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The Reagans (2003)

Judy Davis , James Brolin , Robert Allan Ackerman  |  NR |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Judy Davis, James Brolin, Zeljko Ivanek, Mary Beth Peil, Bill Smitrovich
  • Directors: Robert Allan Ackerman
  • Writers: Carl Sferrazza Anthony, Elizabeth Egloff, Jane Marchwood, Thomas Rickman
  • Producers: Carl Sferrazza Anthony, Craig Zadan, Dave Mace
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: May 18, 2004
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001US6CI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,142 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Reagans" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Despite charges of character assassination that drove made-for-TV movie The Reagans off CBS's primetime schedule, the three-hour production is actually sympathetic and even generous in its portrayal of Ronald and Nancy Reagan's rise from hard-working Hollywood couple to First Family. Beginning with their first date in 1949, the story establishes parallel dramatic tracks--the Reagans' acquisition of power and remoteness from their children--and never veers from them. The most interesting section concerns crucial political transitions made by the onetime Democratic loyalist and future Republican governor and president (James Brolin), though Reagan is never portrayed as an opportunist with flexible principles. Once more familiar details kick in--Reagan's hard line as California's boss, the presidential campaigns, two terms in the White House, Iran-Contra, etc.--the script shifts focus to Nancy (Judy Davis) and her ascendancy as a fierce player in the doddering Ronald's latter administration. It's all fascinating, and most certainly not a hatchet job. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

James Brolin and Judy Davis star as the most powerful couple of the 1980s in this touching film that was pulled from network TV. This Golden Globe-nominated miniseries looks back over the film careers as well as the public and private lives of Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis spanning several decades in the spotlight. 2003/color/3 hrs/NR/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars YOU MIGHT ENJOY THIS!! June 17, 2004
By cal664
I bought the "The Reagans" DVD about a week before Reagan passed away but didn't have a chance to watch it until after all the funeral ceremonies had concluded. After all the controversy that erupted over the film last November, I was expecting to see quite a horror-fest of a movie. Turns out it's nothing of the sort. Definitely not belittling or derogatory. Instead, it offers a sympathetic portrayal of a couple that left me liking the Reagans more than I did before I saw the film (and I liked them before anyway). There's no reason why this couldn't have shown on CBS. But if you ask me, I think the amount of subject matter covered warranted a far bigger budget and more time on a scale like "Angels in America" $60 million/6 hour miniseries and a cable channel like HBO that has the megabucks and the backbone to allow a filmmaker to make a truly quality film. Really, they were cramming 2 lifetimes of accomplishments into a 3 hr film.
If you hold strong political beliefs leaning right or left about the Reagans, "The Reagans" isn't for you. What you want is either a tribute show with nothing but good to say or a show that's an indictment of the Reagan era, respectively. Go elsewhere to find those films. If you fall somewhere in between and aren't obsessed with political details, you might enjoy "The Reagans." It's an average TV biopic that could've been better, but it does have its moments. It's not the greatest but not the worst either tracing how then actress Nancy Davis met actor Ronald Reagan and then his rise to California governor and then 2-term US president. The real focus of the film is the loving relationship between Nancy and Ronald.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's the controversy for? July 2, 2004
I went into this having a somewhat negative view of Reagan and a neutral opinion of his wife. I was quite surprised to find that it changed my opinion of Reagan for the better. Nancy, however, definitely comes off the worse. The portrayals all seem very honest and reasonable and the controversy surrounding it seems misplaced. In fact, all the hub-bub sourrounding this movie feels much more like an attempt to make sure the public only remembers the good things in Reagan's administration. Bottom-line, I would recommend this movie for what it is; a very good depiction of the events and a sometimes exaggerated depiction of the people in Reagan's life. Like the movie says, the roles are presented as a composite.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nancy and Ronnie December 31, 2004
Much of the hype of this television movie lies in the fact that CBS refused to air it, apparently bowing to conservative pressure. This of course created a bunch of hype prior to the release of the movie, and its quick demotion to a DVD release. After watching it, it made me wonder what all of the fuss was about. The Reagans is a comprehensive, yet inch deep look at a powerful couple destined to greatness in the political world.

