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The Alternate History

  • Ascended Fanon: A large amount of the canon was decided and fleshed out in discussion with readers, to the point where it could be called a collaborative work. In other instances, some readers have written their own contributions unprompted and subsequently canonized by Aelita.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: As Aelita became disappointed with green politics, particularly the US Green Party, this result in a change the SEU from winning a Landslide Election to became an influential, but increasinly loony, political force in the UASR's politics.
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The Film

  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • California Doubling: The film was mainly shot in England, where none of it takes place. As a result of Beatty being denied permission to film in the U.S.S.R., the Russia scenes were shot in Finland, with Helsinki doubling for Petrograd (present-day St. Petersburg, Leningrad at the time of filming). The scenes set in Baku, Azerbaijan were shot in Spain.
  • The Cast Showoff: The poem that Jack Nicholson gives Diane Keaton was a real poem that he had actually written for her.
  • Creative Differences: At one point, Director of Photography Vittorio Storaro nearly quit the project when he and Warren Beatty clashed over the use of the camera. Storaro wanted a dynamic fluid movement, while Beatty wanted static shots. Finally, a compromise was made between the two men. The film would open with static shots, and as it progressed, more camera moves are added. This style had similarly been applied to another film, that being Network. Yet by 2011, Beatty described the process with Storaro this way: "There's no greater cinematographer. We were in total agreement and had continual conversations."
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  • Dawson Casting: Although Warren Beatty was forty-four-years-old when he made the film, his character John Reed only lived to be thirty-two.
  • Doing It for the Art:
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Warren Beatty lost thirty pounds while making this movie.
  • Production Nickname: Joke movie titles that the crew labelled the picture during the high stress of the production, included The Longest Day and The 39 Takes.
  • Romance on the Set: Averted. It was rumored that Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton were having an affair. This turned out to be false. As Jack himself said, "I'm not gonna sleep with my best friend's girl. I'm not an asshole".
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Julie Christie was originally cast as Louise Bryant, but she decided she didn't feel right for the role and dropped out.
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    • John Lithgow was considered by Beatty for the lead role of John Reed for a short time. This was because Lithgow physically resembled Reed. Beatty eventually decided that he would play the part of Reed.
    • Sam Shepard and James Taylor were considered for the role of Eugene O'Neill.
  • Working Title: The first screenplay for this movie was written in 1969 under the original script title of Comrades. It was simply known as The John Reed and Louise Bryant Story while in production.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: According to Edward Herrmann, Warren Beatty would sometimes shoot without a finished script.
    Warren Beatty is mysterium tremendum. We never saw a script. We could have been shooting Casablanca for all we knew.

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