Books and films about Dean/Bücher und Filme über Dean

American Rebel

American Rebel

Ein amerikanischer

16 mm · color · 93 min.

American Rebel - Documentary on Dean Reed

A documentary film by Will Roberts


Producer/DirectorWill Roberts
Associate ProducersAnn Donohoe, Neil Jacobs, Christine Rath
CinematographyHiernan Correa, Michael Gregor, Vladimir Gusev, Joshua Hanig, Dieter Mesa, Bob Moore, Igor Murayev, Juan Priego, Christine Rath
Sound RecordingAkif Abulayev, Steve Budde, Susan Chong, John Denis, Werner Laube, Christine Rath, Moises Rodriguez, Will Roberts, Dieter Silbernagel, Boris Veliulov
EditorBrian Cotnoir
NarrationWill Roberts, Ellen Wood
InterpretersEugenie Aeich, Helmut Bohme, Anita Gonzolez, Pavel Korchagin, Maria Maluenda, Dan Olson, Andreas Prasse, Christine Rath, Galina Veryovkina
American Rebel American Rebel American Rebel American Rebel
DVD American Rebel DVD American Rebel

"American Rebel" on DVD

American Rebel

The DVD "American Rebel" is available now in NTSC format (USA and Canada). There will be a PAL version for Europe later on.

Die DVD "American Rebel" kann man jetzt im NTSC-Format bestellen (USA and Kanada). Eine PAL-Version für Europa wird es später geben.


Order DVD: amazon.com

June 2, 1991: "American Rebel" in TV

American Rebel

9 p.m. BRAVO
Dean Reed: American Rebel *** ('85)
Filmmaker Will Roberts profiles the U.S.-born country singer who prefers life behind the Iron Curtain. (1:30) (NR)

American Rebel

1985 - USA

The itinerant life of American singer and actor Dean Reed is the subject of this biographical documentary. Reed was raised in Denver, and after he recorded a few songs in Hollywood, he ended up travelling around South America and then settling in Chile for awhile. He found Chile to be a place where he could garner larger audiences for his music and support Allende at the same time. After the dictator Pinochet came to power and thousands of Chileans were killed, Reed left for Italy and started touring in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. Eventually, he also became active in films and was in Denver in 1985 for the premiere of this documentary about him.

Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide, New York Times


  1. Trailer American Rebel
  2. American Rebel Original English version
  3. American Rebel Russian version

Press review/Pressespiegel

  1. Athens News 25.07.1985: "American Rebel" Reed sings love songs in USSR
  2. Denver Film Festival 10/1985: American Rebel
  3. ND, JW, Volkswacht 22.10.1985: Angriffe gegen Dean Reed auf Festival in den USA
  4. Rocky Mountain News 27.10.1985:
    To Dean Reed, popularity depends on the country
  5. Associated Press 28.10.1985: Soviet-Bloc Star Comes Home to Denver

  6. Variety 30.10.1985: Denver Fest Jells As Big Event With New Venue, Special Guests
  7. Variety 30.10.1985: American Rebel
  8. Denver Post 03.11.1885: Ovations come cheap in Denver
  9. Arts Pages 06.11.1985: Bigger than Elvis, hotter than Frankie...
  10. USA Today 13.11.1985: U.S. singer tops the charts in Soviet bloc

  11. The Post (Ohio Univ.) 13.11.1985:
    Film premier features native singer known world-wide
    Filmpremiere zeigt weltweit bekannten einheimischen Sänger
  12. The Athens News 14.11.1985: 'American Rebel' comes home
  13. The Messenger 14.11.1985: Film, music star of 32 countries, virtually unknown in native U.S.
  14. Denver Post 24.11.1885: Nellhaus' article is unforgivable
  15. Minneapolis Nov. 1985: U.S. folkie finds his lucky star south, east of border

  16. Minneapolis 07.11.1985: Dean Reed is a paradox of fame abroad, obscurity in U.S.
  17. St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch 07.11.1985: East Bloc star Dean Reed's life captured in 'Rebel'
  18. NBI 1985: USA: Beifall für "Verräter"
  19. Daily World 03.12.1985: An American artist unknown in his country
  20. Filmspiegel 2/1986: "American Rebel"

  21. Leipziger Volkszeitung 23.01.1986: Eine Schallplatte aus Chile - Solidarität mit den Verfolgten
  22. Rolling Stock 11/1986:
    Iron Curtain Cowboy
    Cowboy des Eisernen Vorhangs
  23. USA Today 18.06.1986: East bloc folk, film star dies
  24. Minneapolis Star and Tribune 18.06.1986:
    D. Reed, U.S. Singer; settled in E. Germany
  25. International Herald Tribune 19.06.1986:
    Dean Reed Dies at 47; U.S. Expatriate Singer

