Movies about communism or related with communism

Tools    





Hey! First post


IŽd like to know your opinions about movies related with communism in some way or another. It fascinates me, historically speaking, and everything related with the Cold War. If possible IŽd like to know your favorite movies about this theme thanks a lot!





I'd say without giving it much thought that The Front (1976) and Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) are probably the best two narratives in terms of dealing with The Red Scare in America. As for a U.S. production about Communism in a broader, historical context, Warren Beatty's Reds (1981) is a great place to start.

But when you say "Communism" do you mean the political idea, the Soviet or Chinese States, The Red Scare, or something else completely? Do you want films that address it in a serious way or that use it as fodder or background for espionage tales and the like? The original The Manchurian Candidate (1962) has to be the number one must-see as a Cold War thriller. And for camp value, some of the Red Menace propaganda that came out of Hollywood in the 1950s is a hoot and half plus perhaps valuable as some sort of social document, such as John Wayne in Big Jim McLain (1952), Robert Ryan in I Married a Communist (1949), Frank Lovejoy in I was a Communist for the F.B.I. (1951) and the no-budget Shack out on 101 (1955) with Lee Marvin. Coming from a completely different direction, the satirical comedy The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! (1966) with Alan Arkin as a hapless Ruskie sub commander run aground off the coast of New England is intentionally funny.

__________________
"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra

Last edited by Holden Pike; 10-01-09 at 04:59 PM.



Originally Posted by Holden Pike View Post
I'd say without giving it much thought that The Front (1976) and Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) are probably the best two narratives in terms of dealing with The Red Scare in America. As for a U.S. production about Communism in a broader, historical context, Warren Beatty's Reds (1981) is a great place to start.

But when you say "Communism" do you mean the political idea, the Soviet or Chinese States, The Red Scare, or something else completely? Do you want films that address it in a serious way or that use it as fodder or background for espionage tales and the like?
Thanks for the suggestions

I mean specially the political idea. But everything else also fascinates me. The Soviet Union and China, as you said, and also the shadow of fear that was present in the USA and its allies.

I know that many 007 movies, for example, have a background of the Soviet Union mainly.

All suggestions are welcome



I love Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment with David Warner as a British communist who loves gorillas and crazy antics and Vanessa Redgrave as his soon to be ex-wife. It's probably one of my favorite movies... Really funny and you do get some communist history. It's the first place I heard about what happened to Trotsky and he even reenacts his assassination for a policeman with an egg and razor blade. That's just the first one I thought of...

Here's a scene:
__________________
"If you aren't certain about things, if your mind is still open enough to question what you are seeing, you tend to look at the world with great care, and out of that watchfulness comes the possibility of seeing something that no one else has seen before. You have to be willing to admit that you don't have all the answers. If you think you do, you will never have anything important to say." -Paul Auster



Happy New Year from Philly!
I loved Morgan, but I saw it when I was very young and all I remember about it is the wooly sweater Morgan wears and his monkey behavior which I adored and immediately began imitating.

Salma Hayak's biopic about Frida Kahlo addresses issues of communism in the U.S, Mexico and of course, Russia as Frida was a lover and a friend to Trotsky in his exile.

Children of the Revolution
is an Australian film. Don't remember it clearly just that it was comic and one of my favorite actresses is in it, Judy Davis.

I remember quite clearly a Romanian (I think?) movie about a spy who becomes engaged by and enamored of the people he is spying on, a playwright and his actress girlfriend, but not the name of it. But I assume you already know that one. I know "clearly, she says" but that is clear for me.
__________________
Louise Vale first woman to play Jane Eyre in the flickers.


Last edited by beelzebubbles; 10-01-09 at 07:31 PM.



Originally Posted by beelzebubbles View Post
I remember quite clearly a Romanian (I think?) movie about a spy who becomes engaged by and enamored of the people he is spying on, a playwright and his actress girlfriend, but not the name of it. But I assume you already know that one. I know "clearly, she says" but that is clear for me.
You must be thinking of The Lives of Others - Das Leben der Anderen (2006), which won the Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film a couple years back. That's Germany, not Romania. And the GDR of the 1980s, when the film is set, is most certainly a Communist State. After 1955 East Germany was not a member of The Soviet Union, of course, but they were part of the Eastern Bloc, so yeah, that one surely counts and it is a great flick. For a much more gentle look at that era check out the low key comedy Good Bye, Lenin! (2003), which is about a young man who tries to protect his Mother's fragile heart condition from the shock of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the encroachment of The West into their society by an increasingly elaborate bunch of actions to make her think it's the same old gray East Germany outside of her room. But the BEST East Germany comedy for my money is Billy Wilder's hysterical, breathless, satirical modern screwballer One, Two, Three (1961) with Jimmy Cagney as a Coca-Cola executive in West Germany trying to handle his boss' daughter and her relationship with a young handsome Commie from the other side of Checkpoint Charlie.


Last edited by Holden Pike; 10-01-09 at 08:36 PM.



Happy New Year from Philly!
Thank you, Holden. The Lives of Others, that is it exactly.

I love the act in One, Two, Three within which Cagney tries to spruce up the the new son-in-law of the big boss. What a martinet Cagney is. Horst Bucholz puts up a good struggle against him, but of course he is no match for the relentless and tireless Cagney.

Last edited by beelzebubbles; 10-01-09 at 09:55 PM.



