The notepaper which is given to the Deputy Press Secretary has been torn from a pad and we see the rough edges, but a subsequent close-up shows it cut cleanly. See more »
Constitutionally, gentlemen, you have the President, the Vice President and the Secretary of State in that order, and should the President decide he wants to transfer the helm to the Vice President, he will do so. He has not done that. As of now, I am in control here, in the White House, pending return of the Vice President and in close touch with him. If something came up, I would check with him, of course.
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This semi-docudrama is really two films in one. The first concerns the infamous 1981 shooting of President Ronald Reagan and the valiant efforts to save his life. The second relays the power struggle among White House staff while the most powerful man in the world lay under anesthesia.
Despite the fascinating subject matter, THE DAY REAGAN WAS SHOT often falls flat, playing like a cobbled together movie of the week. Writer-director Cyrus Nowrasteh spends far too much time on the ego trips of Secretary of State Alexander Haig (a semi-annoying Richard Dreyfuss), failing to fully explore the more human angles as a nation sat with bated breath. What should have been a subplot with Haig dominates the movie. It would have been nice to see more of the doctors handed this enormous task; more of Nancy Reagan, the beloved First Lady; and more of the behind-the-scenes details, such as the ailing president signing a dairy bill to prove he was still in charge. The dialog is unimaginative and some of the performances resemble those of actors fresh from acting school.
There is a great movie to be made about the chaos within government when its leader is sidelined. But with its dual personality, THE DAY REAGAN WAS SHOT isn't it.
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