Top Communist Movies – Communist Films List

Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 4:19 pm

You don’t have to be a pinko to enjoy this selection of top communist movies. In fact, this communist movies list will probably be even more entertaining if you’re not an adherent of Stalinism, Maoism, Trotskyism, or Marxism-Leninism. Some of the films are included because they address historical events related to the communist movement, while others are American films that conveniently cast the political movement as a sort of global boogieman. In either case, lovers of history should find the portrayals fascinating.

Netflix has many of these top communist movies, as well as films representing many more nations, religious beliefs, and political systems. To join, all you have to do is click on the Netflix link. I’d like to tell you that all of the Netflix profits go into a central collective that’s then distributed to the proletariat, but I’d be lying.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) – During the Korean War, a platoon of American soldiers are captured and taken to Communist China to be brainwashed. The plot is an ambitious one, and, if successful, it will take one family of traitors all the way to the White House. Luckily, Frank Sinatra is on the case as Major Bennett Marco, and you know ‘Ol Blue Eyes isn’t gonna allow no commie monkey business, baby. Angela Lansbury puts away her typewriter long enough to portray one of the all-time cinematic bitches, and Laurence Harvey is appropriately pitiful as a brainwashed soldier at the center of the communist conspiracy. Also starring Henry Silva and Janet Leigh.

The Battleship Potemkin (1925) – No communist movies list would be complete without this groundbreaking film from Sergei Eisenstein. Depicting the 1905 rebellion by the crew of the battleship Potemkin against their Tsarist officers, the film is best known for its Odessa Staircase sequence in which Tsarist soldiers massacre a crowd of citizens. While the film failed to attract large crowds, it did help to further the study of film editing and its effects on the emotions of the audience. A motion picture whose importance to global cinema cannot be underestimated.

Reds (1981) – Among the top communism movies ever made outside of the Soviet Union or China, Reds was produced, directed, and co-written by Warren Beatty. It follows the life of American communist journalist John Reed, who covered the Russian Revolution in his book Ten Days that Shook the World. While losing in the Best Picture category to Chariots of Fire, Reds did win Beatty Best Director honors. In addition to the wonderful supporting cast of Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Paul Sorvino, and Maureen Stapleton, the film also included real-life “witnesses” who added perspective to the time period being depicted. These included ACLU founder Roger Nash Baldwin, author Henry Miller, activist Scott Nearing, and many more.

Citizen X (1995) – The HBO movie reveals the lengthy real-life search for Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo (Jeffrey DeMunn). Stephen Rea plays Detective Viktor Burakov, a dedicated policeman who never stops searching, despite political pressure, government interference, and 12 years of frustration. During this time, Chikatilo managed to kill 53 women and children, earning himself the moniker “The Butcher of Rostov.” Donald Sutherland received a Golden Globe and Emmy for his role as Col. Mikhail Fetisov. A fascinating look at one of the world’s worst serial killers, and a government’s refusal to admit they would have such a “Western” problem.

Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) – Set in East Berlin in the late 1980s, young Alex Kerner (Daniel Bruhl) struggles to help his mother, sister, and niece make ends meet. Things don’t get any easier when his mother suffers a severe heart attack and falls into a coma. Once she regains consciousness, the doctors warn that any shock or surprise could bring about fatal complications. There’s just one problem: the Berlin Wall has fallen in the eight months that Alex’s mother has been comatose, and he realizes that this information would be too much for her to bear. So he recruits friends, family, and complete strangers to help create a fantasy world where Germany is still divided. A touching comedy/drama about how far we’ll go to protect those we love.

Red Dawn (1984) – All these years later, it’s hard to imagine how big of a threat the Soviet Union was considered. But watching Red Dawn brings those memories flooding back, as it deals with communist forces launching an invasion of America (as well as the UK and China). As World War III plays out in the background, a group of Colorado high school students take to the mountains and fight a guerilla war against the occupying forces. The great young cast includes Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell, and Lea Thompson. If you’ve ever tried to pee in an overheating radiator, chances are you got the idea from Red Dawn.

October: Ten Days That Shook the World (1927) – Sergei Eisenstein’s silent-era masterpiece about the October Revolution of 1917, an event which led to the creation of the Soviet Union. In the process, Eisenstein helped to advance the art of film, especially through his use of the “intellectual montage.” The Soviet authorities, however, were not pleased, labeling the film unintelligible for the average citizen.

One, Two, Three (1961) – Based on a Hungarian from 1929, this Billy Wilder comedy follows a Coca-Cola exec (James Cagney) whose life is turned upside down when his boss’ daughter (Pamela Tiffin) blows into town and announces that she’s married her East German Communist boyfriend. A hilarious film that skewers everyone, be they communist or capitalist, and a number of references are made to Cagney’s earlier crime films.

Rocky IV (1985) – When old pal Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) is killed in the ring, it’s up to Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to gain revenge and represent the United States. To pull this off, he’ll have to defeat massive fighter Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) in his home country of Russia. Luckily, they’re fighting on Christmas Day, and we all know Jesus is going to favor Rocky over the godless Russkies.

The Blue Kite (1993) – Set in Beijing during the 1950s and 1960s, a young boy grows up amidst the turmoil of the Hundred Flowers Campaign, Great Leap Forward, and Cultural Revolution. Celebrated by audiences, critics, and at film festivals around the globe, the film was banned by the Chinese government, and director Tian Zhuangzhuang wasn’t allowed to make a movie for 10 years. His sacrifice was well worth it, though, as The Blue Kite remains an emotionally gripping example of China’s Fifth Generation filmmakers.

If you’ve enjoyed this communist movies list, be sure to give Netflix a try. They have over 100,000 films to choose from, and there’s never a late fee. If Lenin were alive today, I’m certain he’d be all about avoiding late fees. Oh, and we also get a small commission if you sign up.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 12th, 2010 at 4:19 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Top Communist Movies – Communist Films List”

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February 14, 2012


Communist movies? Rocky IV?!!

February 4, 2016


You forgot Children of the Revolution! Funny and communist


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