Former President Reagan credits the movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" as the one that most affected his life and led to his quest for the nation's highest office.
"I began to realize, through the power of that motion picture, that one man can make a difference," Reagan said.Reagan made his statements as part of the all-star video gala to celebrate the opening of the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park in Florida. The salute will be broadcast April 30 on NBC-TV's "Magical World of Disney."
World leaders, including British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, along with celebrities such as Jimmy Stewart and Mickey Rooney will be discussing the films that made deep impressions on them.
Stewart starred in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," playing a man who fought corruption in the Senate. The 1939 film became one of the most beloved of director Frank Capra's optimistic fables.
"When Jimmy Stewart walked the halls of the Capitol building, I walked with him," Reagan said. "When he stood in awe of that great man at the Lincoln Memorial, I bowed my head, too."