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Red Dawn (1984)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, War | 10 August 1984 (USA)
It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers bands together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Doug Toby ...
Mr. Teasdale


From out of the sky, Soviet, Nicaraguan, and Cuban troops begin landing on the football field of a Colorado high school. In seconds, the paratroopers have attacked the school and sent a group of teenagers fleeing into the mountains. Armed only with hunting rifles, pistols, and bows and arrows, the teens struggle to survive the bitter winter and the Soviet KGB patrols hunting for them. Eventually, trouble arises when they kill a group of Soviet soldiers on patrol in the highlands. Soon they will wage their own guerrilla warfare against the invading Soviet troops-under the banner of 'Wolverines!' Written by Derek O'Cain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The invading armies planned for everything - except for eight kids called "The Wolverines." See more »


Action | Drama | War


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

10 August 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ten Soldiers  »

Box Office


$4,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(4 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first motion picture released with an MPAA PG-13 rating. (The Flamingo Kid (1984), the first film to *get* a PG-13 rating, sat on the shelves for 5 months before release.) See more »


After the first Wolverines attack montage, the "dead" soldiers in body bags are breathing; the plastic clearly rises and falls. See more »


Col. Andy Tanner: [Describing the invasion] West Coast. East Coast. Down here is Mexico. First wave of the attack came in disguised as commercial charter flights same way they did in Afghanistan in '80. Only they were crack Airborne outfits. Now they took these passes in the Rockies.
Jed Eckert: So that's what hit Calumet.
Col. Andy Tanner: I guess so. They coordinated with selective nuke strikes and the missiles were a helluva lot more accurate than we thought. They took out the silos here in the Dakotas, key points of communication.
Darryl Bates: Like ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

None of the actors are in the opening credits See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Britney Spears (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

In Defense of Red Dawn
20 December 2007 | by (Austin) – See all my reviews

Somebody called this "possibly the worst film of all time" which is ridiculous. I've seen Red Dawn numerous times & although the film is very flawed, it's just asinine to think this might even 'possibly' be the 'worst film of all time'. By contemporary standards it's pure fargin' ART compared to say, Fantastic 4. In it's own time...how 'bout Dirty Dancing? But, "OF ALL TIME"!?!?! You can't just throw a statement like that around when there's garbage like Day of the Dead 2: Contagium out there. Red Dawn at least has a certain amount of entertainment value in it's well executed vicariously cathartic vengeance theme (suckers me in every time)....AND you can laugh at all the little goofs like Colonel Bella expressing his previous allegiance to insurgents in such countries as "ANGOLIA", or the main premise of a modern day ground attack on this country...until you start thinking about how many of our troops are currently really far away....hmmm....

Plus, this is a definitive 80's flick (like Weird Science or ET)...and Patrick Cheeezy, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson & Powers Boothe provide memorable presences....if not performances.

Although director John Milius appears to have rested on his dubious laurels through much of the production, I still feel that this film, over time, has achieved iconic placement in the grand scheme of things. It belongs in the time capsule, faults and all.


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