DIRECTOR: SAM WOOD
CAST: ANN SHERIDAN, ROBERT CUMMINGS, RONALD REAGAN
J. Hoberman in person.
A vision of incest, suicide, sadism, murder and madness in an all-American town, Kings Row afforded Ronald Reagan his favorite role—the local rake. He plays off the blandness of nominal star Robert Cummings as his best friend who goes off to Vienna to study “psychiatry.” Reagan’s own lack of introspection makes his fondness for the film all the more fascinating. After screening it at Camp David in October 1986 (weeks before the Iran Contra story broke), he wrote, “I’d forgotten how really good that pic was.”