Kings Row

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Question: connect President Reagan with the following quotation, 'A good town to live in. A good place to raise your children.' No, not one of Ron's election promises; it's the roadside sign that gets this glorious, maggot's-eye view of mid-town America under way, the film that made Reagan a star. Twenty years later he was back to second billing, but was busying himself as President of the Screen Actors Guild, leading and winning a strike for residual payments for non-theatrical releases. Twenty years later still, and the SAG won another deal on residuals while our Ron bid for a bigger presidency. Strange to think he'd probably protest about a contemporary Kings Row as un-American, and that he drew up anti-union legislation. The movie, though, is one of the great melodramas (from the same Wood/Menzies stable that made Gone With the Wind), as compulsive and perverse as any election, a veritable Mount Rushmore of emotional and physical cripples, including a surgeon with a penchant for unnecessary amputations, a girl who 'made friends on one side of the tracks and made love on the other', and best of all, a legless Reagan wondering 'Where's the rest of me?'

Release details

Duration: 127 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Sam Wood
Screenwriter: Casey Robinson
Cast: Ann Sheridan
Robert Cummings
Ronald Reagan
Betty Field
Claude Rains
Charles Coburn
Judith Anderson
Maria Ouspenskaya
Nancy Coleman
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