The Day Reagan Was Shot (2001)

Fantastic play-by-play of a forgotten incident in modern American history. This movie covers the immediate response and aftermath to the 1981 shooting of newly-elected US President Ronald Reagan by a family friend of Vice-President George H.W. Bush. Things could have gone sooooo differently! As it happened, unlike Kennedy, Reagan survived and became a beloved President.

The movie focuses on Secretary of State and ex-soldier Alexander Haig, played brilliantly by Richard Dreyfuss, who according to this telling, went slightly ‘Dr. Strangelove’ in the hours following the shooting, setting himself up in the bunkers of power as the emergency dictator of America, ready to act in response to what he thought might be a more widespread attack on the country.

The enjoyment of this overlooked gem is in the details of the procedural machinations of the different departments and personalities that make up the head of the behemoth that is the US federal government as they talk to one other, try to figure out what’s going on, bicker and ultimately put together plans for control of the apparatus of the State going forward.

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