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The Reagans (2003)

An non-partisan telling of marriage and political career of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. The movie tells a tale of love, devotion, controversy, and patriotism.
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Judy Davis ... Nancy Reagan
James Brolin ... Ronald Reagan
Zeljko Ivanek ... Michael Deaver
Mary Beth Peil ... Edith Davis
Bill Smitrovich ... Alexander Haig
Shad Hart Shad Hart ... Ron Reagan Jr.
Zoie Palmer ... Patti Reagan
Richard Fitzpatrick ... Ben Weldon
Vlasta Vrana ... Ed Meese
Francis X. McCarthy ... Dr. Loyal Davis (as Francis Xavier McCarthy)
Frank Moore ... Don Regan
Aidan Devine ... Bill Shelby
John Stamos ... John Sears
Stewart Bick Stewart Bick ... Lew Wasserman
Tom Barnett ... Michael Reagan
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Storyline

An non-partisan telling of marriage and political career of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. The movie tells a tale of love, devotion, controversy, and patriotism.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The film they didn't want you to see!


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Reagan család See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producers had set up filming in Toronto in 2003 when the SARS outbreak hit the town. They were forced to scratch nearly all their preparations and move filming to Montreal. They had to find new locations, hire a Montreal-based crew, and import English-speaking actors from Toronto and New York. The last-minute switch cost about $1.5 million, which they made up by cuts from the script and sets. See more »

Goofs

Ronald Reagan is presented right-handed in the movie. In reality he was left-handed. See more »

Quotes

Ronald Reagan: If you don't mind, this administration has to pee.
See more »

Connections

References Murder in the Air (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

What's all the fuss about?
12 July 2004 | by Solo4114See all my reviews

Well, I watched this last night for the first time, AFTER all of the hooplah over Reagan's death and the retrospectives on his life. Given the reactions that some people have had, I was expecting a MUCH more negative portrayal of the Reagans.

Now, I'll admit, what you do see isn't pretty in many sequences. As governor, he is shown to be reactionary (which, well, he was really). As president, he is portrayed as out of touch, and rather doddering in his second term. Throughout the film, Reagan is portrayed as easily manipulated, prone to delegating as much as possible, and as not wanting to take on quite the responsibility required by the job of chief executive, be it at the state or national level. The personal life also has its dark moments where he's depicted as an absentee father.

Nancy doesn't get much better treatment, and in some ways gets the brunt of the criticism. She is depicted as shrewd, conniving, nasty at times, manipulative, overly concerned with society, a lousy parent, and as first lady of California and the United States, rather a spendthrift.

This is all what you've probably heard about in most of the reviews you've read or heard about this miniseries. The criticism of the Reagans is severe in these respects, and some may not see it as fair and balanced, largely because the film does downplay Reagan's political successes. Again, you've heard this all before, so it shouldn't surprise you.

What most of the reviews I saw didn't mention, however, was the humanizing aspects of the film. Yes, the Reagans are shown as flawed individuals and perhaps not the people you'd want most in positions of power. But, the film also shows their compassionate sides, and Ron and Nancy's devotion to and love for each other. In the political arena, Reagan is given his due as a master communicator, which, regardless of on which side of the political spectrum you may fall, you have to admit. He did make gaffes (IE: the Bitburg visit and the "trees cause polution" comment), but his knack for communicating an idea or inspiring notion to the public, as well as his political shrewdness is given fair attention.

Additionally, even though the film shows their flaws, both Ron and Nancy are shown as people with genuine compassion. Nancy's concern regarding the AIDS epidemic, and Ron's entire political career being motivated by a desire to save people (even when he was making bad decisions). In this sense, I think the film is reasonably balanced. Yes, it shows the flaws of the Reagans, but much like the man himself, you can walk away from the film hating his politics, but still liking the man.

So, if you're expecting, say, Farenheit 9/11 or something along those lines, you'll be disappointed. If you're expecting a glossy, all sweetness and sunshine retrospective, you'll also be disappointed. If you're looking for a reasonably interesting dramatization of the life of one of America's more interesting couples, though, it's worth a rental.


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