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Reds (25th Anniversary Edition) (1981)

Warren Beatty , Diane Keaton , Warren Beatty  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Maureen Stapleton, Gene Hackman
  • Directors: Warren Beatty
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 17, 2006
  • Run Time: 195 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GG4Y32
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,424 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Reds (25th Anniversary Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Witness to Reds: The Rising"
  • "Witness to Reds: Comrades"
  • "Witness to Reds: Testimonials"
  • "Witness to Reds: The March"
  • "Witness to Reds: Revolution Parts 1 and 2"
  • "Witness to Reds:  Propaganda"
  • DVD Trailer

Editorial Reviews

In some ways, Warren Beatty's 195-minute film about the radical movement at the beginning of the 20th century is the last Hollywood studio epic. A peerless reporter, John Reed, mixes with the intellectuals of the time who see socialism as the answer to end what would become the First World War. As with epics, we go on a journey--from Portland to New York to Europe and finally Russia--just in time to witness the revolution that would make Reed famous upon publishing "Ten Days That Shook the World." But Reed had more ambition, and Beatty's ambition is splendidly captured on the screen, matched by a tremendous cast and stunning visuals (shot by Oscar-winner Vittorio Storaro). Reds doesn't have the action or vistas as a David Lean epic, but travels on the road less taken--here, seeing the birth of communism. Beatty and Trevor Griffiths lace their talky script of ideas with plenty of humor and fashion a poignant love story. Reed's infatuation with the rebel without a cause, Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton), turns into a love triangle with playwright Eugene O'Neill (Jack Nicholson at his most sublime). As Brooks becomes more complex and stalwart, the love story becomes something more. Keaton is perfect in following the arc of Brooks, just another spot-on casting decision by Beatty. Also impressive is Oscar winner Maureen Stapleton as feisty activist Emma Goldman and author Jerzy Kolinsky (Being There) as a Russian diplomat. The boldest stroke is hearing from real "witnesses" talking about the times. They are funny, poetic, deft, provide musical accompaniment and, most importantly, expertly set up scenes. The uninitiated will learn about this time in remarkable fashion; the cineaste can marvel in the ground Beatty covers, never better then a montage ending first half as Reed and Brooks are literally swept up in the revolution.

Beatty states at the top of the DVD extras he's not a big fan of talking about a movie (and did no publicity for the film upon its release in 1981). So there is no commentary track, just an expertly produced 90-minute retrospective with interviews from most of the major players, minus Keaton. We find out why Beatty's best performances are the ones he doesn't direct, while Nicholson provides the reason why Beatty had to star. Beatty talks about the process to interview the witnesses, and when we see bits of unused footage, it whets the appetite for more. Certainly, an hour of witness outtakes would have been something special, and would allow Beatty not to speak about his masterpiece. --Doug Thomas

