Movie ‘Reagan’ Starring Dennis Quaid Set to Hit Theaters 20 Years After Popular President’s Passing

Actor Dennis Quaid portrays Ronald Reagan in the new movie “Reagan” set to be released on Aug. 30.

June 5 marks the 20th anniversary of the popular Republican president’s death at the age of 93 in Los Angeles.

Quaid told Fox Nation host Piers Morgan in an interview published last week that Reagan was his “favorite president.”

The 70-year-old revealed that he voted for Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976, but for Reagan in 1980, observing the “times were very much like they are now, in fact” under Joe Biden. Quaid said he plans to vote for Donald Trump in November.

Reagan was 69-years-old when he became president in January 1981 and 77 when he left office in 1989.


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The trailer for the film, co-starring Penelope Ann Miller (“Kindergarten Cop”) as Nancy Reagan, was recently released.

The Western Journal attended a screening of the film in Scottsdale, Arizona last month. In short: Quaid’s and Miller’s performances are strong.

The story is told through the eyes of former KGB agent Viktor Petrovich, portrayed by Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight, who sets out to explain to an up-and-coming Russian leader how Reagan helped bring about the demise of the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

Are you excited about the new Reagan movie?

As one would expect and hope, some of the most dramatic moments in Reagan’s life are in the movie, including when a would-be assassin shot him in March 1981 just months into his presidency.

The shooter’s bullet punctured the president’s lung and stopped less than an inch from his heart, having just missed his aorta. Doctors attending him briefly could not detect a measurable blood pressure or pulse, as he had lost one-third of his blood supply.

About a week later, Reagan wrote in his diary, “Whatever happens now I owe my life to God and will try to serve him in every way I can.”

What would a Reagan film be without that famous moment before the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany in June 1987, when he proclaimed to the then-leader, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

I was a cadet at West Point when Reagan was president, so he was my commander-in-chief.


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I was thrilled to see him face-to-face in October 1987 when he came to the academy to deliver an address regarding relations with the Soviet Union, including ongoing nuclear weapons reduction talks.

That visit came only months after his speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate at the Berlin Wall.

The wall — built starting in 1961 — divided the communist, Soviet-controlled sector of East Berlin, with the democratic, free western sector of the city.

While on an Army assignment in Germany in the summer of 1988, I traveled to Berlin crossing through Checkpoint Charlie, the portal between the West and the East.

I was able to return in 2018 to see the city fully united and the Checkpoint Charlie building and a portion of the wall now part of a museum.

Lee Edwards — then a historian with The Heritage Foundation and author of “The Essential Ronald Reagan” — told The Western Journal in a 2019 interview that Reagan was unequivocally the greatest president of the second half of the 20th century for three reasons.

“He restored Americans’ confidence in themselves and the nation, after a prolonged psychological depression that lasted from Vietnam [War’s end] to Carter,” Edwards said.

“He sparked an unprecedented period of economic prosperity, favoring every American, through historic tax cuts and deregulation,” the historian added as his second reason.

Finally, Edwards explained how Reagan, through building up the U.S. military and the Strategic Defense Initiative “won the Cold War at the bargaining table rather than the battlefield.”

“You can properly say that his presidency and what followed into the 21st century marked the Age of Reagan,” he concluded.

I was living in Los Angeles just about two miles from Reagan’s home when he passed in 2004.

I was taking a walk that Saturday morning, when I began seeing news trucks zip by and helicopters flying overhead and wondered what was going on.

(It’s crazy to think about a time without smartphones!)

As I made it back to my apartment building, my fellow conservative neighbor called out from his balcony, “Did you hear? Ronald Reagan just died.”

I joined the approximately 105,000 (over the course of three days) who made the pilgrimage to the Reagan Presidential Library about 40 miles north of Los Angeles to view his casket and pay respects. There were people of all demographics among the crowd: young, old; black, white, brown; working class and wealthy.

Reagan delivered his farewell address in January 1989, while I was in my final semester at West Point.

I, of course, liked the military imagery the remarks contained, talking about the “Reagan regiments” that helped change the country’s course in the 1980s.

The 40th president also spoke of how he saw America as a “city on a hill,” as he had often referenced during his political life, a phrase drawn from Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.

Reagan closed saying, “My friends: We did it. We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.”

Agreed. Reagan presided over the most successful two-term presidential administration going back to Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s.

It’s great to see the incredible story is coming to the big screen!

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book “We Hold These Truths” and screenwriter of the political documentary “I Want Your Money.”


Harrisburg, Pennsylvania




Graduated dean’s list from West Point


United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law

Books Written

We Hold These Truths

Professional Memberships

Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars


Phoenix, Arizona

Languages Spoken


Topics of Expertise

Politics, Entertainment, Faith

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