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 »
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!
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