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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 (166 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Maureen Stapleton, Gene Hackman
  • Directors: Warren Beatty
  • Format: 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 (166 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GG4Y32
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,012 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

Amazon.com

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
142 of 152 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 56 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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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Highly, highly recommended for those who enjoy lush, historical biopics, "Reds" skillfully and entertainingly combines intelligent, thoughtful political discourse and sweeping romantic drama, resulting in a movie that flies by despite its three hour-plus length.

Keep an eye out for how the mundane constantly clashes with the epic during the course of the movie: John Reed and Louise Bryant indulge in lofty political discourse on events that are changing the world as Reed is comically burning dinner in the kitchen; soap opera-ish affairs are entered into and abandoned as governments topple and new ones take their place; a critical meeting to assure the future of the socialist movement in the United States is missed because of a sick baby that needs tending. This constant and clever juxtaposition of the personal and the epic humanizes the sweeping events on display, reminding us that real people living real lives were at the heart of these world-shaking events, not just academic and political arguments.

To enjoy "Reds", one doesn't have to be a particular proponent of socialism past or present. I'm certainly not. You simply need to be someone who enjoys intelligent, involving movies that illuminate the people and events at the heart of notable periods of history. And "Reds" is certainly such a movie. Of course, it helps that John Reed and Louise Bryant are generally portrayed as sympathetic people whose motivations are admirable even if one doesn't agree with their politics.

This new, 25th Anniversary Edition DVD of "Reds" is well worth the modest price. The crisp yet warm widescreen visuals are almost startlingly clear; the original theatrical intermission break (in a small but nice touch) is preserved at the end of the first disc; and there are very generous extra features that further illuminate the topics covered in the film.

In short, this one's a keeper.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Based on 10 DAYS???? as what...
Anyone who has actually read the book knows that this film addresses perhaps .01% of what transpired and captured in great detail of the russian revolution. Read more
Published 7 days ago by DoMeNiQuE CoE
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful movie....
Great lead performances by Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton highlight this film along with great supporting performances by Maureen Stapleton and Jack Nicholson as Eugene... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Beth Harmon
5.0 out of 5 stars carl marx would like it.
beatty at his best! only someone who knows politics would know what the movie is about and the diff political concepts and how it is either the almighty dollar or the working... Read more
Published 13 days ago by paul b martin
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring!
Just because a movie won or was nominated for an Oscar doesn't make it a good movie. I felt that the movie dragged on and on and on forever. Read more
Published 18 days ago by R. A. Gonzales
2.0 out of 5 stars Extremely over-rated: overwrought, misplaced humor, and hammy acting
There's a reason this movie is neither in the AFI Top 100 nor the IMDB Top 250. I've heard so many people speak highly of Beatty's accomplishment with this film over the past... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Craig S. German
5.0 out of 5 stars Important Film for Understanding American Involvement in the Russian...
This is a deeply affecting and beautifully produced film about Americans John Reed, Emma Goldman and others who were caught up in the ideological promise of Communism as the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Judith Baroody
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!!!!!
Great movies happen because of great actors who are masters of their craft. This movie is one that you will be glad that you added to your video library.
Published 1 month ago by Eugene Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique perspective on historical event
Captures the passion of belief in movement while combining first hand accounts ... recommended viewing for students of the period
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Reds...
I've already seen this movie many times before, owning a vhs copy previously. This movie is such a good story...romance, history and world issues of the period. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Janet Signore
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite movie of all time.
Favorite movie of all time. Has history and romance and collaboration and final finding of passion for something beyond oneself. It's funny too
Published 3 months ago by Lianne Carbone
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