Future US president Ronald Reagan made 53 Hollywood movies from 1937 to 1965. He is conventionally remembered as a limited actor out-starred by a chimp in Bedtime for Bonzo (1951). Iwan Morgan offers a contrary perspective. The films Reagan made in 1940-1942 suggested he was destined for real stardom but war service interrupted his momentum. On his return in 1945, Warner Brothers did not know how best to use him and placed him in some poor movies that were box-office poison. Thereafter it would not risk him in prestige projects. Champ? Chump? Chimp? Politics beckoned.