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A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.


Won 3 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Grigory Zinoviev
Louis Fraina
Paul Trullinger
Speaker - Liberal Club
Mr. Partlow
Mrs. Partlow
MacIntyre Dixon ...
Carl Walters
Pat Starr ...
Helen Walters
Eleanor D. Wilson ...
Mrs. Reed
Floyd Dell


American journalist John Reed journeys to Russia to document the Bolshevik Revolution and returns a revolutionary. His fervor for left-wing politics leads him to Louise Bryant, then married, who will become a feminist icon and activist. Politics at home become more complicated as the rift grows between reality and Reed's ideals. Bryant takes up with a cynical playwright, and Reed returns to Russia, where his health declines. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not since Gone With The Wind has there been a great romantic epic like it!


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

25 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Comrades  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


After this film, Warren Beatty did not act in another motion picture for about another six years, until 1987's Ishtar (1987) with Dustin Hoffman, a critical and commercial failure. Moreover, Beatty did not direct another picture for around another nine years, until 1990's Dick Tracy (1990), which coincidentally ended up winning the same number of Academy Awards as Reds (1981) did, that being three. See more »


The pet dog is a Golden Retriever but the first Golden (Champion Speedwell Pluto) wasn't imported into the US from England until 1930 See more »


[first lines]
Witness 1: [voiceover] Was that in 1913 or 17? I can't remember now. Uh, I'm, uh, beginning to forget all the people that I used to know, see?
Witness 2: [voiceover] Do I remember Louise Bryant? Why, of course, I couldn't forget her if I tried.
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Crazy Credits

As the credits roll, additional interviews with the 'witnesses' play. See more »


Featured in The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (2000) See more »


The Internationale
Written by Pierre Degeyter and Eugène Pottier
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great piece of political discussion and drama
27 June 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Warren Beatty makes himself the only director to get Oscar nominations in Best Producer (picture), director, actor and writer twice (Heaven Can Wait is the other one), and he won his only Oscar (besides his honorary Thalberg award in 2000) for direction here. And it is well deserved. Mainly because this is the best film about communism and other political issues ever made.

Here, Beatty portrays journalist and idealist John Reed to maximum potential. He also comes of great with Diane Keaton as his love. Long, yet immensly entertaining and interesting, which was one of the few political films (besides maybe South Park) that got me thinking about communism. By the way, this film also won best conematography (Vittoro Storatto) and Best Supporting Actress (Maureen Stapleton as Emma Goldman), though I think it should've also won Oscars for Nicholson and Beatty. One of the better films (top 20) of the decade. A+

24 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Diane Keaton deserved the Oscar, but... Kachito82
Disagree(d) with the praise for this movie larrydeemer
Saw this movie for the first time the other wmchase65
Is this the greatest film of the last 30 years? Gondorff4
The major Flaw. Nathan-Lock
Other great films about the Russian Revolution mcnuggets360
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