James Brolin plays an eerie, and I mean eerie, Ronald Reagan throughout his lifetime. His acting is spot on in portraying a Reagan who is both wonderfully amiable to everyone that he meets, and yet distant to everyone who loved him the most. This Reagan is an actor through and through, and he continues his performance during his White House years. Judy Davis turns in an admirable performance as a hyper-supportive, controlling Nancy Reagan. I couldn't help but still see shades of Judy Garland in her performance here.

Nancy and Ronnie struggle with many issues not uncommon today: the politics of blended families, the politics within a relationship. The movie dares to suggest that Reagan and Nancy weren't perfect demi-Gods that the conservative portion of our population elevate him to be. Perhaps it's too daring to show this man, this couple, as human, foibles and all, and perhaps, that is the nature of the controversy.

Overall, very little was surprising about this movie, other than showing the onset of Reagan's Alzheimer's disease into his second term, which long has been suspected. It certainly wasn't the tell all bashing of the Reagans as some would like us to believe. If you want a glimpse into the lives of the Reagan, perhaps a perusal of this DVD would be in order.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Passable 3 hr made for TV movie, covering 4 decades June 30, 2012
"The Reagans" is decent effort to show the rise and presidency of Ronald Reagan. The film starts in the post WWII era, which shows the affable Reagan as as an FDR Democrat who presides over the Screen Actors Guild. From this perspective, the reader sees that Reagan began as an actor and his subsequent path is not so much a movie role as a change with the times. Many people who were not in on the "Reagan Revolution" saw him as front man or figurehead, rather than a real innovative leader. This film shows his reluctance to break with the Democrats (as Hollywood was and is very liberal), yet cites the killing of Kennedy as the turning point in Reagan's life to begin a new direction, as he is sort of propped up (his shift of allegience is rather sudden) as a candidate for California Governor after becoming familiar with Barry Goldwater during the 1964 election. His stance as a bulwark against the California counter culture of the late 1960's is covered rather briefly, but this film shows that as a man, he and Nancy were impacted the same way as many other baby boomer parents.

The political career of the man is also balanced with his personal life, which is an important component to any presidential biopic. I'm not exactly sure on the true relationships he had with his children, but this film portrays them as being very turbulent, with Patty as an unstable and rebellious pot head and Ronald Jr. as a slightly effeminate ballet dancer with questionable sexuality. Reagan seems very typical of the greatest generation in this regard; his baby boomer kids are "exhibitionist" and free spirited.

The acting in this movie was probably its best aspect, with the Ron and Nancy team of James Brolin and Judy Davis showing alot about the dynamics of their professional teamwork.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My view.
I found the movie very good. However I wished there'd been people casted as former PM's Thacher, & Mulroney.

These two people were very good friends of the Reagan's
Published 4 months ago by Paul Watkins
3.0 out of 5 stars sad story
Iinteresting about ms nancy reagan. I hope she gets her peace and some happiness..great castiings and movie. Brings good memoriies
Published 6 months ago by mh
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT BAD...not great, but not bad!
I remember when all of the controversy about this movie came out and how this move was biased and portrayed the Reagans incorrectly, etc. Read more
Published 8 months ago by J. Hojnacki
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic
I was young child during the Reagan presidency, so I didn't follow politics. Now that I'm in my late thirties, the Reagan presidency has become of much interest to me. Read more
Published 8 months ago by RubleJ
4.0 out of 5 stars My perception of the film
I notice there is alot of liberals on here, who say they see Reagan in a different light after watching this film, a positive light. I would like to say I am the opposite. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kevin
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you wonder when did European culture end in USA
One of the first things that struck me about the movie was remmebering how I used to live in a New World european country like australia or Canada , what I miss I guess.. Read more
Published 10 months ago by sammy
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Portrayal Of Ronald Reagan
James Brolin was superb as Ronald Reagan. He had the manerisms down pat and had me convinced that he was Ronald Reagan. Judy Davis did a very good Job as Nancy Reagan. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Scott Bunn
4.0 out of 5 stars Reagan's movie
Interesting movie about Ronald Reagan and his life and family. The years in the White House and election. Informative , interesting
Published 12 months ago by Cathy S
3.0 out of 5 stars reagans dvd
i got my dvd in mail and was damaged so i couldnt watch it vut i went and bought the movie from movie stop and it makes reagan souind very undecisive like he more of actor than... Read more
Published 12 months ago by leeannea
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and fairly accurate
Having lived through the Reagan adminstration as an adult, I found this mini-series to be fairly accurate. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ruud Krol
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