Will your system be alright, when you dream of home tonight?
The most powerful movie ever:
__________________
I used to be addicted to crystal meth, now I'm just addicted to Breaking Bad.
Originally Posted by Yoda
If I were buying a laser gun I'd definitely take the XF-3800 before I took the "Pew Pew Pew Fun Gun."





As for some Red China stuff, in the Western mainstream there's Bertolucci's Oscar-winning epic The Last Emperor (1987) and Marty Scorsese's Kundun (1997) that both show some of the transition to and effects of the Communist State. A terrific drama from this century that looks a bit at the modern Chinese system and culture is Yimou Zhang's Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles - 千里走单骑 (2005), though it doesn't address Communism overtly.




Going down Southeast Asia, there are some good flicks about Cambodia's transition to a Communist State under Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, The Killing Fields (1984), Spalding Gray's monologue about the making of that film as well as covering some of the history Swimming to Cambodia (1987), and the documentary S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2003) which won the François Chalais Award at Cannes.




As for Cuba, there's Soderbergh's recent biopic Che (2008) starring Benicio del Toro, Before Night Falls (2000) is a biopic starring Javier Bardem as a Reinaldo Arenas a Revolutionary turned poet and author who was jailed for his homosexuality, and Buena Vista Social Club (1999) Wim Wenders terrific music documentary that isn't overtly political but does show some of the effects of the Castro years in modern Cuba.

.
.

Last edited by Holden Pike; 07-29-11 at 07:29 AM.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
Did I miss it? Nobody mentioned The Manchurian Candidate? Now I realize, I forgot to mention it in my top ten sixties list. And Dr. Strangelove (on the list)

The absolute weirdest anti-communist film is My Son John, beautifully directed by Leo McCarey, but the screenplay is so stupid he seems to be making unintentionally an argument for communism. I know after watching that movie I felt more sympathy for commie Robert Walker than his horrible anti-communist father, Dean Jagger. Hey, if I had a father like that, I might have rebeled and gone red, too!



Happy New Year from Philly!
Oh, Before Night Falls. Beautiful Film. I recommend unreservedly anything by Julian Schnabel.
Basquiat. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. He always hits the right notes.

And now back to the Red Menace!



Originally Posted by Holden Pike View Post
Just remember, sometimes it's true that...



WADSWORTH
Communism was only a red herring.

I love that quote!

Hmm...communism...in Another Country Colin Firth played a schoolboy communist.
__________________
You cannot have it both ways. A dancer who relies upon the doubtful comforts of human love can never be a great dancer. Never. (The Red Shoes, 1948)



Banned from Hollywood.
Ninotchka (1939) , is a satire on Stalin's Soviet Union. Not so much a movie about communism, but rather the differences in mentality between eastern and western european societies. It s the closest i can think of.


The Lives of Others (Das Leben Der Anderen) (2006) as well.A movie about the Stasi in 80s Germany.
__________________
My 100 ALL-TIME FAVE Movies

Last edited by regnif; 10-02-09 at 09:54 PM.



To be honest, I've never put much thought in this particular subject as a film's theme. I'm sure that a few titles with a much more deeper examination into this concept will prolly come to me later on, but at the top of my head, these are the ones that currently come to mind:

5. Enemy At The Gates
Evil versus evil as Communism versus fascism in this Stalingrad one-on-one sniper showdown.




4. The Killing Fields
A brutal look at the aftermath of a communist takeover & the re-"disciplining" of it's population.




3. The Red Violin
A great anthological film about a special violin that travels from one generational story to the next, including one that centers during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the People's Republic of China.




2. Reds
The movie is called Reds. What else do you need?





1. The Blob
A big red mass that keeps getting bigger & bigger, swallowing up innocent denizens of democracy.....
get the symbolism?
Oh, I know, I know....
that's probably stretching a metaphor farther than the reach of an extended slimey flesh-distintigrating tentacle.

__________________
Right now, all I'm wearing is a mustard-stained wife-beater T-shirt, no pants & a massive sombrero.

Last edited by TheMightyCelestial; 04-14-11 at 08:15 PM.



Loner's Avatar
All good people are asleep and dreaming
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Pickup on South Street



Loner's Avatar
All good people are asleep and dreaming
I Am Cuba




Originally Posted by Holden Pike View Post






Tim Curry was in Clue?

I seemed to have been distracted.



I am having a nervous breakdance


Battleship Potemkin (1925) by Sergei Eisenstein is not only an interesting look at early Soviet communism propaganda but also a great example of montage film of the silent era.



Hero (2002) by Yimou Zhang is a beautiful film that on the surface appears to be a saga about ancient China with beautifully shot battle scenes and sword fights. It is really the pragmatic Chinese way of celebrating the benefits of the big collective over individual selfish needs. I saw a Chinese film called An Empress and the Warriors the other day. It tried hard to be everything that Hero is but failed in every department.



Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (2008) by Uli Edel is perhaps not entirely balanced in telling the story about post-war German socialism and marxism gone wrong. Still, it's a good insight for those who are interested in trying to understand the reasons behind left wing extremism in Europe.
__________________
The novelist does not long to see the lion eat grass. He realizes that one and the same God created the wolf and the lamb, then smiled, "seeing that his work was good".

--------

They had temporarily escaped the factories, the warehouses, the slaughterhouses, the car washes - they'd be back in captivity the next day but
now they were out - they were wild with freedom. They weren't thinking about the slavery of poverty. Or the slavery of welfare and food stamps. The rest of us would be all right until the poor learned how to make atom bombs in their basements.