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The Reagan Show

  • Documentary and factual
  • 2017
  • Sierra Pettengill
  • 74 mins
  • PG

Summary

Made up entirely of archival news and White House footage, this documentary captures the pageantry, absurdity, and mastery of the made-for-TV politics of Ronald Reagan.

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Review

A star rating of 2 out of 5.

Pacho Velez and Sierra Pettengill have blown a glorious opportunity to explore the extent to which presentation matters more than content when it comes to presidential pronouncements, as they seem to lose interest in Ronald Reagan's transformation from mediocre actor to skilled politician in order to chronicle the relationship with Soviet reformer Mikhail Gorbachev which effectively ended the Cold War. Given unprecedented access to White House archives, the co-directors begin brightly by revealing how Reagan used his small-town folksiness to sell himself as a credible candidate and his policies as the panacea to America's ills. But they seem strangely less curious about Reagan's evolution into "The Great Communicator", as they strain to make comparisons with a certain contemporary celebrity incumbent of the Oval Office, who would rather alienate the media than exploit it. The account of the 1985 peace talks is carefully considered, as Velez and Pettengill muse over the image games played by Reagan and Gorbachev in reaching a deal. But, for all its editorial acuity, it's a film that unfortunately barely scratches the surface.

Credits

Cast

rolename
Ronald ReaganRonald Reagan
Nancy ReaganNancy Davis

Crew

rolename
DirectorSierra Pettengill
DirectorPacho Velez

Details

Theatrical distributor
Dogwoof
Released on
2017-10-06
Languages
English
Formats
Colour
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