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The extraordinary forgotten story of an American pop star who defected to the Soviet Bloc and became a superstar.


From the 1960s until the collapse of Communism, the most famous musician in the Soviet Bloc is not Elvis Presley, John Lennon, or a Communist Party hack. It’s a U.S. born, former teen idol from Denver named Dean Reed.

In the Eastern Bloc, Dean sells out stadiums, preaches Marxism and inspires a generation. Along the way he plots revolution with Che Guevara, talks poetry with Pablo Neruda, and is lauded by Nikita Khrushchev. For the top brass, he’s a propaganda coup; for the Communist youth, he’s their Red Elvis… until his body is found floating in a lake in East Berlin, dead at age 47.

Featuring exclusive interviews with Dean’s friends and family, access to previously sealed government documents, and a treasure trove of never-before-released film and music, Red Elvis: The Cold War Cowboy is the story of a wild and changing world. Through the prism of Dean’s life, we witness a global youth rebellion, revolutions in popular music, and the shifting tectonics of superpower rivalry. But at its heart, Red Elvis is a deeply personal story of a man desperately searching for his role in this unpredictable world.

Red Elvis: The Cold War Cowboy is a Curiosity original film produced by Talos Films, directed and produced by Thomas Latter. Julian P. Hobbs and Elli Hakami are executive producers for Talos Films. For Curiosity Studios, Noah Morowitz is executive producer, and Rob Burk is Head of Original Content.

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