From the early 60s until his sudden disappearance in 1986, Dean Reed was a huge pop star and actor. Never heard of him? That’s because his fame was largely confined to South America and the Eastern bloc at the peak of the Cold War. Thomas Latter’s engrossing film tells the story of the Colorado-born singing cowboy, who struggled in Hollywood until a surprise hit in Chile led to an entire change of life and political perspective.

He made friends in high places (Allende, Guevara, Arafat), moved to East Germany and became a true radical with chirpy songs like We Are Revolutionaries, which cites Lenin, Castro and Ho Chi Minh and western films that focused on the Native Americans rather than the US Cavalry . But eventually, as the socialist dream soured for millions, so did his fame.

Friends and family emotionally recall the “outlaw” artist: as one old chum says, “He didn’t realise America wasn’t ready for a Marxist, atheist cowboy”. It’s a spectacular story that deserves to be much better known,

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