California: Ronald for Real

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He may not have had the most dazzling of Hollywood careers, but—as any late, late television watcher can attest —it was certainly durable. In the course of 50 movies, Ronald Wilson Reagan almost invariably played the grinning gallant, the fall guy who winds up heartbroken, dead broke or plain dead. In King's Row, he lost his legs; in Santa Fe Trail and Dark Victory, bigger stars got the girl. In Hellcats of the Navy, he wound up taking a submarine on a suicidal mission; as George Gipp in Knute Rockne—All American,...

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