The film was commissioned to celebrate the life of Ronald Reagan, which was to be broadcast after the president’s death. In that context the film is a tribute to an amazing life rather than a hard-hitting political reassessment. The interviews include Nancy Reagan, Paddy Davis, Michael Reagan, Ronnie Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, George Shultz, James Baker, Merv Griffin, Dan Rostenkowski, Brian Mulroney, and many others.
Behind The Scenes
The drama for this film occurred after the anticipated filming had been completed. The structure and script had been prepared for the edit. Nancy and the family had politely declined our request for an interview. Then George W. Bush’s press secretary from the White House contacted the production team to say the President wanted to take part. The next day his father called from Houston to say “why didn’t we talk to a Bush who actually worked with Reagan.” When Nancy found out she changed her mind. “I don’t want Ronnie to be defined by the Bushes.” That meant Nancy, Ronnie Jr., and Paddy would now take part, resulting in a totally different and far more personal assessment of the 40th president. Throughout the production Nancy Reagan reported on the president’s declining health. Every day the network was informed how production would be able to respond if the president died. He lived for another six months after completion of the revised documentary.