Product Description

Reds is the story of the love affair of John Reed and Louise Bryant in a war-torn world and how the Russian Revolution shook their lives.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
144 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A personal epic March 20, 2003
Verified Purchase
Warren Beatty pulls off a difficult task in "Reds." He's got to juggle several epic stories, including the rise of the American left in the early 20th century, the Russian Revolution, and a personal story of two romantics in a relationship charged by passion both emotional and political.
Any of these story threads presents a difficult task for a filmmaker and Beatty weaves his multilayered tale together with skill. He pays close attention to detail, gives us a multitude of historical characters and events, and mixes his story telling with the words of real people. Beatty buttresses his scenes with deceptively simple "talking heads." These "witnesses" provide a real background to the John Reed/Louise Bryant story of "Reds," giving viewers a good grounding in the passions of the era. The attention to little details (Reed bringing Bryant lilies, the constant phrase "There's a taxi waiting," etc.) provide a rich portrait of two volatile human beings.
Beyond the personal, Beatty knows how to handle epic screen drama. The rousing montage that leads up to the overthrow of Russian government is sumptuous and envigorating. Don't be deceived thought; this is not a "pro-Bolshevik" film by any great stretch of the imagination. Reed's dissillusionment with the Soviet system is portrayed in agonizing detail. Emma Goldman's story, a really great history in and of itself, gives another point of view to the difficulty passionate people have when taking on governing authorities and social mores.
The performances are uniformally excellent. Beatty and Keaton are well matched and there's plenty of gems in the supporting roles.
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147 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing & Provocative Depiction Of Russian Revolution November 5, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
For those of us who appreciate movies that both entertain and educate, Warren Beatty's vastly underrated magnum opus "Reds" is a wonderful example of how well the two can be combined. Although it did not succeed at the box office, this magnificent spectacle concerning the involvement of an American socialist reporter in the Bolshevik revolution is a terrific movie, and also features Warren Beatty in the pivotal role of John Reed, an American journalist covering Soviet affairs for a progressive American socialist journal called "The Masses" who found his way into a series of important roles in the Soviet revolution and the regime that followed. Also found here is a especially memorable performance by Diane Keaton as the companion, love interest and protégé of Reed's who also served in a variety of roles in the new communist regime shortly after the revolution.
This movie is largely based on Reed's moving autobiographical portrait of his personal experiences during the October revolution in his best selling book "Ten Days That Shook The World". The movie opens by exploring Reed's relationship with Keaton's early feminist character, and chronicles their growth and evolution toward a socialist perspective and an eventual commitment to political journalism that took them to the streets of Moscow in the days just preceding the October revolution. Also prominently featured in the movie is Jack Nicholson as Reed's intellectual friend, novelist and playwright Eugene O'Neil. This is a quite entertaining, sophisticated, and historically accurate effort to show America's own flirtation with unionism, socialism and communism and the reaction of more conservative forces within the business and civic community. The exploration of lifestyles and constant questioning of tradition and conformity make this a terrific teaching tool by showing how critically we can look at the lessons of history. Enjoy!
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A conservative confesses to loving this movie October 11, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Some films have a reputation for being overpraised, and as a result - paradoxically - they become underrated. This is one such film. Who cares that we now know communism failed in Russia? REDS is not meant to be a piece of Soviet apologism. It is about two people who take part in exciting and sweeping historical events. I certainly disagree with the politics of John Reed and Louise Bryant, but it doesn't matter. I envy the romanticism of the times they lived in (even if the romanticism isn't authentic), and that they were able to find, as one of the "witnesses" says at the end of the movie, "things worth living and worth dying for." The second half of the movie - where we see the price that must be paid for taking part in history - provides good dramatic balance to the more sentimental view of revolutionary politics we see in the first half. The cinematography is outstanding and the love theme by Stephen Sondheim is exquisite. As it is a film that should be seen on the big screen, I'm hoping that REDS will be re-released for its 20th anniversary in 2001.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Love Story September 30, 2006
Format:VHS Tape
I watched "Reds" the other night for the first time. I wondered how I may have perceived it had I seen it when it came out, a decade or so before the fall of the Soviet Union rather a a decade or so after it. I had to make a deal with myself; I was going to watch the movie and appreciate it as a movie rather than debate the merits of glorifying socialism. I must have succeeded in that approach because I gave the movie a 5 star rating. I felt an impressive aspect of "Reds" was the periodic inclusion of on-camera first person recollections. We saw the real witnesses of the persons, times, and events that we were watching. It certainly added credibility to what we were seeing unfold and it also added perspective. "Reds" is first and foremost a love story and the two lovers are (surprize!) Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton. I have to admit that the two of them did very good work. I have to give Beatty a good deal of credit for his role as director for which he, not surprizingly, won an Oscar. I'm sure that his hard work made it difficult to edit the film down to the normal two-hour feature film length. I'll admit that I watched the movie, on tape, over the course of three successive evenings but I don't think that I lost any appreciation of the film. I probably could have told you just what all could have been cut if I had watched it all in one sitting. I'll accept that some movies (and "Dr. Zhivago" comes to mind as a logical comparison) just need more time to tell a more expansive story.

Beatty plays Jack Reed who wrote "Ten Days that Shook the World" which did a lot of shaking of its' own when it came out. In pursuit of a combined socialist/journalist's dream, Reed found himself in Russia on the eve of the October Revolution.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I highly recommend it to...
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have an afternoon of intriguing story-telling through cinema. Read more
Published 6 days ago by K. H. Risch
5.0 out of 5 stars Photography excellent. Directing riveting
Powerful, memorable, acting, meaningful story, especially with the world in a turmoil as it is today. Photography excellent. Directing riveting. History seems to repeat itself. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Pat Davidson Reef
5.0 out of 5 stars good movie
The best movie about the Russian revolution ever made. Beatty outdid himself on this one. Having people who knew john reed was a real bonus
Published 19 days ago by Frederick Mazie
5.0 out of 5 stars Reds
If this is not my favorite movie ever, it is definitely in the top two. A must see, Nicholson, Keaton, and Beatty are excellent. Read more
Published 27 days ago by jeanniepenni
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Story of the Century
Incredible story of early socialist movement, World War I and the Russian Revolution. If you love Warren Beatty, this may be his best role ever. Read more
Published 1 month ago by pat thompson
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Playback quality is inferiorl
Published 1 month ago by M. Kessler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great lesson in history and a wonderful love story.
Published 1 month ago by Lucille K. Rese
1.0 out of 5 stars Hated it
I hated this movie. Not because the acting was bad or anything like that, but because it reminded me so much of what's happening in our country right now. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Suzie Einstein
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave Filmmaking
Warren Beatty over the years has more than proven his worth as a filmmaker ("Mickey One", "Bonnie and Clyde", "Shampoo", "Heaven Can Wait," and the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by McEwan
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected
I rember when this was released the reviews were not very good. I believe this was better than reviewed. I enjoyed this film.
Published 3 months ago by William Hollis
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When will the DVD be released?
I just saw a coming attraction for the DVD a couple of weeks ago (I think it was on the Neil Young Heart of Gold DVD) that said it was coming in October. Special Edition!!! :)
Jun 21, 2006 by R. Epstein |  See all 2 posts
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