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October 24, 2006

Reds - 5

This won the Oscar in 1981 for director Warren Beatty. This film is in the epic tradition, almost Doctor Zhivago like. It follows a couple (as in John Reed and Louise Bryant in love- played by Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton) of American as they fall deeper and deeper in love, as they also fall deeper and deeper into the Russia and the socialist movement in America. The film is a three hour discussion of the socialist movement as seen by Americans from 1915-1920. The best part of the film is the last section in which Reed and Emma Goldman (Maureen Stapleton won supporting actress Oscar for this) discuss the consequences of ideas, and Reed realizes that love has a subordinate and lost place in the ideologies of politics. If the film were just this, I would be tempted to give it a higher ranking. The resolution of the love story is also done well. While the second part was a redeeming quality, I think the length of the film takes away from the story- the fact remains that it could easily be told in less. The film is also broken up by actual interviews with older people who were alive at the time. Jack Nicholson and Gene Hackman make appearances in the film as well. The trivia on Wikipedia is interesting and funny.

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