During a panel discussion on C-SPAN recently, someone mentioned that the Ronald Reagan Library has a list online of every movie he and Nancy watched at Camp David or the White House.
So we checked it out. They watched a lot of movies, including Reagan's old films. There are a lot of Hollywood classics on the list, some surprisingly good obscure movies and a ton of `80s dreck.
Even the worst Reagan hater would sympathize with him for having to sit through these 10 stinkbombs:
10. Funny Farm Starring Chevy Chase and absolutely no one else you've heard of, this slapstick disaster is considered the nadir of director George Roy Hill's career, and he's the guy who directed Little Drummer Girl, the worst adaptation of a John Le Carre novel ever put to screen.
C. Thomas Howell stars in this film. If you need a bigger red flag than "Starring C. Thomas Howell," the poster made clear the movie was about Howell trying to pass off as black for some convoluted reason, leading to such cringe-inducing scenes as the one above.
Who knows, maybe Ron and Nancy chuckled.
Maybe the Reagans thought this was an extended version ofFrances Langford singing the big band hit
inThe Glenn Miller Story
, another movie they watched at Camp David.
Alas, in what must have been his biggest disappointment besides the failure of trickle-down economics, this Chattanooga Choo Choo starred -- brace yourself -- I Dream of Jeannie's Barbara Eden and, somehow, Joe Namath.
"The song that kept America chuggin' along is this summer's funniest movie!" was the tagline. You absolutely owe it to yourself to watch the trailer embedded above.
7. Sting 2
If you've ever wanted to see a Jackie Gleason-Mac Davis film, Sting 2 is the one to try.
If, however, you're the reviewer for The New York Times, you will find that it "moves slowly, looks terrible and copies from the first film shamelessly."
The movie that launched Klinton Spilsbury to stardom, if by "stardom" you mean "never made another movie, period."
The Reagans were probably among the (very deluded) fans who urged producers to give the title role to Clayton Moore, the by-then elderly actor who had starred in the TV series.
It's strange to think of "Just Say No" Nancy Reagan sitting back and enjoying the work of a drugged-out John Belushi, but she was old-school Hollywood, so she might have been used to star excesses.
Belushi and Brown were supposed to be the new Hepburn & Tracy, but he died six months after this bomb was released.
Stallone!! Brigitte Nielsen!!! It's like an acting seminar, and you're invited!
To say that Roger Moore was getting a little old to play James Bond by the timeOctopussy
came out is like saying Tim Tebow likes church. Moore was 55 at the time, and the use of stunt doubles is hilariously obvious, but maybe Ron & Nancy enjoyed seeing such a nice young man doing a fine job.
We seriously doubt the Reagans made it through this perplexing wreck of a movie, but maybe they were high, man.
Roger Ebert named Dune the worst movie of 1984 and said, "This movie is a real mess, an incomprehensible, ugly, unstructured, pointless excursion into the murkier realms of one of the most confusing screenplays of all time."
1. Romantic Comedy
As many critics pointed out at the time, this movie was neither.
We don't want to give the impression the Reagans only watched crap. Besides the classics, they viewed just about every quality mainstream film of the decade, including Warren Beatty's Reds, which they said they enjoyed.
And the five hippest movies the Reagans watched?
Well, "hip" might not be the right word, but there are some picks on the list that stick out. Raising Arizona, for one. And a quiet drama called Stone Boy that starred Robert Duvall and Glenn Close.
And it turns out the Reagans were big fans of director Bill Forsyth, who dominated the charming-British-comedy genre in the `80s before losing his mojo. The Camp David screenings included Gregory's Girl, Local Hero and Comfort and Joy.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.