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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Political > Ronald Reagan - Hollywood/Presidential Years

Ronald Reagan – Hollywood/Presidential Years


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Programs: C-



Several DVD programs on former President Ronald Reagan are being released at the same time and Passport Video has paired their programs on the two major eras of his public life.  The Hollywood Years is more than just a trailers collection, but offers interviews and an interesting chronology of his years in the original Hollywood Studio System.  It also deals briefly with is days in radio and conveniently glosses over his Screen Actors Guild and House of Un-American Activities tenures.


The Presidential Years does more glossing over history than all the gloss Hollywood could offer.  It is one thing to have persons who are fans on camera saying how great a person is, but quite another to act like everything was rosy when it was not.  To have so many people of name recognition use their celebrity to sway an opinion of history away from critical thought is every bit as problematic as “liberal movie stars” saying what is on their mind during an election year, except they are not recording their thoughts like it were part of a historical record.


The only thing that saves this set from being a bomb is seeing the name people embarrassing themselves and all the interesting archival footage that has been assembled.  The quality averages out, as these programs originated on full frame analog NTSC video that is not of the latest ilk.  The PCM CD sound is a nice surprise, offering a fuller monophonic sound than most such DVDs with their lame Dolby Digital 1.0 or 2.0 Mono.  The disc offers no extras, but the two programs are for fans only, preaching the greatness of Reagan to the already converted.  Only they need apply.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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