Based on a true story, this film focuses on James Brady, the press secretary to Ronald Reagan who was severely injured in an attempt on the president's life. When John Hinckley Jr. tries to kill Reagan, he also shoots Brady. Although Brady recuperates, he is left partially paralyzed and continues to heal with the support of his wife, Sarah. The shooting inspires Brady to seek stricter gun control laws, resulting in the Brady Bill. Written by
For a TV production this was actually a pretty good account of the challenges that faced Ronald Reagan's former press secretary, James Brady, after he was shot in the head and almost killed in the assassination attempt against Reagan in March of 1981. Suffering from severe brain damage, Brady (well played by Beau Bridges) struggles to regain his life and refuses to accept that he'll never be the same man he was before the shooting, his refusal being reinforced by various people (including the president himself) assuring him that he'd be coming back to work, even after they had been told it would be impossible. Increasingly frustrated, Brady begins lashing out at those around him, including his wife Sarah (also well played by Joan Allen) and his young son. This also featured a pretty good performance from Bryan Clark as Ronald Reagan. Eventually it turns into basically an advertisement for gun control, with Sarah and eventually even Jim becoming proponents of the so-called "Brady Bill" which required background checks on those wanting to purchase firearms. Hard to believe that even this basic common sense law was fiercely debated and opposed by many people in the United States, but it was finally signed into law by President Clinton in late 1993. The most moving scene in the movie is probably the actual footage of an appearance by Jim and Sarah Brady before the Senate Committee dealing with the legislation. This certainly has the feel of a made-for-TV movie, but it's interesting throughout and in the end raises some important questions. 8/10
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