The Reagan Show. Image courtesy of CNN Films.

SERIES
The Ronald Reagan Picture Show

August 25–30

Presented in cooperation with CNN Films

Ronald Reagan’s rise from affable movie star and TV host to American president seemed incredibly unlikely at the time it happened. Although John F. Kennedy had shown the importance of television charisma, Reagan’s ascension signaled, for many, a crossing of the line between entertainment and politics. As the new documentary The Reagan Show demonstrates, Reagan cannily brought Hollywood techniques to the White House, skillfully stage-managing his presidency by nurturing and controlling his image. This series presents Ronald Reagan as both movie actor—in some of his finest roles (all presented in 35mm)—and as president, in what was easily his greatest performance. A consideration of Reagan as entertainer and political force feels especially timely today, as our attention is commanded daily by a real-estate tycoon and former reality-TV star who became president.