Red Joan

Red Joan

DVD - 2019
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Joan Stanley is a widow living out a quiet retirement in the suburbs when, shockingly, the British Secret Service places her under arrest. The charge: providing classified scientific information, including details on the building of the atomic bomb, to the Soviet government for decades. As she is interrogated, Joan relives the dramatic events that shaped her life and beliefs: her student days at Cambridge, where she excelled at physics while challenging deep-seated sexism.
Publisher: Los Angeles, CA :, Shout Factory,, [2019]
Copyright Date: ©2019
Branch Call Number: DVD FICTION RED
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (101 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
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a
akirakato
May 06, 2021

This docudrama tells the secret life of a woman accused of treason as a Soviet spy.
Judi Dench plays the old Joan flawlessly, but the young Joan seems awkward in her role.

a
amml
Mar 18, 2021

Very good movie, but we had to re-watch it using subtitles to understand what was being said.

JCLPiepieB Mar 13, 2021

This isn't a fast-paced story; instead, it's more meandering and slow. The storyline is interesting - dual timelines, with one foot in 2000 and the other in the 1940s, revolving around spies and atomic bombs - but even with Judi Dench playing the elderly Joan, this movie isn't strong. Maybe watch it once if you're a big Dame Judi fan.

w
Walter724
Feb 03, 2021

This movie is well done, and the best thing about it is Judi Dench! Her performance is quite powerful, and she makes the film! What a story this is!

y
yesbyedith
Dec 21, 2020

Judi Dench! In a man's world, a woman was ignored. Britain was much more involved in world wars than US. In fact, the balance of power did prevent world war.

d
dirtbag
Nov 14, 2020

Wonderful. The acting is brilliant. We expect that with Dame Judi, but the young woman who played Joan in her past was equally as good.

🕵️‍♀️ Like most spy stories in real life, there's less here than meets the eye. The only real secret of the atomic bomb was that it was possible to build one, and we made that one public. Given that knowledge and the unlimited resources of the USSR, any competent scientific team would have succeeded without further 'secrets.' It's just the laws of nature that make a nuclear explosion possible, there's nothing like the formula of Coke or Colonel Sanders' eleven secret herbs and spices to it.

p
PearlyKayAm1
Feb 20, 2020

Interesting story of a gentle, naïve woman who could have unleashed hell on earth because of her idealistic views. Good mix of present mixed with past. No violence or action, just good story telling.

d
dsw3914
Feb 17, 2020

While it may have been "inspired" by true events, it was not very "based" on true events. Read the bio about the real spy it is inspired by (Melita Norwood) and you will see what I mean. While it is similar in that Dench plays a long-time female spy, the only real thing that was very close was the last scene where she spoke to the press. Certainly the motivation in real life was different that the motivation in the movie. Also, not near enough Judi Dench. It was an average movie but don't look at it as a bio of the real person.

j
JackamoJames
Feb 13, 2020

A wonderful little true story with spy overtones that asks the question " how far bad would one go to make things right".. excellent pacing with real drama of what is going to happen next and to whom?. I consider this to be a hidden gem of a film that filters through the onslaught of releases because it is not a big budget super hero full of action and chi...its a " film" and one that doesnt get the attention anymore except in art houses or theatres that specialize in indy releases and such..and thank goodness there are still enough people who enjoy a good film night out.

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j
jimg2000
Dec 01, 2019

Infamous Soviet Atom Spies who make up Red Joan's characters:

This is exactly why I wanted a first class science graduate as an assistant. Not a pretty face. I mean, of course you're not not a pretty face.
(Melita Norwood -- a secretary in the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association, linked to the Woolwich Arsenal spy ring of 1938 and in wartime to "Tube Alloys" program.)
===
Oh, well, I'm sure you've already thought of this but... a centrifugal force could separate of the two isotopes.
(Klaus Fuchs — the German-born British theoretical physicist who worked with the British delegation at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project on the processes for separating isotopes of uranium.)
===
I can't stop Sonya doing anything. Well, you run all the op, right? My dear girl, Sonya does.
(Ursula Kuczynski AKA Ruth Werner, code name Sonya, handler of nuclear scientist Klaus Fuchs.)

j
jimg2000
Dec 01, 2019

"Inspired by a true story"
Joan Elizabeth Stanley? You're resident at this address? Special Branch. You're under arrest.
- What's going on?
You are being charged with 27 breaches of the Official Secrets Act.
===
The world was very different at the time You have no idea
===
Do you think Stalin forced him to confess?
-Of course not. His confessions are freely given. The only people who claim otherwise are members of the Western press out to discredit the USSR.
===
But we're allies.
- For now, but who knows later?
Yeah, but when we were in Canada, you said...
-They won't want Stalin having a weapon like this.
Why? In case he uses it like we could?
===
I have been accused of passing information to the Russians in the 1940s. Information which accelerated their ability to build an atomic bomb. I've been accused of deceiving my colleagues and my family.

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