The Hasty Heart released in 1950 gave Ronald Reagan his first trip to England and with the filming done in 1949, which was only four years after the war, he saw at first hand the bomb damage in the capital and experienced food rationing for the first and only time in his life. Things were all a bit dismal at that time – and yet he developed a real love for this country because of this visit.
His co-star in the film was a young unknown actor – Richard Todd – soon because of this film to be very well known both here and the USA.
The two of them struck up a friendship that lasted for the rest of their lives with regular letters and Birthday and Christmas Cards, although this tailed off a little when Ronald Reagan became Governor of California. They met up again in the late 80s when Mrs Thatcher held a dinner party ant No. 10 and invited Richard Todd and the two were reunited after all those years. Mrs Thatcher had told Richard Todd that whenever she met the President, he always spoke of his time in England with him when making the film – so much so in fact that on one occasion she had bought him, as a present, a full set of Front of House Stills from the film.
Above: Ronald Reagan and Patricia Neal have a look round London 1949
Above: Patricia Neal chats with Vincent Sherman the director on the set of The Hasty Heart.