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Reds (1981)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  25 December 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 15,399 users  
Reviews: 124 user | 57 critic

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


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Title: Reds (1981)

Reds (1981) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 32 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerzy Kosinski ...
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


This movie tells the true story of John Reed, a radical American journalist around the time of World War I. He soon meets Louise Bryant, a respectable married woman, who dumps her husband for Reed and becomes an important feminist and radical in her own right. After involvement with labor and political disputes in the US, they go to Russia in time for the October Revolution in 1917, when the Communists siezed power. Inspired, they return to the US, hoping to lead a similar revolution. A particularly fascinating aspect of the movie is the inclusion of interviews with "witnesses", the real-life surviving participants in the events of the movie. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | | |

Release Date:

25 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Comrades  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)


SEK 3,179,562 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of two films based on the life or written works of John Reed first released in 1982. The other film was Red Bells Part I: Mexico on Fire (1982). See more »


When Louise first comes to New York and finds John's apartment (during the time of WWI), some of the apartment windows behind her have air conditioning units. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.56 (2005) See more »


The Internationale
Written by Pierre Degeyter and Eugène Pottier
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Every movie lover should see this film!
26 June 2001 | by See all my reviews

Warren Beatty's Reds follows only Gone With The Wind in my list of favourite films. This movie is both a love story, and a documentary. It educates the viewer not just on John Reed and his comrades, but on WWI era society in general.

This brilliant script, (which, like the writings of Jack Reed expresses his political feelings with the same poetic eloquence as his love poems to his wife Louise), is interspersed with commentary from Jack's contemporaries, who tell the history from their own unique perspectives. As the truth of what was going on in that community is such an illusive thing, the only way to tell this story accurately was to show the often completely opposite view points of what was going on as told by the people for whom this history is a first hand memory.

The acting in Reds is breath taking. Every member of this, extremely large, cast committed fully to their characters. One feels a true connection to even those characters who lurked in the background with only occasional lines. The most notable performances were by Beatty himself, (who's embodiment of Jack Reed was incredible), Diane Keaton, (who portrayed all the facets of Louise's personality with stunning realism), Jack Nickelson, (who delivers O'Neil's quick witted dialogue with an almost frightening cynicism), and Maureen Stapelton, (who conveyed an amazing strength as Emma Goldman). While these actors were the most prominently featured, all the actors delivered noteworthy performances as far as I'm concerned.

The political history covered in this movie is nothing if not vast. This is proof of Beatty's most impressive knowledge of history. This is a film I would recommend be shown in schools, as one the most in depth study of American communism on screen to date.

Reds is truly an inspiration, and should be seen by every actor, director, writer, liberal, film maker, history buff & movie lover! You will not be disappointed!

37 of 56 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
Is this the greatest film of the last 30 years? Gondorff4
The major Flaw. Nathan-Lock
should of chose jack teejay6682
Saw this movie for the first time the other wmchase65
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