Movie Nights with the Reagans A memoir

Mark Weinberg

Book - 2018

Former special advisor and press secretary to President Ronald Reagan shares an intimate, behind-the-scenes look inside the Reagan presidency; told through the movies they watched together every week at Camp David. What did President Ronald Reagan think of Rocky IV? How did the Matthew Broderick film WarGames inform America's missile defense system? What Michael J. Fox movie made such an impression on President Reagan that he felt compelled to mention it in a speech to the Joint Session of ...Congress? A nostalgic journey through the 1980s and its most iconic films, seen through the eyes of one of Hollywood's former stars: one who was simultaneously transforming the Republican Party, the American economy, and the course of the Cold War.

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Subjects
Published
New York ; London ; Toronto ; Sydney ; New Delhi : Simon & Schuster [2018]
Edition
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xxiv, 261 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 23 cm
ISBN
9781501133992
1501133993
Main Author
Mark Weinberg (-)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This amiable political memoir recounts the movie nights hosted by President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan over weekends at Camp David. Former assistant press secretary Weinberg dedicates each chapter to a different screening, tying the films into aspects of Reagan's presidency or personal life. Titles discussed include such hits of the era as E.T. (screened soon after the inauguration of the Space Shuttle Program), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (which lifted the president's spirits after a stressful medical checkup), and Top Gun (which reflected growing esteem for the military after its post–Vietnam War fall from grace). Added to the mix are Reagan's own Knute Rockne All American and Hellcats of the Navy, the only film in which he and his wife appeared together. As a longtime Reagan staffer, Weinberg has plenty of admiring stories to share about Reagan's charm and leadership style, recalling how the president stood by him when the White House chief of staff tried to fire him. The author's recollections tend to be less than revelatory, but in general he paints an intimate, pleasant picture of the Reagan White House. For those equally enthused about movies and the 40th president, this book will serve as a welcome change from today's political climate. (Mar.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The former special advisor and press secretary to Ronald Reagan presents an intimate, behind-the-scenes look inside the Reagan presidency that reveals the iconic 1980s movies they watched during Camp David weekends, what the family was going through at the times of the viewings, what they thought of the films and how they shared laughter and free time together.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The former special advisor and press secretary to Ronald Reagan presents an intimate look inside the Reagan presidency, told through the iconic 1980s movies they watched during Camp David weekends and what they thought of the films.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Former special advisor and press secretary to President Ronald Reagan shares an intimate, behind-the-scenes look inside the Reagan presidency'told through the movies they watched together every week at Camp David.What did President Ronald Reagan think of Rocky IV? How did the Matthew Broderick film WarGames inform America's missile defense system? What Michael J. Fox movie made such an impression on President Reagan that he felt compelled to mention it in a speech to the Joint Session of Congress?Over the course of eight years, Mark Weinberg travelled to Camp David each weekend with Ronald and Nancy Reagan. He was one of a few select members invited into the Aspen Lodge, where the First Family screened both contemporary and classic movies on Friday and Saturday nights. They watched movies in times of triumph, such as the aftermath of Reagan's 1984 landslide, and after moments of tragedy, such as the explosion of the Challenger and the shooting of the President and Press Secretary Jim Brady.Weinberg's unparalleled access offers a rare glimpse of the Reagans'unscripted, relaxed, unburdened by the world, with no cameras in sight. Each chapter discusses a legendary film, what the Reagans thought of it, and provides warm anecdotes and untold stories about his family and the administration. From Reagan's pranks on the Secret Service to his thoughts on the parallels between Hollywood and Washington, Weinberg paints a full picture of the president The New Yorker once famously dubbed 'the Unknowable."Movie Nights with the Reagans is a nostalgic journey through the 1980s and its most iconic films, seen through the eyes of one of Hollywood's former stars: one who was simultaneously transforming the Republican Party, the American economy, and the course of the Cold War.