On March 30, 1981, six shots were fired from a .22 caliber pistol at the Hilton Hotel in Washington. The man who shot at President Ronald Reagan was described as an “aimless and deranged young man” who was misguided by his personal obsession with an American actress. He intended to kill the U.S. President on that day. Even though he failed in his attempt, the result changed both a presidency, a man, and a marriage.
National Geographic Channel will be airing “Killing Reagan” on Sunday, October 16 at 8/7 cst. This documentary will delve into this moment in time and bring to life the best-selling book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. The movie is two hours in duration, and marks the fourth movie release in teh partnership between NGC, Scott Free, and O’Reilly.
The previous collaborations involved the networks most-watched programs Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, and Killing Jesus which guarnered the station multiple Emmy nominations.
Killing Reagan will air globally in early 2017 on National Geographic Channel in 171 countries and in over 45 different languages.
Actor, Tim Matheson plays the role of Ronald Reagan who was the 40th U.S. president. Regan was shot at only 69 days into his presidency. Cynthia Nixon plays his wife, Nancy Regan who is the protective and loyal first lady. Comedian Kyle More portrays John Hinckley Jr. as the misguided and unstable assassin.
“No matter your political leanings, the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan was not just a crucible in history, it didn’t just reset the Reagan presidency, it told us about a man,” said Lurie. “This isn’t so much a political thriller as it is a psychological thriller. We get deep into the head of Reagan and get even deeper into the heart of his love story with Nancy. We get into Hinckley’s insanity, but we also get into the tick-tock of the environment that drove him to want to murder Reagan.”
What Does the Movie Chronicle?
Kiling Reagan opens with the 1980 election campaign with Reagan and Carter battling for the presidency. With the aid of his trusted advisors, among whom is his wife, Reagan repositions his public persona and wins the election. However, his early days become rocky as he combats low approval ratings and a very unfriendly Congress.
Meanwhile, 25 year old Hinckley spirals into mental instability. He dismisses his parents wishes for him to pursue therapy and mainitain employment. Hinckley continues his obsession with Jodie Foster.
When an attempt to connect with her at Yale fail, he attempts to gain her attention by assassinating the U.S. President.
On March 20, 1981, Hinckley acted on his plans resulting in striking a police officer, a Secret Service agent, Brady and the president. This moment in time sent the nation into chaos and ended up rewriting history. Presidential popularity increased during Reagan’s recovery, and it changed his marriage.
Bill O’Reilly says, “President Reagan was truly damaged in the early days of his presidency, and this horrific act turned his presidency on its head. It’s a riveting period of history, with effects that reverberated through the whole world.”