Ronald Reagan’s astonishing success in not one but two careers makes sense, legendary film critic Richard Schickel argues, only if you view it in utterly un-American terms. He succeeded as an actor, in the theatrical sense of the word, precisely because he refused to act in the nontheatrical sense of the word - refused, that is, to try to impose himself on events, to shape them to his uses. Rather, the opposite was true: He succeeded because he saw his movie career as a lucky opportunity. His gambit: Show up on time, learn his lines, submit to the publicity process, and, above all, not question the wisdom of the studio's decisions about his career. The result was little short of miraculous.