Reds (movie)

Reds is a movie with Warren Beatty dating back to 1981 with the stars Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton . It revolves around the life of John Reed , the communist activist,journalist , and writer who chronicled the Russian Revolution of 1917 and author of Ten Days Shocking the World (Ten Days That Shook the World) .

Warren Beatty received the Oscar for Best Director for the film. He was also nominated for Best Picture , but lost the benefit of the film Chariots of Fire ( Chariots of Fire ).

In June 2008, the American Film Institute announced its “Ten Top Ten”, the ten best American films in ten different cinematographic genres of American cinema. This ranking is done after surveying 1,500 people in the creative community. Reds is in ninth place of the best movies of the epic genre 1 .


The film tells the story of John Reed and Louise Bryant since their meeting in 1915 until the death of Reed in 1920. This story is intertwined with testimonials from people who lived through this period.

Louise Bryant, a writer married to a Portland dentist meets at a conference of journalist John Reed who has just covered the Mexican Revolution . She leaves her husband and rejoins Reed in New York City in the Greenwich Village neighborhood where she starts dating artists and activists, especially the anarchist Emma Goldman , playwright Eugene O’Neill and writer Max Eastman . Reed and Bryant go to Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) in September 1917 and are enthusiastic witnesses of the October Revolution which Reed will draw his most famous work.Ten days that shook the world .

Technical sheet

  • Title: Reds
  • Director: Warren Beatty
  • Scenario: Warren Beatty , Trevor Griffiths , Peter S. Feibleman (uncredited), Elaine May (uncredited) and Jeremy Pikser from Reed’s memoirs
  • Photography: Vittorio Storaro
  • Music: Stephen Sondheim and Dave Grusin
  • Art Director: Simon Holland
  • Production: Warren Beatty
  • Associated Production: David Leigh MacLeod
  • Production company: Barclays Mercantile Industrial Finance
  • Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures
  • Genre: Drama – Historical
  • Language: English , Russian , German
  • Duration: 184 minutes
  • Release dates
    • December 4, 1981 United States
    • April 27, 1982 France
  • Budget: 32 million $
  • Box office takeaway: $ 50,000,000


Historical persons
  • Warren Beatty (VF: Bernard Tiphaine ) : John Silas Reed
  • Diane Keaton (VF: Béatrice Delfe 2 ): Louise Bryant
  • Edward Herrmann (VF: François Leccia ) : Max Eastman
  • Jerzy Kosiński : Grigori Zinoviev
  • Jack Nicholson (VF: Claude Giraud ): Eugene O’Neill
  • Maureen Stapleton (VF: Nadine Basile ) : Emma Goldman
  • Stuart Richman : Leon Trotsky
Other characters
  • RG Armstrong (VF: Sady Rebbot ) : Government Agent
  • Paul Sorvino : Louis Fraina
  • Jerry Hardin (by Jean-Pierre Moulin ) : Harry
  • Nicolas Coster (VF: Jean-Claude Balard ) : Paul Trullinger
  • Mr. Emmet Walsh : Speaker at the Liberal Club
  • Ian Wolfe : Mr. Partlow
  • Bessie Love : me Partlow
  • George Plimpton (VF: Jean-Francois Laley) : Horace Whigham
  • Jack Kehoe (VF: Marc François ) : Eddie
  • McIntyre Dixon (VF: Bernard Tixier ) : Carl Walters
  • Harry Ditson : Maurice Becker
  • Kathryn Grody : Crystal Eastman
  • Dolph Sweet : Big Bill Haywood
  • Ramon Bieri (VF: Jean Violette ) : the chief of police
  • Gene Hackman (VF: Jean Lagache ) : Pete Van Wherry
  • Max Wright : Floyd Dell
  • William Daniels : Julius Gerber
  • Joseph Buloff : Joe Volski
  • Jan Tříska : Karl Radek
The witnesses ( The Witnesses )

In alphabetical order :

  • Jacob Bailin
  • Roger Nash Baldwin – (founder of the ACLU )
  • John Ballato
  • Harry Carlisle
  • Kenneth Chamberlain
  • Andrew Dasburg
  • Tess Davis
  • Isaac Don Levine
  • Will Durant – (Philosopher, historian and writer)
  • Blanche Hays Fagen
  • Hamilton Fish III – (Congresswoman)
  • Dorothy Frooks – (Author, publisher, activist and actress)
  • Hugo Gellert – (Illustrator and satirist)
  • Adele Gutman Nathan
  • Emmanuel Herbert
  • George Jessel – (Actor, singer, lyricist, and producer)
  • Henry Miller – (Writer)
  • Arthur Mayer
  • Scott Nearing – (Conservative, pacifist, educator and writer)
  • Dora Russell – (Feminist and Progressive Activist)
  • George Seldes – (Journalist and Critic)
  • Art Shields
  • Jessica Smith – (Editor and activist)
  • Adela Rogers St. Johns – (Journalist, novelist and screenwriter)
  • Arne Swabeck – (American Communist leader)
  • Bernadine Szold-Fritz
  • Galina von Meck
  • Will Weinstone
  • Rebecca West – (Feminist and Writer)
  • Lucita Williams

