A grand cinematic achievement and one which remains disquietingly relevant, Warren Beatty's magnum opus "Reds" stands as the last of a now-vanished breed: the intelligent, costly and compelling Hollywood epic "? to think that studios once cranked out films that not only dazzled with lavish locations, but also put words worth considering in actors' mouths.
Intimate yet sweeping, "Reds" explores the life of journalist-turned-activist John Reed (played by co-writer/director/producer Beatty), the only American ever to be interred in the Kremlin "? as the socialist movement dawns in the United States, Reed finds himself torn between the love of Louise Bryant (an exceptional Diane Keaton) and the chance to help alter the course of history.
Beatty, like so many Tinseltown heavyweights from the Seventies, disdains commentary tracks, so his thoughts are captured in an extensive, multipart documentary, appearing on the second disc of this handsomely packaged set. For those like myself who were mere infants when "Reds" collected 12 Oscar nominations, this is a vital piece of film history worth seeking out.
"? Preston Jones