The story of John Reed, American Communist, journalist and activist who was buried in the Kremlin, Louise Bryant, writer and feminist, and Eugene O'Neill, America's playwright, during the Russian Revolution.
Reds tells the story of the love affair between activists Louise Bryant and John Reed. Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous start of the 20th century, the two journalists' on-again off-again romance is punctuated by the outbreak of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution. Louise's assignment in France at the outbreak of the war puts an end to their affair. John Reed's subsequent trip to Russia, and his involvement with the Communist party, rekindles their relationship. When Louise arrives in Petrograd, she finds herself swept up in the euphoria of the Revolution. Reed, however, eventually becomes disillusioned with Communism when he sees his words and intentions augmented and controlled by the growing Soviet propaganda machine.