The 10 Best Documentaries About Ronald Reagan

Oct 22, 2023 | Best Of, History, Political

From his iconic Hollywood career to his transformation into a beloved politician, the life of Ronald Reagan is one of the most fascinating lives in history. As part of his legacy, some of the best documentaries about Ronald Reagan have been made to capture different aspects of his life and legacy. Here are 10 documentaries that highlight key moments in Reagan’s life and provide insight into what made him who he was. This documentary takes a look at Reagan’s life from his childhood in small-town Illinois to his presidency. It examines the people, events and beliefs that shaped Reagan, as well as the controversial policies of his presidency.

1. The best of Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan is one of the most prominent figures in American history, having served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. He was a leader with immense charisma and his legacy continues to be felt today. To get a better understanding of Reagan and his impact on history, it’s worth exploring some of the best documentaries created about him. The Reagans is a 2003 documentary directed by Robert Scheer and based on the book of the same name by historian Richard Reeves. The documentary explores Reagan’s political career as well as his impact on American culture, from his rise in Hollywood to his time in the White House.


2. What Kind Of President Was Ronald Reagan

The film features rare footage of Reagan’s life, including his time in Hollywood and his political career. It also includes interviews with people who worked closely with him such as former Secretary of State George Shultz and former National Security Advisor Bud McFarlane. This documentary serves as an insightful look into the real Ronald Reagan and the impact he had on modern American politics. In addition to exploring Reagan’s life, the documentary also examines his lasting legacy and how it has been preserved by modern Republican politicians. Viewers will gain an in-depth understanding of Reagan’s impact on America and the world beyond his presidency. This comprehensive film provides a fascinating look into one of the most influential presidents in US history.

3. How Reagan Ruined Everything

This two-part documentary examines President Reagan’s legacy through interviews with friends, family members, and even political adversaries of the 40th President. It also includes never-before-seen archival footage of Reagan’s White House years. Reagan (2011): This documentary looks at the life and career of the 40th President, from his days as an actor to his election as Governor of California before becoming president. It also delves into how Reagan changed America during his time in office. Reagan: The Man and His Presidency (1998): This film examines Ronald Reagan’s economic, political, and foreign policy goals during his presidency from 1981-1989. It includes interviews with politicians, historians, and even the White House staff that worked with him.


4. How Ronald Reagan Became A Governer Before He Became President

His successful election as the 40th President of United States of America, catapulted him to political stardom. With great acumen he steered the nation’s economy out of recession during his presidential tenure. Many documentaries have been made to chronicle his life, from the early days in Hollywood to his Presidency and beyond.


5. Reagan –  American Experience

This definitive documentary of Ronald Reagan’s life and times is an illuminating look at the most influential American president since Franklin Roosevelt. With excerpts from his speeches and rare archival footage, this film provides a portrait of one of our most transformative presidents that will never be forgotten. Through its unique access to the Reagan family, combined with interviews with other prominent figures who worked closely with Reagan and a host of historical documents and visuals, this film offers an insightful view of the man and his era. It explores how he rose above personal tragedies to shape America’s future and become “The Great Communicator.”


6. Ronald Reagan’s  A Time for Choosing  speech October

Ronald Reagan have been produced for decades with each filmmaker offering their own unique perspective on both his life and career as president.


7. Ronald Reagan – The Making of a Leader

In ‘The Reagan Revolution’, we delve into the inner workings of the Reagan administration and his team. We travel to his childhood hometown and hear from his children how he impacted their lives. From economic policies to foreign policy, we look at how Reagan’s vision for a strong America led him to challenge the Soviet Union on a global scale. Experience first-hand how the hands of history were shaped under Reagan’s rule and explore the legacy he left behind. ‘From Cold War to Star Wars’ follows Ronald Reagan as he attempts to bring peace between America and the Soviet Union. We look at his rise from governor of California to president of the United States and how his policies changed international relations forever. Witness firsthand the nuclear arms race that could have ended in disaster and learn about the innovative solutions Reagan proposed to end the Cold War. For a unique perspective on Reagan’s legacy, ‘The Final Battle’ provides an alternate view of his presidency. Through interviews with those who experienced his policies firsthand, we discuss how his decisions impacted the lives of ordinary citizens.


8. How does Donald – Trump compare to Ronald

Cockerell’s film, Reagan: The Hollywood President, is an insightful and informative look at the life and times of one of America’s most beloved presidents. It offers a thoughtful examination on how he rose to the highest office in the United States from his humble beginnings as a small-town man from Illinois. Additionally, it looks into Reagan’s personal relationships with Nancy and their two children, as well as his views on foreign policy and his famous re-election campaign. Also worth watching is Giuseppe Pedersoli’s film The Reagan Presidency. This insightful documentary takes a look at Ronald Reagan’s legacy, focusing in particular on how he was able to maintain strong public support during the tumultuous times of the Cold War. The film also examines how Reagan’s policies transformed the United States, from his tax cuts and deregulation of industry to his support for democracy in Latin America.



This documentary explores the detailed events that transpired, including the security personnel and secret service agents who played a part in thwarting the assassination, and those close to Reagan who experienced the trauma of the event first-hand. Featuring never before seen footage and exclusive interviews with key players in the drama, this is an insightful look at one of America’s most famous presidents and how his courage during this life-changing event shaped his legacy. This documentary reveals how Ronald Reagan’s ideological and political beliefs were formed through his upbringing, his film career, and the multitude of events that occurred throughout his lifetime. From personal interviews to archival footage from television and radio broadcasts, viewers are taken on a journey through Reagan’s story—from the days to the Oval Office. Here, we learn how Reagan’s charisma and determination were key ingredients in his success as one of America’s most influential presidents.


10. President Reagan’s Interview on John Wayne

John Wayne, the iconic American actor, and Ronald Reagan had a close relationship. In this documentary, director John Milius takes us back in time to when Reagan appeared on “The John Wayne Show” in 1965. The two talk about their shared love of America and the Western film genre, as well as Reagan’s experience serving as governor of California. Viewers will gain an in-depth look at the political philosophies and attitudes that Reagan held throughout his career, making this a great watch for those interested in understanding more about one of America’s most influential leaders. The Butts-Mehren Story: Ronald Reagan’s Path to Hollywood Stardom This documentary tells the story of Ronald Reagan’s rise to stardom in Hollywood. The film follows the path that Reagan took from being a Midwestern farm boy to becoming an influential actor, businessman, and politician. It features interviews with some of his closest friends and family members who provide insight into his personal life as well as his incredible career trajectory.

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David B