  26. The Athens News, Ohio 19.06.1986:
    'American Rebel' drowns near his home in East Germany
  27. Spiegel 26/86 23.06.1986: Nachruf
  28. St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch 23.06.1986:
    Leftist singer slain, manager says
  29. dpa 24.06.1986: Offiziöse Trauerfeier für Dean Reed in Ost-Berlin
  30. ND 25.06.1986: Letztes Geleit für Dean Reed

  31. Tribüne 25.06.1986: Trauerfeier für Dean Reed
  32. Minnesota Daily 25.06.1986: Mystery clouds singer's death
  33. DDR Juni 1986: Trauerfeier für Dean Reed
  34. New York Times 12.07.1986:
    The Eastern Odyssey of a famous unknown American
  35. Minneapolis Star and Tribune 15.07.1986:
    A doubting propagandist meets his end

  36. International Documentary 07/1986: Dean Reed: American Rebel
  37. International Documentary 07/1986: Will Roberts - IDA Member Interview
  38. Sovietskii Ekran 08/1986:
    ОСТАНЕТСЯ МОЛОДЫМ. Памяти Дина Рида
    Everlastingly young. In commemoration of Dean Reed
  39. Rolling Stock 12/1986:
    Unfinished Obituary for a Famous Unknown American
  40. Rolling Stock 12/1986:
    The Mysterious Death of The Iron Curtain Cowboy

  41. The Post, Athens, Ohio 11.08.1986: State of The Arts
  42. Guardian 19.11.1986: Left star a stranger in his own land
  43. St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch 26.11.1986:
    Singer's death still a mystery
  44. Democrat and Chronical 26.11.1986:
    Dean Reed a mystery in death as in life
  45. San Francisco Chronical 07.12.1986: Death in the Soviet Bloc

  46. Leader Associated Press 03.08.1988: New Rebel spreads message with music
  47. Malvern Caulfield Progress 03.08.1988: 'Rebel' with a cause
  48. The Herald 04.08.1988: American Rebel
  49. The Age 09.08.1988: Films (American Rebel)
  50. Beat Magazine 10.08.1988: American Rebel

  51. FF dabei 31/1988: Botschafter der Liebe und des Friedens
  52. DDR 22.09.1988: Dean Reed - ein amerikanischer Rebell
  53. FF dabei Oktober 1988: Dean war Vorbild
  54. Westword 01.-07.02.1989:
    A Dixie Malady
    Eine Dixie-Krankheit
  55. FF dabei 1990: Aktuelles über Renate Blume

Your comments/Zuschauerkommentare zum Film - macht mit!

Good memory about Dean Reed

I am Ukrainian guy and American citizen since 2004. In spite of some disadvantages I'd say, "It was good documentary movie". Disadvantages are no option to turn subtitles ON/OFF and no scene selection feature. (I wanted subtitles because sometimes I do not catch some words. English is not native language for me.) However I understand that Ohio River Films did not have a good budget.

I liked listening songs performing by Dean Reed on radio or TV in my late teenager years. (It was beginning of 80-s. I did live in Kiev, Ukraine.) I listened the information about this man from different news. I watched movies "Blood Brothers" and "Sing, Cowboy, Sing" made in German Democratic Republic (It is Eastern Germany.) and translated into Russian. In the United States I rented movie "Adios Sabata."

However this movie, which is "American Rebel", told me much more about him.

"I don't believe the Soviet culture is an enemy to the American people," Dean Reed said. I like he said, "Soviet" not like ignorant people who say, "Russians." Probably the confusion was the Russian Federation was a biggest republic of the Soviet Union and sometimes residents of other Soviet republics were called Russians, which was not correct. (An example is Ukraine was the Soviet republic but not Russian republic in time of the Soviet Union.) So I liked Dean knew what he said. I am ex Soviet man and agree that Soviets were not enemies to Americans.

Dean Reed said, "I think all people should have a right to see the culture of other forms, nationalities and countries and also defend own culture at the time." I think it is important for average American even now.

I was also impressed when I listened interview about Dean's Reed attitude to religions. We could understand that Dean was an Atheist. However being an Atheist he did not blaspheme. And also, he believed in things that all world religions did. (It means a peace, goodness, and cooperation between nations, ultimate truth, making life better place for men.)

Dean Reed is no longer with us but this movie is a good memory about him.

