Reds (1981)

09 Jan

194m; U.S.

Director: Warren Beatty

Cast: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Hermann, Jerzy Kosinski, Maureen Stapelton, Gene Hackman

Synopsis: Reds is the epic biography of early 20th century U.S. communist author and activist Jack Reed and his stormy off-again, on-again love affair with free-thinker Louise Bryant.  The film covers some of Reed’s time in the United States (including relationships with the IWW and the Socialist Party) and their time together in Russia during the Bolshevik revolution which led Reed to write the book Ten Days that Shook the World.  The film also covers attempts to build a communist party in the U.S., the post-World War I “Red Scare” and the early years of the U.S.S.R.  Maureen Stapelton won an Oscar for her portrayal of Emma Goldman and Beatty won for Best Director.  Interspersed throughout the film are interviews with many of the people who knew Reed and Bryant.  Long but highly recommended.

Click here to read Jon Garlock’s introduction to Reds at the Rochester (NY) Labor Film Series.


The Russian Revolution Montage

John Reed’s Speech on Freedom and Revolution


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