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Under the Radar

Reagan Speaks for Himself

To coincide with what would've been the 100th birthday of our 40th President, filmmaker Robert D. Kline has released a DVD of his documentary Ronald Reagan An American Journey.

Kline decided to focus on the Great Communicator, letting Reagan speak for himself as much as possible throughout the movie. The film opens with the legendary speech at the 1964 Republican Convention and includes extended excerpts from his most famous televised speeches and debates throughout the rest of his career.

If you spend most evenings watching either MSNBC or FOX News (or making yourself crazy by flipping back and forth between the two), you won't find much to like in Kline's attempt to find a politically neutral tone. While celebrating Reagan's achievements in elevating the national self-image and moving forward peace with the soon-to-be-former Soviet Union, the filmmaker finds a moment to stick in a kind word for President Carter's human rights record and to point out the legal problems created by Iran Contra.

If you're the kind of person who watches documentaries about Motown or the Grand Ole Opry and gets upset that they never show more than a few seconds of any single performance, you might enjoy watching the long clips here. Kline really does let Reagan speak for himself and the film should do a great job of giving young folks an idea of exactly how powerful a public speaker he could be.

You can order Ronald Reagan an American Journey from Amazon or stick it in your DVD queue at Netflix.

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