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VINE VOICEon February 1, 2011
I picked this up at Best Buy for 14.99 today..and once I put it in the player couldn't stop watching. I find this to be my favorite of all the Reagan DVDs on the market and I've seen them all. Most are either too broken up into sections with full speeches and such as chapters or bonus features. They just don't really play as a "story" with the sense that somebody ,well a real film maker, put the bits and pieces and story together to make it feel less like a science exhibit and more the story of a person who deeply loved this country and led it through some amazing times.

I didn't vote for Reagan ( I can barely believe I voted for Carter and Mondale)...but with time and education I realize where I didn't understand Reagan at the time and my lifetime as a Democrat didn't allow for any options other than the ones they presented...but I digress. I just wanted to say that I'm not a lifetime Reagan fan foaming over another tribute but a skeptic who enjoys historical documentaries. This opens with Reagan's farewell speech and then goes back to his days running for governor of California during the Vietnam war...and features just the right amount of vintage historical clips and Reagan clips.

A very enjoyable viewing...I'm sure I'll watch it again. At an hour and forty minutes it is much better than the one hour docs which don't really have enough meat and better than the pedantic and often boring DVDs of several hour length which are better suited to be divided up into sections and used in history classes than watching in a living room....This just hits the spot as the perfect blend of history and entertainment...but it never lapses into pandering and it doesn't drip with sugar towards its subject either.
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on May 28, 2012
I purchased this dvd to help my children learn about President Reagan. It was confusing and incomplete. It missed many great moments and was very poorly put together. Having lived through the Carter and Reagan years as a teenager I remember what happened and this didn't help my kids know the greatness and compassion of the best president in my lifetime so far. It is an opportunity missed.
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on January 4, 2012
Had the Chance to see it on netflix instantly,I do not regret it,Americans should never Regret having the Chance to have known and been served by this Man,I do not like some parts of the documentary which I found at odds with the overall message I am willing to embrace and Know(I don't need a book or documentary to tell me what a Man Reagan was for I know.)It may not be the Best(could have used more) but it is a good Tribute to America's 40th President-and Best President ever.Long Live Reagan and Viva La Reagan Revolucion!
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on November 28, 2011
I first became aware of our political system in the early '60s when Barry Goldwater was running for President. I liked him and listened to his speeches. Ronald Reagan introduced him and I was spellbound and voted for Goldwater. Even tho' he did not win, the message of these two men never left my heart and I have been a conservative Republican all these years. I was afraid whoever made this DVD would spin his message and try to disparage Reagan. This could not be done because it is mainly made up of his speeches in his own voice and words and his message resounds loud and clear. If you want pure Reagan, this is the DVD for you!!
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on March 3, 2011
I'm uncertain if this DVD is a massive fraud or just a sincere effort by a complete amateur. The title 'An American Journey' is a deliberate play on Reagan's memoir, yet has nowhere near the depth or content of that work. The back of the DVD claims that the 'director' Robert Kline used the Reagan Presidential Library for source material, and that he is an accomplished filmmaker.

Instead, the DVD contains largely random and unconnected clips from various points of Reagan's career. Rather than a retrospective, the selections imply the filmmaker ran down the halls of the Reagan library and grabbed random footage off the shelf. The odd selection of scenes include copious footage of people like Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale responding to Ronald Reagan, which I don't think Reagan's fans really paid to see. Watching Walter Mondull talk almost put me to sleep. Rather than show Reagan's magnificent (and brief) 'time capsule' speech from the 1976 GOP convention, we are shown President Ford talking about Reagan. The viewer is left with no idea that Ford has just driven off a last-minute effort for the nomination by Reagan, with a magnanimous Ford inviting the defeated Reagans up on the stage with him. A supposed homage to the friendship between Tip O'Neill and Reagan played an Irish melody my mother liked, but could not be bothered to give one clip of the two talking to each other or about the other. (O'Neill's actual quotes about Reagan were not complimentary, and their friendship appeared to be solely from Reagan's side.)

There is an occasional narrative throughout the movie, although at one point the narrator seems to lose his train of thought and comes to a dead halt, as if looking back at notes. On the plus side, the pictures on the back of the box are accurate. There are a number of little-seen clips here that Reagan fans will find of interest seeing again (such as footage of Pope John Paul II and, of current interest, Libyan Dictator Qaddafi.)

But that's the problem with these selections, they are given no context or follow-up. Aside from some interesting footage from yesteryear, it would be an insult to call this a documentary. For example, we get a small clip from Reagan's December 23 1981 Christmas message to the nation. The viewer is not told that Reagan insisted on a rewrite from the happy text to make a point about the brutal Christmas crackdown on the Polish people by Soviet troops and the Polish puppet government. Reagan wanted to celebrate this holiday and yet point out that not all were free to share it with us. Some narration to this effect might have been helpful, I guess the narrator was on bathroom break.

It looks like something a high school student would put together if he had a simple video editor. The music is horrendous, consisting of loud, obnoxious keyboard themes that jump out of the screen with enough force to cause medical arrest in some senior viewers.

Although I have not seen the other Amazon offering 'Ronald Reagan - An American President (The Official Reagan Library Tribute)', that release is official from the library and clocks in at 382 minutes, compared to this title's 103 minutes. That seems a better sample of the real Reagan. And I can heartily recommend the sadly out-of-print DVD re-release of the PBS documentary series 'American Experience - Reagan', of which I have the videotape and DVD versions. This excellent retrospective of Reagan's entire life (including his stint as a lifeguard) was narrated by David Ogden Stiers, and has personalities ranging from Edmund Morris (Reagan's biographer) to Chris Matthews (Tip O'Neill's one-time aide) and Martin Anderson (author of Reagan's Secret War).

What a difference from this 2010 product. Do not waste your time on this poorly-researched and presented non-documentary. There is much better work out there.
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on February 21, 2012
Buy this only if you already know the historical context of the events of Reagan's political career (which is all this video covers). It has some good moments, but is mostly a choppy, amateurish hash of decent Reagan speech clips mixed with puzzling non-essential and even off-topic content. Very frustrating to watch.

There is no real "timeline," no organizing principle to guide the viewer, and it includes items that are basically irrelevant yet fails to include some of the most critical and satisfying facts and speech clips. For example, it spends several minutes on Reagan's speech for the JFK Library, all the while showing footage of JFK. Huh? Note to film-maker: this is a REAGAN video.

Ideologically, the video mentions Reagan's conservatism but makes no effort to explain his political philosophy or how it interacted with the history of Reagan's era. I got the impression the screenwriter had little deep understanding of the topic, and so couldn't communicate it to the viewer.

Overall, a disappointing and poorly done video that is redeemed, only partly, by the greatness of the subject matter.
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on November 25, 2012
A reagan must must see if you believe in america and a consertive. we enjoyed as a family and remembered the life of a great president
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on January 8, 2014
Loved it!! Such an incredible man. I think that all young people who are nearing the voting age should see this documentary. I think we are on the brink of losing all what Reagan held so dear.
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on October 2, 2013
It seemed to work, But It really did not cover the whole story though. It didn't show the compromises he was willing to to make and the way they effected the future of the country
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on May 15, 2012
I absolutely love watching this DVD about the last great American hero that this country has seen, what a wonderful experience.
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