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The Day Reagan Was Shot

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Editorial Reviews

From Academy-Award® winning director and producer Oliver Stone comes this riveting true story...March 30, 1981. An insane and obsessive young man named John Hinckley Jr. attemps to kill U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition, Reagan's life hangs in the balance as two young surgeons battle to save him. But only those behind the scenes in the corridors of power know that this is more than a fight to save one man. With the Soviet Union poised to invade Poland and the possibility of a total nuclear war looming, someone must take control of the impending crisis. And as a bitter power struggle begins, the government of the most powerful nation on Earth is sliding into chaos..."The Day Reagan Was Shot" is based on an amazing true story of individual courage and the political intrigues and deceptions that brought a nation - and the world - to the brink of destruction.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Dreyfuss, Richard Crenna, Yannick Bisson, Colm Feore, Michael Murphy
  • Directors: Cyrus Nowrasteh
  • Writers: Cyrus Nowrasteh
  • Producers: Armand Leo, Cathy Mickel Gibson, Dan Halsted, Fritzi Horstman, Oliver Stone
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 29, 2002
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006G8I1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,007 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Day Reagan Was Shot" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Very good true story thanks!!! :)
Anthony M. Julian
It's a great film, but please don't take Oliver Stone's version of history as the truth.
Daniel Jolley
Richard Dreyfuss gives an excellent portrayal of Alexander Haig.
Inger Watts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2003
Format: DVD
The Day Reagan Was Shot is a gripping, impressive film, but it does a great disservice to the parties involved and to the American public by passing itself off as a true recounting of the awful events of that day. I went into this film somewhat on my guard, knowing that Oliver Stone has never failed to let actual facts get in the way of his historical dramas; I was also leery of the fact that Richard Dreyfuss, a terrific actor but also a well-known liberal, would be playing a primary role. I was ten years old on March 10, 1981, but it is a day I will never forget. I won't dare compare the Reagan assassination attempt with the public execution of President Kennedy, but it was a formative event in my young life. I loved Ronald Reagan, and due largely to him I had begun developing my own political views. The images of those few seconds outside the Hilton Hotel were forever burned into my brain. Seeing the President shoved into a limo and rushed to a hospital while three men lay grievously wounded on the sidewalk was unnerving to say the least, invoking a horror I could scarcely have imagined before that fateful day. Thus, the events presented here are important to me, and I really hoped they would have been presented truthfully - they were not.

It is important for viewers to know that this film deviates wildly from the truth in many important respects. Secretary of State Alexander Haig (played brilliantly by Richard Dreyfuss) is demonized most unfairly, the state of chaos existing that day is exaggerated, the potential of nuclear war against the Soviets during the crisis is far-fetched indeed, and the members of the President's Cabinet and senior level staff are oftentimes wrongly portrayed as buffoons.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By traderje on November 13, 2005
Format: DVD
Well, I thought Alexander Haig was vindicated somewhat by the film. It was the press of the day that portrayed him as a nut, but in this film there is some explanation, some background for his statements and actions that we never had. As the character states towards the end of the film, he played the good soldier and did not speak of the things that the film aledges went on that could have improved his public image.

Did it really take as long as it seems in the film for George Bush, Sr. to get back to town? I really don't remember, but that was weird. It wasn't so much that Al Haig was bullying to take over, but that the people who were supposed to step up to the plate were inexplicably NOT doing so at a time of crisis.

Also, what in the world was the deal with the guy who dressed up like a doctor and snuck right into Regan's room with no bother from security? The real doctor's caught him just in time. I don't recall that incident, but it sure makes fodder for some conspiracy theories.

A good film for a period of time that gets skipped by documentarians.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By D. D'Eugenio on November 27, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An Oliver Stone influenced film that documents the facts the American people didn't know. This film is based on the true behind the scene account of what happened during the hours leading to, and what transpired during and after the attempted assignation of former President Reagan. This film is tense. For those who live it, you might have suspected something; for those who only know this incident from history class, it's an eye opener. If you believe this story, it is a less than flattering account of Reagan's advisors during this crisis. It clearly shows a lack of control, an extremely loose organization filled with egos and politics and what might be the most terrifying, the non-existent communication between agencies (Homeland Security, humm) and the unreliable communication equipment they depended on. What transpired on that day and the days following were more than the world knew. Twenty one years later we now know? This film is worth your time to watch then judge for yourselves. If you're a fan of Richard Dreyfuss, his portrayal of Secretary of State Haig is brilliant. Other excellent performances were given by Richard Creena and Colm Feore.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on July 19, 2006
Format: DVD
Well, there were, in fact, a number of crises on the day President Reagan was shot by John Hinckley and, according to this movie, none of them were handled terribly well. The Soviets, whose troops are massing on the Polish border in what is expected to be a military invasion to crush the Solidarity movement, suddenly have a screenful of nuclear submarines inching towards the US shores. That may be because inexperienced Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger inadvertently put the military on Def-Con Three. Vice President George Bush can't be reached, he's in the air somewhere but the phones aren't working. The doctors at George Washington can't find the bullet, and then have reason to believe it's lodged near the President's heart. Nobody knows what happened to Reagan's wallet, the wallet with the plastic card that will activate the `football' in case the Alexander Haig led crisis control center decides to respond to those approaching subs. The Russian ambassador can't be reached, either, he left for dinner somewhere, and... well, you get the idea.

I don't watch movies to learn history. Movies compress time, heighten and exaggerate conflict, and do any number of other things to entertain us while distorting The Truth. It's enough that they touch the high and low points, and paint the emotions honestly. THE DAY REAGAN WAS SHOT does that, portraying a numbing series of crises and near-disasters that reach their nadir when Haig tells an anxious and agitated press room full of journalists that "I'm in charge here." Miraculously, President Reagan survived the events of that day. Not surprisingly, Haig was the one to shuffle off the national stage a few months later.
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