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 lost thirty pounds and suffered laryngitis after completion of the movie. This partially explains why he did not make any press interviews for the film. At that time, he was recovering at his friend Jerzy Kosinski's house - which he was sharing. 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 »
"Reds"- A Love Story told inside period politics at the height of the Russian Revolution
Bolshevik leader V.I. Lenin once wrote, "The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."
Lenin's quote came to mind when I was watching one of the most spellbinding movies to come along in years,and not since David Lean's brilliant 1965 epic classic "Doctor Zhivago" hasn't been a movie in recent memory that has come close. That motion picture is "Reds",released in 1981 by Paramount Pictures. The film was Warren Beatty's peeve project which he served not only as it star,but also the co-writer and direction. Director Warren Beatty's epic love story about American writers John Reed and Louise Bryant,set amid of the turbulence of American politics in the 1910's World War I and the Russian revolution that set this movie into plain focus. The movie itself is astounding to behold and is a tragic love story between the writers John Reed(Warren Beatty),and Louise Bryant(Diane Keaton). But it creatively used artsy,radical Greenwich Village in the 1910's-and such as real-life characters as playwright Eugene O'Neill(Jack Nicholson),and anarchist activist Emma Goldman(Maureen Stapleton)-as well as the drama of the Russian Revolution and the subsequent civil war as the principal landscapes in which their relationship plays out.
Director Beatty also made creative use of on-camera "testimony" by the likes of novelists Henry Miller and Rebecca West,Republican politician Hamilton Fish,comic George Jessel and civil libertarian Roger Baldwin. These senior citizens recall,with varying degrees of historical accuracy,Reed,Bryant and the times in which they lived. "Reds" shows convincingly that many of the contemporary issues in politics and culture have their antecendents in the first debates of the 20th century. Debates over birth control and abortion,marriage and commitment,public life versus private life,revolution versus reform are given full expression from varying viewpoints throughout the lengthy film(which runs over three hours). To Beatty's credit,his film captures the excitement the Bolshevik revolution stirred,both inside and outside Russia while revealing how the Bolshevik leadership quickly began to suppressing dissent within the revolutionary ranks on the way to becoming a dictatorship with a country that is in constant turmoil. Beatty's efforts certainly paid off artistically,bringing him prestige to him and Paramount making "Reds" a huge box office success for the studio when it premiered in theatres around Christmas of 1981.
"Reds" became one of the top highest grossing pictures of that year,and it paid off in high standards too. "Reds",which received 12 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture,lost an upset to Hugh Hudson's "Chariots Of Fire" in the Best Picture category. However it won three Oscars for Best Director(Warren Beatty),Best Supporting Actress(Maureen Stapleton),and Best Cimematopgraphy(Vittorio Storaro). Eventually,"Reds" made more than $40 million at the domestic box office,and once international figures were added in,it became one of the top grossing films of the 1980's. A feat Warren Beatty is still proud of to this day.
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