“My nine-year old imagination took off”: Ronald Reagan’s Worst Movie Saved His Life After Killer Tried to Assassinate Him to Impress Jodie Foster

The film Ronald Reagan disliked the most might have ended up saving his life years down the line in a bizarre turn of events

“My nine-year old imagination took off”: Ronald Reagan’s Worst Movie Saved His Life After Killer Tried to Assassinate Him to Impress Jodie Foster


  • Ronald Reagan disliked his 1939 crime movie, Code of the Secret Service.
  • Nevertheless, it inspired a person to join the secret service and he later ended up saving Reagan’s life
  • This happened when a young man tried to assassinate the president to impress actress Jodie Foster
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Long before Ronald Reagan took on the presidential duties as the 40th President of the United States, he made quite an acting career in Hollywood. During the same, his worst movie ended up saving his life when a killer tried to assassinate him to impress Jodie Foster.

Ronald Reagan - Actor Turned US President
Ronald Reagan – Actor Turned US President

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His acting career spanned the 1930s and 1940s, which started from radio and transitioned soon into films. He appeared in various movies and post World War II, he shifted his focus to television in the 1950s-60s to host and appear in several programs. However, his acting career soon started to decline with the actor shifting his focus to dive into politics. This step led him to become a political leader. During his presidential tenure, he met with an unexpected assassination attempt with his worst film playing a significant role in saving his life. 


Ronald Reagan’s Worst Film Saved His Life

Code of the Secret Service (1939)
Code of the Secret Service (1939)

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The movie in question is none other than his 1939 crime movie, Code of the Secret Service. He even went on to describe it as the “worst picture I ever made” as per Souls of Steel: How to Build Character in Ourselves and Our Kids. Despite disliking the movie, it ironically ended up having a great influence on Ronald Reagan’s life. 

In 1981, John W. Hinckley Jr. tried to assassinate President Reagan hoping that it would seek Jodie Foster‘s attention. However, his life was eventually saved by Secret Service Agent Jerry Parr, who quickly rescued the President and got him into his limousine. While the assailant’s bullets did hit the former actor, Parr quickly drove the former to a nearby hospital for medical attention which eventually saved him from danger. 


As to how his worst film has a crucial role in the whole event, Secret Service Agent later wrote that incident in his autobiography, In the Secret Service: The True Story of the Man Who Saved President Reagan’s Life mentioning that Reagan’s Code of the Secret Service inspired him to opt that profession. He recalled, “my nine-year-old imagination took off” as per The Washington Post when he saw the then-actor’s performance. Had he not watched the movie, the scenario might have been entirely different. 

Meanwhile, Foster was the one who got embroiled in the whole scenario all due to Hinckley’s obsession for her. 

John W. Hinckley Wanted to Impress Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster as Iris in Taxi Driver
Jodie Foster as Iris in Taxi Driver

Also Read: “It was very difficult for me”: 2 Time Oscar Winner Jodie Foster Hated Working With Controversial Dennis Hopper After He Left His Own Movie That Bombed at Box-Office


John W. Hinckley was initially popular in his junior high days but it all changed when he started to spend time in solitude to play guitar and listen to music. Back in 1976, he moved to Hollywood to pursue a songwriting career but got excessively obsessed with the 1976 movie, Taxi Driver. For the unversed, the movie revolves around a disturbed protagonist Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) who plans to assassinate a presidential candidate.

After watching the movie several times, he got infatuated with Jodie Foster, who played a young pr-stitute. His obsession got so severe that he started to stalk the actress in her freshman year at Yale University in 1980. He tried different methods to get in touch with the actress and believed that he could get her affection if he assassinated a politician.


Written by Priya Sharma

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Priya Sharma, Senior Content Writer and Social Media Manager at FandomWire and Animated Times. Having graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication, she possesses extensive expertise in crafting engaging and informative content. She has written over 2000 articles across Animated Times and FandomWire on pop culture, showing her dedication to delivering diverse and trending content to readers across the world. Apart from pop culture, she is quite enthusiastic about the Hallyu culture and is exploring the world of anime, expanding the horizons of her knowledge.