4.7 7

Cast: Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann, Jerzy Kosinski


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Few filmmakers other than Warren Beatty would have had the courage and vision to fashion an epic film from the life of famed American Communist John Reed (who is the only US citizen buried in the Kremlin). The film is an effort to humanize a political movement that has previously been depicted on screen in a series of unsubtle and prejudicial broad strokes. The film…  See more details below


Few filmmakers other than Warren Beatty would have had the courage and vision to fashion an epic film from the life of famed American Communist John Reed (who is the only US citizen buried in the Kremlin). The film is an effort to humanize a political movement that has previously been depicted on screen in a series of unsubtle and prejudicial broad strokes. The film begins in 1915, when Reed (Beatty) makes the acquaintance of married Portland journalist Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton). So persuasive is Reed's point of view--and so charismatic is Reed himself-- that Bryant kicks over the traces and joins Reed and his fellow radicals. Among the famous personages depicted herein are Emma Goldman (Maureen Stapleton), Eugene O'Neill (Jack Nicholson) and Max Eastman (Richard Herrmann). The second half of this nearly-200-minute film skims through the years when Reed, now a Russian resident, becomes disillusioned by the harsh realities of Bolshevism. Despite the celebrity line-up of real-life "witnesses" to the events depicted in the film (ranging from novelist Henry Miller to comedian George Jessel!), historians took Reds to task for its oversimplification of events and its laundering of the notoriously promiscuous Louise Bryant.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The term "sprawling epic" was coined long before Warren Beatty produced this ambitious, richly detailed romantic drama set against the tumultuous backdrop of early-20th-century radical politics. But Reds, which was released theatrically in 1981 and comes now to DVD in a freshly spiffed-up 25th Anniversary Edition, is a sprawling epic like no other. Beatty, who also co-wrote and directed, plays radical American journalist John Reed, a part of New York's flourishing, Greenwich Village-based community of bohemians in the early 1900s. He’s in love with aspiring writer Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton), but with intense intellectual curiosity and a rabid desire to be in the thick of things, he ventures off to Russia to chronicle the October Revolution spearheaded by the newly minted Bolshevik movement. The idealistic Reed embraces many of the Bolsheviks' socialist principles and sees in them great hope for America. In the movie’s roughly eight-year arc -- Reed died just shy of his 33rd birthday in 1920, in Moscow, and is the only American buried in the Kremlin -- the screenplay frames his political disillusionment with his marriage to Bryant. It is a tumultuous relationship: The bored Bryant runs away from her first marriage in Oregon for the excitement of Greenwich Village, marries Reed, sees him off to Moscow, and embarks on an affair with the playwright Eugene O'Neill (Jack Nicholson). Reed and Bryant’s emotional reunion in a Russian train station ranks among the great romantic climaxes in modern film, in part because the chemistry between Beatty and Keaton is immediately evident (they were off-screen lovers as well at the time). While lavishly appointed, scrupulously accurate in its depiction of the period, and meticulously crafted, Reds is not a perfect film. But the film is powerful and forcefully told, (as well as highly acclaimed, scoring wins for Beatty as best director, and Stapleton as best supporting actress, among its 12 Oscar nominations); an idea-driven spectacle that, one expects, could never be made today. .
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
An achievement in epic storytelling and historical romance, Warren Beatty's Reds (1981) combines American Communist John Reed's experience of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath with the intimate relationship between Reed and Louise Bryant, his match in progressive thinking. Structured through the reminiscences of two dozen actual witnesses, from Henry Miller to George Jessel, the film meticulously recreates the culturally volatile World War I period, from the bourgeois Portland abandoned by Diane Keaton's Louise to the passionate Greenwich Village bohemia of Beatty's Reed, Maureen Stapleton's no-nonsense Emma Goldman, and Jack Nicholson's cynically romantic Eugene O'Neill. Reed's final reunion with lover/comrade Bryant poignantly reveals the personal cost of his political beliefs. Praised as an impressive accomplishment, regardless of its historical liberties, Reds earned 12 Oscar nominations, including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor for Nicholson, and four for Beatty as producer, director, actor, and co-writer. One of the last vestiges of artistically ambitious 1970s "auteur" Hollywood, Reds won Oscars for Vittorio Storaro's cinematography, Stapleton's supporting performance, and Beatty's direction, but it lost Best Picture to Chariots of Fire.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:

