A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters by affecting the rhythms and speech of hip-hop music and culture.
On Election Day, 1968, a hairdresser and ladies' man is too busy cutting hair and dealing with his various girlfriends and his mistress, whose husband he meets and finds out is having an affair with his ex-girlfriend.
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
This is the film that was showing on British National television the night Princess Diana was killed in Paris. As the final credits rolled, an announcement was broadcast that she had been seriously injured in a car crash. See more »
John Reed is shown dying of progressive kidney failure. In real life he died from typhus. 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 »
3 seconds of horse falls were cut from the British version. The DVD supplements showing these shots are also cut in England. See more »
"Reds" was Warren Beatty's ambitious passion project of 1981, the film that was supposed to clean up at the Oscars that year. The Academy ended up being fairly cool toward it, giving it only three awards out of 12 nominations, but it did finally recognize Beatty for his balls if nothing else by giving him the Best Director Oscar.
It's a good film that holds up well, even if it can be a bit dry at times. Beatty (Oscar nominated) is compelling as Communist revolutionary John Reed, who worked tirelessly to bring a Socialist revolution to America, but he's outshone in the acting department by Diane Keaton (also Oscar nominated), who gets a chance to shed her Woody Allen persona and prove what a good dramatic actress she could be. I could have done with less of the domestic squabbling that drags down the middle part of the film, and found the parts detailing the couple's experiences in Russia to be the most engrossing. The movie has a whopper of a running time (3 and a half hours) but even at the slower parts I never felt especially impatient with its length.
Maureen Stapleton won an Oscar for her fiery performance as Emma Goldman, and Vittorio Storaro won his second Oscar for cinematography (bookended by his work on "Apocalypse Now" and "The Last Emperor"). The film's other nomination were for Best Picture, Best Actor (Beatty), Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson, never especially convincing as playwright Eugene O'Neill), Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound. Alas, no nomination for Stephen Sondheim who provided the original score.
Incidentally, "Reds" became the 13th and last film to win Oscar nominations in all four acting categories until David O. Russell added back to back films number 14 and 15 with "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle." He's the only director to achieve that feat two years in a row.
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