Paramount Released 1981




out of 10
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Movie Summary

Warren Beatty

Reds (1981), co-written, produced and directed by Warren Beatty (who also stars) tells the true story of John Reed, a radical American journalist from who documented the Russian Revolution of 1917 and hoped to bring change to the United States. Reed's hectic life is changed when he meets Louise Bryant, who is also politically passionate and a fervent advocate of women's rights. Their attraction towards one another is undeniable, and Louise soon leaves her husband for John; they are anxious to keep America out of the First World War, but when the US does get involved, they head for Russia after revolution breaks out. Their fragile relationship is sorely tested, but they are re-united when, in 1920, Reed is dying. The winner of many awards internationally, the film is often seen as the supreme achievement of Beatty's career.


Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Rolling Stone

    Not since Lawrence of Arabia has there been a serious historical movie of this sweep, complexity and intelligence.

  • 88

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    As for Beatty, Reds is his bravura turn. He got the idea, nurtured it for a decade, found the financing, wrote most of the script, produced, and directed and starred and still foun...

  • 75

    Slant Magazine

    Reds is finally just an appealingly conventional epic movie-star romance with radical trimmings, but it contains several sharper elements that suggest the colorful period it seeks ...

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Gene Hackman's cameo role as a newspaper editor was uncredited, as were the contributions made to the screenplay by Elaine May and Robert Towne.

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (2)

    • One of the most original and highly-praised aspects of this film was the way in which recreations of historical characters and events are commented upon by real-life "witnesses", people who either knew the real people depicted or were present at the events. Warren Beatty began interviewing these witnesses many years before filming started on the film proper, and several of them had died by the time the film opened in late 1981. Amongst those interviewed were Dame Rebecca West, Henry Miller, George Jessel, Dora Russell, Hamilton Fish, Will Durant, Adela Rogers St. John and Oleg Kerensky, who also appears as an actor in the role of his own father.

    • The film won 3 Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Maureen Stapleton, Best Cinematography and Best Director.


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