Maureen Stapleton, who played Emma Goldman in Reds and won an Oscar for her efforts, has died. This is sad. She was an interesting, enigmatic woman who was perfectly cast to play an interesting, enigmatic woman. And Reds, regardless of one's political inclinations, is simply one of the best movies ever made - in any genre.
Not only did it gorgeously showcase the acting wizardry of Jack Nicholson, Diane Keeton and Warren Beatty in their absolute, charismatic primes, it told a riveting epic tale, albeit a highly dramatized version, of a critical point in American political history. It's a must-see for any history or politico enthusiast, although it's not out on DVD.
HBO was running it recently, however. It's a big-screener kinda show, so make sure you have access to one of those monster TVs if you land a TiVo'd viewing. Also, the March '06 issue of Vanity Fair had a piece about the making of Reds, complete with some fantastic, never-before-seen photos of Beatty and Nicholson on the Reds set.
Reds was such a powerful artistic force that it inspired at least one impressionable, rather spacey young lady to kinda dreamily study American labor history as a college student. Now I wonder who that might have been...
Here's my analytical ode to what could possibly be my favorite movie, if GWTW didn't exist, of course.
tags: Maureen Stapleton, Reds, Emma Goldman