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
Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton's romantic relationship began to deteriorate during the filming. Peter Biskind wrote about the production, "Beatty's relationship with Keaton barely survived the shoot. It is always a dicey proposition when an actress works with a star or director - both, in this case - with whom she has an offscreen relationship. ... Keaton appeared in more scenes than any other actor, save Beatty, and many of them were difficult ones, where she had to assay a wide range of feelings, from romantic passion to anger, and deliver several lengthy, complex, emotional speeches." George Plimpton once observed, "Diane almost got broken. I thought [Beatty] was trying to break her into what Louise Bryant had been like with John Reed." Executive producer Simon Relph adds, "It must have been a strain on their relationship, because he was completely obsessive, relentless." See more »
The Finnish doctor tells Reed that his blood pressure is too high, but at that time, hypertension was not considered a problem by most doctors, who did not even consider treating it. Not until the mid-'40s did doctors begin to understand the dangers of high blood pressure. See more »
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?
Do I remember Louise Bryant? Why, of course, I couldn't forget her if I tried.
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As the credits roll, additional interviews with the 'witnesses' play. See more »
An engrossing film about John Reed's love affair with Louise Bryant and his struggles in the midst of the Russian Revolution. There are great performances from Beatty, Keaton, Nicholson (excellent as Eugene O'Neill) and Stapelton in her Oscar winning performance as Emma Goldman. Beatty's precision and timing in the use of his camera in this picture is a superb achievement. There is a touch of David Lean in director Beatty in this film. The color, the editing, the sound. All of those important filmic elements are at play here in great form. Beatty won the Best Director Oscar, but lost the Best Picture award to Chariots of Fire.
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