Buckley's moving tribute in 1999
  • Ronald Reagan's videotaped goodbye speech to the nation
  • Photo slide show and Ronald Reagan's last public address
  • Full-color insert with behind-the-scenes producer's notes
  • Genre: Documentaries
  • Director:
  • Producer: Acorn Media
  • Length: 112 min
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 1, 1996
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJul 22, 2003
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