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    The Ballad of Dean Reed

    By Dorothea Holloway | October 8, 2013

    Am 28. September 2013 fand zum siebten Mal in Potsdam das Dean-Reed-Treffen statt, um das künstlerische und politische Werk von Dean Reed zu würdigen.

    F. B. Habel in KINO Special Issue No: 64/65 (1997):

    In the 1970s, when the American actor and singer Dean Reed ( 1938 – 1986 ) took up residence in the GDR, this provided an occasion for DEFA to shoot Westerns with him. Colorado-born Dean Reed was better known in the USA – more so in South America – as a rock ‘n’ roll singer, but in the 1960s he evolved into a protest-singer who supported Allende’s Unidad Popular in Chile and became a committed opponent of the Vietnam War. In Europe he played in a couple Italo-Westerns, once alongside Yule Brynner, before settling in the GDR and marrying a German.

    Dean Reed’s first movie in the GDR was Konrad Petzold’s adaptation of Jack London’s Kit & Co (1974). Set in Alaska as an adventure tale, the film costarred Armin
    Mueller-Stahl and Rolf Hoppe, the latter usually cast as a popular “heavy” in Indian films. Dean Reed directed himself in the Western-parody Sing, Cowboy, Sing (1981), and he scripted Blutsbrüder (Blood Brothers) (1975), loosely related to Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man (USA, 1970), in which he plays a white soldier who is disillusioned by the Indian conflict and marries an Indian squaw.

    Ronald Holloway in KINO – German Film No: 90 (2007)

    Our last meeting with Dean Reed was in West Berlin – in late May of 1986, just a few weeks before his mysterious death. Dorothea and I were attending a premiere at the Theater des Westens when we bumped into Dean Reed and his wife, actress Renate Blume, in the foyer. After the show, we spent an hour together chatting about his next film project. The occupation of Wounded Knee by the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the subsequent FBI siege. Titled Bloody Heart, it was to be produced by the DEFA-Studio in East Germany and shot on the steppes of Kirghizstan in Central Asia.

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