Special Features

Witness to Reds:; -The Rising; -Comrades; -Testimonials; -The March; -Revolution - Part 1; -Revolution - Part 2; Propaganda; New DVD trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Warren Beatty John Reed
Diane Keaton Louise Bryant
Edward Herrmann Max Eastman
Jerzy Kosinski Grigory Zinoviev
Jack Nicholson Eugene O'Neill
Paul Sorvino Louis Fraina
Maureen Stapleton Emma Goldman
Nicolas Coster Paul Trullinger
M. Emmet Walsh Speaker at the Liberal Club
Ian Wolfe Mr. Partlow
Bessie Love Mrs. Partlow
Noel Davis Actor
Marion Dougherty Actor
Nancy Foy Actor
Jane Jenkins Actor
Arthur Mayer Witness
Patsy Pollock Actor
Gretchen Rennell Actor
Adela Rogers St. John Actor
Leigh Curran Ida Rauh
MacIntyre Dixon Carl Walters
Pat Starr Helen Walters
Eleanor D. Wilson Mrs. Reed
Max Wright Floyd Dell
George Plimpton Horace Whigham
Harry Ditson Maurice Becker
Kathryn Grody Crystal Eastman
Brenda Currin Marjorie Jones
Norman Chancer Barney
Dolph Sweet Big Bill Haywood
Ramon Bieri Police Chief
Jack O'Leary Pinkerton Guard
Gene Hackman Pete Van Wherry
Gerald Hiken Dr. Lorber
William Daniels Julius Gerber
Joseph Buloff Joe Volski
Stefan Gryff Alex Gomberg
Roger Sloman Vladimir Lenin
Stuart Richman Leon Trotsky
Shane Rimmer MacAlpine
Jerry Hardin Harry
Jack Kehoe Eddie
Christopher Malcolm C.I.P. Party Member
Tony Sibbald CLP Member
R.G. Armstrong Agent
Jan Triska Karl Radek
Ake Lindman Escort
Roger Baldwin Witness
Hamilton Fish Witness
Rebecca West Witness
Will Durant Witness
George Jessel Witness
Dave King Allan Benson
Josef Sommer Official
Phil Brown Actor
Art Shields Witness

Technical Credits
Warren Beatty Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Dede Allen Editor,Executive Producer
Simon Bosanquet Set Decoration/Design
Trevor Griffiths Screenwriter
A. Kitman Ho Production Designer
Simon Holland Art Director
David L. MacLeod Associate Producer
Craig McKay Editor
Redmond Morris Set Decoration/Design
Peter Odabashian Sound Editor
Simon Relph Editor,Executive Producer
Shirley Russell Costumes/Costume Designer
Michael Seirton Production Designer
Stephen Sondheim Score Composer
Vittorio Storaro Cinematographer
Richard Sylbert Production Designer
William Turner Makeup

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Reds 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first saw Reds on television in the mid-Eighties, and was absolutely enthralled by both the dramatic story of the film and its treatment of historical events which had been subject to a blanket condemnation by American society for over sixty years (at that point). As a director and, I believe, co-scriptwriter, Warren Beatty proved himself to be a cinematic force to be reckoned with, as he saw fit to release a film which flew in the face of the conservative philosophy of the Reagan years when he could have coasted from conventional film success to success. Beatty and Diane Keaton are perfectly cast as John Reed and Louise Bryant, the two American radicals who are caught up in and embrace the nascent Bolshevik Revolution, only to become jaded by the Revolution's progress and mutation. Of special interest is Jack Nicholson's portrayal of Eugene O'Neill. O'Neill's period as a radical is often overlooked in depictions of him as an artist, so the inclusion of him within the narrative adds to the historical sweep of the film and depicts one of our finest playwrights in what is his most shadowy period. Reds stands as one of the finest American political films ever produced, and its long-awaited release on DVD can only be a source of happiness for those of us who have been relying on worn pan-and-scan videotapes for years now. Oh yes, one really should read both John Reed's and Louise Bryant's books concerning the Bolshevik Revolution, Ten Days that Shook the World and Six Red Months in Russia. The film and the books complement each other almost perfectly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reds, a relatively forgotten classic, struck me as one of the most profound films produced in America. The movie unfolded its characters with great depth; Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton) being a personality of particular complexity and passion, and John Reed (Warren Beatty) an American writer/journalist whose idealism and ambition lead him to the forefront of the Russian Revolution. This couple's love through all its troubles is extraordinarily intense and grips the viewer to the very end. Through the war and the love affairs, the movie never takes sides. This is perhaps it's greatest strength. The ''RED'' phobia is continually addressed and dismantled by putting the viewer back in time and forward in time. The interviews are a brilliant juxtaposition of comic relief and provide yet another perspective, sometimes so petty, one can only laugh at its stupidity. In summation it is a movie that lives with the viewer long after one sees it, with moments that have rarely been equaled in the cinema.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my view the greatest film ever made, by far. The intensity is unrelenting, the replication of the period setting (both emotionally and visually) exquisite, and the music/songs so appropriate you can almost touch them. To my knowledge, no other film has employed such intricate, difficult, and realistic scripting - (Dianne Keaton's argumentative dialogues with Warren Beatty are nothing short of brilliant, and shot her to my number 1 female actor of all time). As you watch the film, you'll find it hard to imagine that a film crew is only yards away from the actors; even harder to imagine that Warren Beatty is actually directing the film while playing the lead part! No other film leaves you with such a sense of quiet sensitivity, what might appropriately be termed ''beautiful sadness'', so much so that you hesitate to share the film with anyone for the next few days. The impact is further heightened by the fact that this is a true story - John Reed is indeed the only American buried in the Kremlin wall. The music by Stephen Sondheim, particularly in the very last scene as the credits roll up, caps it off wonderfully. There is the tendency for 'intellectual' critics to give restrained admiration of the film - don't let them fool you. Just for starters, it was nominated for more academy awards than any film in the 15 year period prior (Beatty picked up Best Director), and was the recipient of numerous best picture awards around the world. One recommendation: Take the phone off the hook, and watch it alone the first time, as any distraction will rob you of the incredible emotion this film provides.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It would help us out if you had it in stock.............These actors take you there.
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