December 4th, 1981



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Still of Warren Beatty in RedsRedsStill of Diane Keaton and Warren Beatty in RedsStill of Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton and Warren Beatty in Reds

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

Release Year: 1981

Rating: 7.4/10 (9,986 voted)

Director: Warren Beatty

Stars: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann

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.

Writers: Warren Beatty, Trevor Griffiths

Warren Beatty - John Reed
Diane Keaton - Louise Bryant
Edward Herrmann - Max Eastman
Jerzy Kosinski - Grigory Zinoviev
Jack Nicholson - Eugene O'Neill
Paul Sorvino - Louis Fraina
Maureen Stapleton - Emma Goldman
Nicolas Coster - Paul Trullinger
M. Emmet Walsh - Speaker - Liberal Club
Ian Wolfe - Mr. Partlow
Bessie Love - Mrs. Partlow
MacIntyre Dixon - Carl Walters
Pat Starr - Helen Walters
Eleanor D. Wilson - Mrs. Reed
Max Wright - Floyd Dell

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

Release Date: 4 December 1981

Filming Locations: 1 Great George Street, Westminster, London, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $2,325,029 (USA) (6 December 1981) (396 Screens)

Gross: $40,382,659 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The sculpture at the beginning of the art gallery scene is Auguste Rodin's "Cathedral", which depicts two right hands intertwined in a prayer-like gesture reminiscent of a medieval cathedral.

Anachronisms: The pet dog is a Golden Retriever but the first Golden (Champion Speedwell Pluto) wasn't imported into the US from England until 1930

[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.

User Review

Political insight!!

Rating: 10/10

Reds, a succinct, controversial title totally typical of a major directorial outing by Warren Beatty. We always knew that Beatty was on the left, but a film glamourising a known Communist who defected to the USSR and is buried within the Kremlin. How the studios let him make it is a mystery to me, but I suppose that the name Warren Beatty was enough.

The film is long, and not for the light-hearted. It covers the broad canvas of early 20th Century American socialism. Concentrating first on Reeds efforts to form an American Socialist party, before moving to Russia; Beatty plays Jack Reed, the playboy writer, journalist and socialist. He opposes the war after initially supporting Wilson at the Democratic convention. After the Russian Revolution he becomes enamoured with the newly founded Soviet Union, as does his wife and sparring partner Louise Bryant, marvellously played by Diane Keaton who is excellent as the proto-feminist Bryant. Self-assured and very sexy, and her tragic love triangle between her, Reed and Jack Nicholson's character is brilliant. A number of other actors also crop up, including Paul Sorvino and M. Emmet Walsh.

One of the most important films of its generation, and every movie fan should make this compulsory viewing. Any aspiring left-wing intellectual should also make this compulsory viewing - there were Communists and Socialists in America, and one of them is even buried in the Kremlin. The USSR may be reviled these days, but you cannot deny the hope and utopianism that swept the world in those first few years after the 1917 Revolution. Beatty brings all this marvellously to the screen in Reds.


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