1947 Ronald Reagan becomes SAG president and suddenly bats for the other team…

In March of 1947, out of respect for the Screen Actors Guild conflict-of-interest clause, the SAG President, Robert Montgomery, as well as vice-presidents Dick Powell and Franchot Tone resigned because they had production interests in films that could raise questions about their allegiances in representing actors. Ronald Reagan, a third vice-president, suddenly was SAG President, and equally as suddenly was no longer a liberal.  He blamed his political shift on harassment by the CSU (Horne 2001).  In April 1947 he invited FBI agents to visit him at home and he named people he believed to be communists (Prindle 1988:50). [1]


[1] It is important to acknowledge at this point that this work examines nuances of human behavior, group behavior, and the nuanced portrayal of such behavior in the motion pictures. An interesting aspect of the research was exploring the complicated roles of people like Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Roy Brewer.  People are contradictory.  Unlike many movies, this project attempts to demonstrate that there are no “good guys and bad guys.”  These people, who have been both lionized and excoriated in the popular media, are neither good guys nor bad guys.  They made decisions and took actions that were helpful and harmful to many people.  They stood for principles or did not stand for principles about which many have widely varying attitudes.  My hope is that this complexity–and not some final judgment about the content of their character–is what stays with the reader.

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