French voices by Paule Emanuele , Henri Virlojeux and Jacqueline Porel


The film won three Oscars for:

  • Best director (Warren Beatty)
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Maureen Stapleton as Emma Goldman )
  • Best Photography ( Vittorio Storaro )

and was appointed for:

  • Best film
  • Best Actor (Warren Beatty)
  • Best Actress (Diane Keaton)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson)
  • Best artistic direction
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best editing
  • Best sound
  • Best original scenario .


Project development

This is the second feature film directed by actor Warren Beatty, who also plays the lead role. The comedian had begun preparing for Reds in the 1970s, even as he was putting his very first production on track, The Sky Can Waitin 1978. Warren Beatty starts shooting interviews with genuine “witnesses” (The “witnesses”) who knew the Bolshevik Revolution during their lifetime. The talks began in the early 1970s 3 .


Gene Hackman volunteered to play Pete Van Wherry.

The writer Jerzy Kosiński embodied the revolutionary Bolshevik and member of the Politburo , Grigory Zinoviev . A critic of Time magazine wrote about it: “As Reed’s Soviet nemesis, novelist Jerzy Kosiński acquires himself nicely – a tundra of ice against Reed’s all-American fire. ” 4

For a long time, Warren Beatty imagined English actress Julie Christie as Louise Bryant, because the two actors lived together at the time of writing the film project. Christie followed Beatty to Russia and made a significant contribution to the screenplay. For the latter, Reds is supposed to be “their film” to both. When Beatty started shooting, Christie suddenly backed up. According to her, the role must be played by an American woman. The role is due to an American, Diane Keaton is committed to embody Bryant on the screen 3 .


When the filming of Reds is completed, Warren Beatty is left with over 130 hours of rush under the arms, 40 times more than the final editing of the film. But producers have anticipated this technical detail and find a trick. A courier is continually to and from the Technicolor lab in Rome and in the editing room in Los Angeles where the editors were working on editing the film while shooting the film is not completed 3 .

One of the mythical scenes in the film is when the character played by Gene Hackman tells Jack Reed that his girlfriend lost her job. Indeed, Warren Beatty had the worst difficulties to turn the stage. No less than one hundred catches were necessary to achieve his ends. Arrived at the hundredth prize, Gene Hackman promises to do everything necessary not to turn the hundredth. He has finally arrived there 3 .

Warren Beatty encounters administrative difficulties as he prepares to shoot several sequences in Finland. Local authorities must seek permission from Moscow before hosting the film crew. The Soviets finally agreed to grant safe conduct for Beatty and technicians, so that relations between Finland and the USSR did not fester 3 .

The poem Jack Nicholson delivers to Diane Keaton in the film was written in all sincerity by the actor himself.

Vittorio Storaro almost left the set during the film’s making because of a disagreement between the director of photography and Warren Beatty. Storaro wants to use dynamic and fluid camera movements, while Beatty wants fixed shots. The two men finally find a compromise. Thus, the film begins with still shots. Gradually, the camera takes more freedom and moves in space 3 .

Critical and box office receptions

The positions of Ronald Reagan , vis-à-vis the Soviet Union, were known as the “Empire of Evil”. And yet, Ronald Reagan , President of the United States at the time of the release of Reds , invited Warren Beatty to a private screening of the film at the White House . The two men had met at the time Reagan was still in Hollywood 3 .

This film has long been the last film to be nominated in the four categories of actors (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Actress in a Supporting Role) 3 . In 2013, a new film was successful this year and is in the running for the 85 th Academy Awards . This is the movie Happiness Therapy . The film was not available on DVD before 2006.

External link

  • (en) Reds [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database

Notes and references

  1. ↑ American Film Institute (2008-06-17). “AFI Crowns Top 10 Movies in 10 Classic Genres”. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  2. ↑ (en) (tab dubbing)  [ archive ]
  3. ↑ a , b , c , d , e , f , g and h  [ archive ]
  4. ↑ Newsweek complimented Kosinski’s “delightfully abrasive performance.” [1]  [ archive ]

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