By Allison Jarrell
Robert Kline, a San Juan Capistrano-based film producer and former 20th Century Fox executive, is premiering his newest tribute to the Reagans at the Regency Theatre in San Juan on Thursday, Nov. 2.
The Reagans: The Legacy Endures, is a 90-minute re-edited film that Kline said incorporates new elements in addition to the footage from his 2014 release. Since Nancy Reagan’s passing last year, Kline said he has wanted to update the documentary to include elements that dealt more with Reagan’s relationship with Nancy.
“The movie focuses upon their personal relationship, their family, and it really touches on that she was more than the First Lady,” Kline said. “She was one of his most trusted advisors.”
Kline’s presidential filmography is extensive. He and his wife and producing partner Stephanie Heredia created films such as The Kennedys: America’s Emerald Kings (2008), Ronald Reagan: An American Journey (2011), The Clintons—An American Odyssey (2012), JFK Remembered: 50 Years Later (2013), and JFK Remembered: 100 Years Later (2017).
“When I did the first Reagan film, Nancy signed over the rights without any editorial control, and I said to her, ‘Mrs. Reagan, I’ve got to be honest with you—I didn’t vote for your husband either time.’ And she said, ‘That’s alright Bob, we didn’t need your vote. We won in the two biggest landslides in the history of this country. But if you could do for Ronny what you did for JFK, that’s all that I would like.’ After she saw Ronald Reagan: An American Journey (which she introduced), she said, ‘You made me proud of my husband, but you also made me proud of America.’”
Kline said another one of his favorite aspects of the updated film is that it also touches on Ronald Reagan’s friendship with Tip O’Neill and the “unique relationship between the two Irishmen.”
“One was a democrat, and one was a republican, but both loved to tell stories and laugh and have a glass of scotch. And then they’d say, ‘Okay, now let’s take care of the American people.’ So we hone in on that, too.”
Kline said he hopes people walk away from the film with a continued respect and appreciation of Ronald Reagan as a president and as a person.
“If people like Reagan, they’ll love the film,” he said.
The documentary premiere will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 with an intro by Kline and will conclude with a question and answer session after the film. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at www.regencymovies.com.