When a film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards you know it is quality. The acclaimed epic won a Best Director award for Warren Beatty (Bulworth, Heaven Can Wait), a Best Supporting Actress award for Maureen Stapleton (Nuts, Cocoon) and Best Cinematography for Vittorio Storaro (The Last Emperor, Apocalypse Now) in 1981. Beatty deserved his Oscar as he took on the difficult task of weaving several stories together to make one film. He did so seamlessly. The history and love story are made to fit together perfectly. "Reds" might not be for everyone as it is an ambitious, historical and complex film, but it certainly is a good one. It is based on actual events that happened in the United States and Russia. Though much of the story is based on actually events Beatty still manages to tell it in a warm, human and personable way. It boils down to a love story between two interesting individuals set against the backdrop of the 1917 Russian Revolution. It is a film that is at the same time entertaining and educational. Strangely enough the film did not do well at the box office even though it won so many awards. Maybe due to the taking on of the subject of Communism or the like scared off many Americans. The film does give us some insight into how a healthy portion of the American population, prodded on by the unions and their battles, dabbled with Socialism and Communism around this period. The film tries to show us how questioning the norm is not a bad thing and we should hold our governments responsible. We, the people, have an obligation that does not end after we cast our votes – our involvement has to be ongoing and vigilant.
John Reed (Warren Beatty – Bugsy, Dick Tracy) is an American journalist and activist who is also a Communist. Reed begins a passionate love affair with writer/journalist/feminist/married woman Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton – Father of the Bride, Annie Hall). Louise is completely enamored with Reed and she leaves her husband to move to Greenwich Village with him. Once there away from everyone she knows she is quickly frustrated by the fact that Reed is the center of attention, all the people in their lives are his friends, no one takes her seriously, and Reed keeps leaving her to travel to conventions and rallies. Louise is even finding it hard to write. That frustration and her loneliness when he is gone leads Louise to having an affair with writer/playwright Eugene O'Neill (Jack Nicholson – The Departed, The Witches of Eastwick). Upon John's return Louise and John are married, much to O'Neill's chagrin. Initially they are a perfectly happy couple, but the old tensions begin to rise again. Louise leaves Reed to move to Europe. After a lengthy separation Reed invites Louise to come with him to cover the impending revolution in Russia. She agrees hesitantly. The 1917 Russian Revolution breaks out and Reed is heavily involved in it. After the Revolution is finished he assumes several important positions in the new regime.
-Reds DVD trailer
-Witness to Reds: The Rising
-Witness to Reds: Comrades
-Witness to Reds: Testimonials
-Witness to Reds: The March
-Witness to Reds: Revolution – Part 1
-Witness to Reds: Revolution – Part 2
-Witness to Reds: Propaganda