Books and films about Dean/Bücher und Filme über Dean

Der Rote Elvis

Dean Reed - The Red Elvis/Der Rote Elvis


Philadelphia Film Festival


Friday, April 4, 7:15 PM, The Bridge: Cinema DeLux
Monday, April 7, 7:00 PM, Ritz East Theater 1

Philadelphia Film Festival

The Red Elvis
aka: Der Rote Elvis
Germany 2007, 90 min

The amazing, complex life of American singer Dean Reed, who immigrated to East Germany and reignited his career as a communist film star and prophesying socialist singer, is uncovered in this fascinating documentary.

For those who may not be familiar with the name and unusual career path taken by singer/activist Dean Reed (1938-1986), this eye-opening documentary takes on an almost Zelig-like quality as we follow him through the tumultuous Cold War-era 1960s and into the mid-'80s. Tall, handsome and easy-going, Reed's Elvis-influenced music career was on the rise - not to superstardom, but the singer was definitely successful in popular folk/rock music. That is, until his political and social consciousnesses were awakened, and the now Marxist Reed emigrated from the States - first to Argentina, then to Italy and, after a stint in Soviet Russia, to communist East Germany. From this base, Reed traveled to post-Allende Chile, Castro's Cuba and throughout the Eastern bloc, singing rousing political songs and speaking eloquently (he was fluent in Spanish and German) on behalf of the socialist cause. Though many Americans considered him a traitor, Reed was never anti-American, always paid his income taxes and considered himself a preacher for peace and human rights. He was an impassioned believer and preacher of socialism despite living quite extravagantly in his adopted country. During these years he became a Communist film star (20 films, mainly westerns) and traveled extensively in concert tours. With a rich archive of interviews and performances, director Leopold Grün re-discovers this amazingly complex individual and sheds light on the politically charged time which propelled one man to change his life.
(English, German, Spanish and Russian with English subtitles) - Raymond Murray

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Letzte Änderung: 2012-03-12