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How Movies Affected Ronald Reagan's Presidency

Peter Wallburg Studios

Mark Weinberg, a former spokesman and speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, is in Louisville Thursday to discuss his new memoir, “Movie Nights with the Reagans.” Those movie nights, screening the latest movies of the day as well as classics, put Weinberg in a small inner circle that allowed him to see Reagan in way few did.

You can listen to our conversation in the media player above.

Weinberg on watching "War Games":

"What it was usually like after a movie is there would be a robust conversation about the movie. But 'War Games' was different. There was silence because it was such a sobering movie. Someone broke the silence with a joke, but the way it impacted the President was it affirmed and confirmed his deep concern about nuclear weapons. He didn't watch 'War Games' and become anti nuke, he was always against nuclear weapons."

On "Hellcats of the Navy":

"It was the only one in which they acted together and I learned when I had that final interview with Mrs. Reagan that it was her favorite movie...And what I found out and wrote about in this book was that the President enjoyed making it but was mad at the studio because he thought they were being kind of cheap about the budget and even said in his notes they were more interested in the cost than the quality."

Weinberg is speakingtonight at 7:00 p.m. in the author series at the Main Library. The event is free, but tickets are required.


Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for LPM. Email Bill at bburton@lpm.org.