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Video: Rare Ronald Reagan/James Dean TV Show Discovered; Watch Excerpt

Apr 22, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Writer Wayne Federman, who is compiling materials for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library centennial celebration of the late president’s film andtelevision career, made a rare find when he unearthed a live TV drama from Dec. 12, 1954,starring Reagan and actor James Dean, reports The Atlantic.

It’s an excellent quality kinescope from the anthology drama series “General Electric Theater.” This entry is called “The Dark, Dark Hours,” and in the show, Dean played a teenaged criminal seeking medical care for a friend and forcing a doctor — Reagan — to comply by threatening the doctor’s family.

Reagan, who by this time had had a long movie career, was also the host of the series. Dean’s big movies, “East of Eden,” “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant,” had yet to be released.

Less than a year after this show aired, Dean was killed in an auto crash, on Sept. 30, 1955.

Below is a 6-minute excerpt from the show:

12 Comments

  1. Nice to see this old excerpt. Reagan as a host/actor mirrored his later job as President. A great communicator but not very good at the other part.

  2. Ronald Reagan…One of my favorite quotes: But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.

  3. Ronald Reagan…One of my favorite quotes: Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.

  4. Ronald Reagan…One of my favorite quotes: Going to college offered me the chance to play football for four more years.

  5. Ronald Reagan…One of my favorite quotes: Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

  6. Ronald Reagan…One of my favorite quotes: Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have.

  7. Ronald Reagan…One of my favorite quotes: A tree’s a tree. How many more do you need to look at?

  8. Ronald Reagan…One of my favorite quotes: Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.

  9. Ronald Reagan…One of my favorite quotes: Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.

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