Although it is not first documentary movie about Dean Reed in the world but this is the first one created by an American representative. Will Roberts and his assistants from different countries have done a good job.

Yuri Nemtsev, amazon.com, October 25, 2009

As a university music professor who teaches a class about the history of popular music, I was rather surprised and intrigued to come upon the story of Dean Reed. I must admit, I had never heard of him. When I travel I always try to visit local museums, grave sites, etc., that relate to popular music, and when recently planning to visit Denver, CO, Reed's name began to appear in my on-line searches. For those who like a good story with lots of twists, Reed's is one to explore. It's amazing (to me) the kind of career he had. Do the same conditions exist today to produce another person like Reed? In many ways, he predates artists like Bono, who realize life is not about taking, but about giving. Very interesting DVD. Get the books, as well!

Mark S. Crawford, amazon.com, August 9, 2008

I have just seen the DVD on Dean Reed "The American Rebel". It was truly moving, most informative, and brought me to tears several times. I am trying to get it local television cable access which would bring the message of Dean Reed to over 200,000 viewers here in part of New York City. As long as there is enough English on the film, I can try to get the film on public television and spread the message of one of my new icons, Dean Reed.

For Peace & Socialism,
Dr. Angelo D'Angelo, Director, United States Friends of Soviet People, affiliate of International Council for Friendship & Solidarity with Soviet People, March 31, 2008

Being somebody who grew up in the GDR, experienced the reunification of Germany first hand, and who in 1996 moved to Canada I can tell you that this is a good documentary. Like Dean Reed I can fortunately draw comparisons between societies. Most of us socialists (yes - that's what we called ourselves) were very aware of the advantages AND disadvantages living in the GDR brought upon us. We were no brainwashed dummies. Neither was Dean Reed. And he really did make socialism a little bit better by singing his songs. Unlike Dean Reed I took my home country for granted and did not share his passion for our society to the same degree, but up to today I also don't put it down. I had a good life growing up, and getting "Peace, Friendship and Solidarity" hammered into my brain has not done me any harm either. Unfortunately the reality of our "socialism" did not quite live up to its own definition.

I highly respect Dean Reed's idealism and his willingness to fight for others. He had a case of "GDR nostalgia" when it was not cool like it is today. He deserves to be remembered, if only for his efforts to bridge cultures.

May Steven Spielberg do him justice.

C. Knos, amazon.com, March 27, 2008

The reason of this messages is that I recently worked with a German crew and the subject "American Rebel" came up and to my surprise the Germans told me of a new version of the original documentary in which I worked as a director of photography among many others DP's. I did a lot of footage in the USA. One of my interviews was the one with Phil Everly at his house in Los Angeles, Ca. Will Roberts the film director was a classmate from Ohio University. We both were film students. By accident I learned about the new version, that has a lot of the original version. You can read my name on the credits.

Juan M. Priego, December 20, 2007

The film reflects the story of an amazing American hero called Dean Reed who travelled the world singing and promoting world peace. The film is a documentary which talks about his life and his political journey. Unfortunately he was much more popular outside of the US than inside and he was often threaten by American reactionary elements who never accepted his left wing views.

A must see for progressive thinkers.

Ottoman, amazon.com, May 19, 2007

This is an accurate picture of Dean Reed's life and life in general behind the "Iron Curtain". This documentary is kept plain and simple and to the point, no opinionated propaganda, just the life of an American socialist (not communist - that is two different things) who lived and stood for and fought for his ideas. Every-day life in (mostly) East Germany is shown through this film. This is a historical document, that perfectly captured the images of the past, a past that is also my own past.

CS, amazon.com, February 23, 2007

This documentary film, made in 1985 with its subject's input, is the best introduction to the life and work of Dean Reed (1938-1986). Reed was an American rock singer/actor who turned Communist in the early 1960s and found fame throughout the Iron Curtain world in the 1960s-1970s. He sang a wide range of material (rock, folk & country), acted in South American, Italian and East German films and TV (eventually directing a few films himself) and was a loyal Red political activist. A household name throughout the Communist world, he was all but unknown in his home country. He died under mysterious circumstances in East Berlin in 1986.

This well-made film features interviews with archival performance footage, clips from Reed's films and TV shows, interviews with Reed's parents, fans and friends (including Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers), as well as Dean Reed himself. And of course, plenty of Dean Reed music.

Reed deserves to be remembered. If you don't know who Dean Reed was, this is the place to start learning.

Bartleby the Scrivener, amazon.com, February 21, 2007

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Letzte Änderung: 2016-03-11