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Running Time:
3 hours, 15 minutes

Rating: PG Parental Guidance Suggested.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
One of the great ones.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Six "Witness to Reds" featurettes, subtitled "The Rising," "Komrades," "Testimonials," "The March," "Revolution Parts 1 and 2," and "Propaganda." UPC: 097360133127

Warren Beatty, who also co-wrote and directed, plays radical American journalist John Reed, a part of New York's flourishing, Greenwich Village-based community of bohemians in the early 1900s. He’s in love with aspiring writer Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton), but with intense intellectual curiosity and a rabid desire to be in the thick of things, he ventures off to Russia to chronicle the October Revolution spearheaded by the newly minted Bolshevik movement. The idealistic Reed embraces many of the Bolsheviks' socialist principles and sees in them great hope for America. In the movie’s roughly eight-year arc -- Reed died just before his 33rd birthday in 1920, in Moscow, and is the only American buried in the Kremlin.

The screenplay frames Reed's political disillusionment with his marriage to Bryant. It is a tumultuous relationship. The bored Bryant runs away from her first marriage in Oregon to the excitement of Greenwich Village, marries Reed, sees him off to Moscow, and embarks on an affair with the playwright Eugene O'Neill (Jack Nicholson). Reed and Bryant’s emotional reunion in a Russian train station is among the great romantic climaxes in modern film, in part because the chemistry between Beatty and Keaton is immediately evident (they were off-screen lovers as well at the time).

While lavishly appointed, scrupulously accurate in its depiction of the period, and meticulously crafted, Reds is not a perfect film. But the film is powerful and forcefully told, as well as highly honored, including Academy Awards for Beatty as best director, and Maureen Stapleton as best supporting actress, among its 12 Oscar nominations

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