Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann, Jerzy Kosinski, Jack Nicholson
Director: Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty's award winning epic mixes drama and interviews with major social radicals of the period. "Reds" tells the story of the love affair between activists Louise Bryant and John Reed. Set against the backdrop of t... more »
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C.B. K. from RIO RANCHO, NM
Reviewed on 3/29/2010...
Warren Beatty won the Academy Award for directing this sweeping epic, which garnered a total of 12 Academy Award nominations in 1981. Based on actual events, the movie tells the story of American communist John Reed (Beatty), a journalist and activist, whose love affair with writer/feminist Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton) unfolds against the events of the Russian revolution. The supporting cast is excellent: Jack Nicholson, Paul Sorvino, Maureen Stapleton, Edward Herrmann and Jerzy Kosinski. Special features include "Witness to Reds: The Rising; Comrades; Testimonials; Revolution Part 1; Revolution Part 2; The March; Propaganda." In addition to Beatty, Stapleton won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and Vittorio Storaro for cinamatography. In the tradition of David Lean, this film presents a side of the events in Russia that most Americans are unfamiliar with. It's well worth spending 195 minutes to watch!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Absorbing & Provocative Depiction Of Russian Revolution
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 11/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those of us who appreciate movies that both entertain and educate, Warren Beatty's vastly underrated magnum opus "Reds" is a wonderful example of how well the two can be combined. Although it did not succeed at the box office, this magnificent spectacle concerning the involvement of an American socialist reporter in the Bolshevik revolution is a terrific movie, and also features Warren Beatty in the pivotal role of John Reed, an American journalist covering Soviet affairs for a progressive American socialist journal called "The Masses" who found his way into a series of important roles in the Soviet revolution and the regime that followed. Also found here is a especially memorable performance by Diane Keaton as the companion, love interest and protégé of Reed's who also served in a variety of roles in the new communist regime shortly after the revolution. This movie is largely based on Reed's moving autobiographical portrait of his personal experiences during the October revolution in his best selling book "Ten Days That Shook The World". The movie opens by exploring Reed's relationship with Keaton's early feminist character, and chronicles their growth and evolution toward a socialist perspective and an eventual commitment to political journalism that took them to the streets of Moscow in the days just preceding the October revolution. Also prominently featured in the movie is Jack Nicholson as Reed's intellectual friend, novelist and playwright Eugene O'Neil. This is a quite entertaining, sophisticated, and historically accurate effort to show America's own flirtation with unionism, socialism and communism and the reaction of more conservative forces within the business and civic community. The exploration of lifestyles and constant questioning of tradition and conformity make this a terrific teaching tool by showing how critically we can look at the lessons of history. Enjoy!"
A personal epic
Arnie Bernstein | Chicago, IL USA | 03/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Warren Beatty pulls off a difficult task in "Reds." He's got to juggle several epic stories, including the rise of the American left in the early 20th century, the Russian Revolution, and a personal story of two romantics in a relationship charged by passion both emotional and political.Any of these story threads presents a difficult task for a filmmaker and Beatty weaves his multilayered tale together with skill. He pays close attention to detail, gives us a multitude of historical characters and events, and mixes his story telling with the words of real people. Beatty buttresses his scenes with deceptively simple "talking heads." These "witnesses" provide a real background to the John Reed/Louise Bryant story of "Reds," giving viewers a good grounding in the passions of the era. The attention to little details (Reed bringing Bryant lilies, the constant phrase "There's a taxi waiting," etc.) provide a rich portrait of two volatile human beings. Beyond the personal, Beatty knows how to handle epic screen drama. The rousing montage that leads up to the overthrow of Russian government is sumptuous and envigorating. Don't be deceived thought; this is not a "pro-Bolshevik" film by any great stretch of the imagination. Reed's dissillusionment with the Soviet system is portrayed in agonizing detail. Emma Goldman's story, a really great history in and of itself, gives another point of view to the difficulty passionate people have when taking on governing authorities and social mores.The performances are uniformally excellent. Beatty and Keaton are well matched and there's plenty of gems in the supporting roles. Standouts include Jack Nicholson as Eugene O'Neil, Maureen Stapelton as Emma Goldman, Edward Herrmann as Max Eastman, writer Jerzy Kosinski as Soviet bureaucrat Grigory Zinoviev and Paul Sorvino as Louis Fraina.I love "Reds." It's one of my favorite films. Be forewarned, however, you could be lost and confused by the myrad of events in this film if you don't know much about political history of the radical left in early 20th Century America or the Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath. On the other hand, if you're intrigued by the film you'll find yourself up to your eyeballs at the library reading about the true events and real people who inspired this film."
A conservative confesses to loving this movie
John R Newton | New Jersey | 10/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some films have a reputation for being overpraised, and as a result - paradoxically - they become underrated. This is one such film. Who cares that we now know communism failed in Russia? REDS is not meant to be a piece of Soviet apologism. It is about two people who take part in exciting and sweeping historical events. I certainly disagree with the politics of John Reed and Louise Bryant, but it doesn't matter. I envy the romanticism of the times they lived in (even if the romanticism isn't authentic), and that they were able to find, as one of the "witnesses" says at the end of the movie, "things worth living and worth dying for." The second half of the movie - where we see the price that must be paid for taking part in history - provides good dramatic balance to the more sentimental view of revolutionary politics we see in the first half. The cinematography is outstanding and the love theme by Stephen Sondheim is exquisite. As it is a film that should be seen on the big screen, I'm hoping that REDS will be re-released for its 20th anniversary in 2001."