The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:00 – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.
Directed by Warren Beatty • 1981
In the midst of the Reagan Revolution, Paramount courageously released a truly epic film chronicling the Russian Revolution and its aftermath, ostensibly because star-director-producer-cowriter Warren Beatty had delivered a pearly blockbuster for the studio in Heaven Can Wait. It’s difficult to imagine a more discordant (and superior) sophomore effort. Beatty plays American expat journalist John Reed, author of Ten Days That Shook the World and key player in the internecine struggles over which American leftist faction would become the anointed Soviet satellite. (The attention to such ideological arcana is as bracing as the movie’s overall political commitment.) As history, Reds offers neither saints nor scoundrels: Reed’s complicated marriage to Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton, never better) receives as much scrutiny as the finer points of revolutionary strategy. Everything is a continuum, with political and sexual freedom naturally commingling with developments in photography and American popular song (the latter expertly arranged by Stephen Sondheim). This enormous canvas is flanked by other historical figures, both enacted (Jack Nicholson as Eugene O’Neill, Maureen Stapleton as Emma Goldman) and actual (George Jessel, Will Durant, Henry Miller, Adela Rogers St. Johns, and a host of other ‘witnesses’ who offer interstitial testimony). Masterfully crafted, with Dede Allen’s fleet editing a particular standout. (KW)
Please note early start time.
194 min, with intermission • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Paramount
Cartoon: Porky Pig in “Old Glory” (1939, Chuck Jones) – 35mm