Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Poster, Political
Title Bedtime for Brezhnev
Catalog Number 1988.14.104
Creator Eighty-two Corporation
Date 1981
Material(s) Paper
Dimensions H-18 W-27 inches
Description This is a film parody campaign poster created by two Harvard University business students. The poster is a spoof on a 1950's film Ronal Reagan acted in entitled "Bedtime for Bonzo." The western-themed poster has a white border and a thin black text box at the top which reads "From out of the west, they dusted off their guns ... to protect the world they knew and the women they loved!" Under this is a desert scene with mountains in the distance. To the left Ronald Reagan, wearing a cowboy outfit and a white hat, grabs Leonid Brezhnev by his jacket. Brezhnev wears a similar outfit with a black cowboy hat. Across the blue sky, in yellow letters, are the words "Free Enterprise Films Presents / Ronald / Reagan / in" with the words "Bedtime for Brezhnev" running diagonally across the poster in very large red letters. Below this line of red text are three distinct sections of the lower half of the poster. To the right is the 'cast' of characters, the good guys across the top in white hats and the bad guys across the bottom in black hats. The captions under the images of this cast read "with / The Honorable George / Bush / General Alexander / Haig / Henry / Kissinger / as 'Doc' / Comrade Fidel / Castro / Chairman Leonid / Brezhnev / Colonel Moammar / Khadafy / and introducing Jerry Brown as 'the preacher'." To the left of the cast is a circular image of Ronald Regan with his gun out and pointed with a woman to his right clutching his arm. Under the image are the words "co-starring / Nancy Davis." To the left of this image is another text block with reads "Color by HAIR-OL / Based on an original concept by / Barry Goldwater / Mr. Brezhnev and Mr. Castro appear courtesy of Bolshoi Films / Copyright ©1981 by Eighty-Two Corporation, Boston, MA. All rights reserved." At the very bottom left of the poster are small black letters which reads "Distributed by Oh Dawn! Inc. New York, N.Y. Printed in U.S.A."
Notes Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to1989. He was the oldest person ever to serve as president. Reagan first became famous as an actor in Hollywood motion pictures and a television and radio host. His emergence as a political figure was based on his personal charm and his identification with conservative groups who believed that the nation had strayed from its traditional values. Having never held public office, Reagan became governor of California in 1967 and held that post until 1975. He was re-elected by a landslide in the 1984 Presidential Election.

This poster is a spoof of the movie "Bedtime for Bonzo" which was released in 1951 and starred Ronald Reagan and a chimpanzee. The name is the main connection, as "Bedtime for Bonzo" was not a Western. The poster was created by two Harvard University business students who needed tuition money. The pair, John Freund and David Porter had already created a moderately successful spoof poster and decided to make another one during the 1981 Presidential Election. The poster became very popular and it is rumored the money the pair made from its publication paid for their college tuition.

This object was donated on November 14, 1988 by Drexell Davis. Davis, a self-described "Yellow Dog" Democrat, held several elected positions in the Kentucky state government. His thirty-three years of public service prompted his interest in collecting political memorabilia.
Collection Drexell R. Davis Collection
Event 1980 United States Presidential Election
People Reagan, Ronald
Bush, George H. W.
Haig, Alexander
Brezhnev, Leonic
Castro, Fidel
Khadafy, Moammar
Kissinger, Henry
Davis, Nancy
Goldwater, Barry
Brown, Jerry
Subjects Presidents
Movie posters
Movie stars
Cowboy hats
Search Terms Republican party
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS