Sing, Cowboy, Sing

Sing, Cowboy, Sing

Here's a film that should have special appeal to anyone living in Colorado as its writer, director, and star is none other than Dean Reed. What? You don't know about Dean Reed? He was bigger than Elvis! Well... in Latin America, Russia, and East Germany anyway. Dean Reed was born in Denver, attended the University of Colorado, and later signed a record contract with Capitol Records in 1958. He was groomed to be a teen idol and put out a bunch of popular singles, but where he really caught on fire was on tours of South America.

So he stuck around there and made a bunch of albums and movies and even appeared on the major TV network in Chile and Peru. Living in Chile he being an outspoken critic of oppression and poverty. He also spoke out again nuclear weapons and US foreign policies of aggression. He also put on shows for free in poor neighborhoods and in prisons. Well... you know what that means, if you're hugely popular and basically cleaning the feet of the poor, that either gets you stuck on a cross or, nowadays, labeled as a left-wing, commie and total whacko. In Argentina it was also grounds for deportation. So Dean Reed spent some time in Rome, got some acting gigs in spaghetti westerns, and toured Central and Eastern Europe, where he was a huge hit. In 1973 Reed decided to live in East Germany, and there wrote, directed, and performed in over 20 films and made 13 records.

It's worth noting that Reed never thought of himself as a communist, he defined himself as a Marxist. And although he railed against many American policies he never stopped loving America. Still, there's no denying that after many years of living in exile and being persecuted for his political beliefs he might have gone a bit coo-coo. In 1986 he appeared on 60 MINUTES and defended the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and even the building of the Berlin Wall. Six weeks later he was dead. Officials in East Berlin ruled it an accidental drowning. His family put quotes around the world "accidental" - they thought he'd been murdered. Some German friends claimed it was suicide. His body was brought back to his native state of Colorado, and he's buried right here in Boulder at the Green Mountain Cemetery. Just look for the grave marked AMERICAN REBEL.

Tonight's film is a rare treat in many ways; not only has it never been screened here in Boulder, but it's also not on VHS. Well... at least not with subtitles. Yes, these singing cowboys are singing in German - so non-German speakers will probably appreciate a little assistance in the translation department. The catch is that there is only one 35mm subtitled print, and it resides at the DEFA Film Library in Amherst, Massachusetts. It's an archival print, so can only screen on reel-to-reel projectors. Multiplexes? They have platters which are notorious for damaging prints. Here at the IFS we have two upright reel-to-reel projectors for exactly this reason: it lets us show you the really cool rare and old stuff that you won't see anywhere else.

The frosting on the cake? It's a free show! Joel Haertling at the The Boulder Public Library Cinema Program was eager to screen this as part of his contribution to the I LOVE BOULDER campaign, so he's picking up the bill for the rental of the film while we here at IFS pick up the tab for the projectionist and the staff.

Don't miss this one-time event! The film screens at 7pm only.

— Pablo Kjolseth, IFS Director

Sing, Cowboy, Sing

Free show!

Fri April 8, 2011, 7:00 only, Muenzinger Auditorium

East Germany, 1981, German, Color, 86 min., 35mm, 1.85:1, Not Rated



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

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