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Red Dawn (1984)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama | 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.



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Darren Dalton ...
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


. . . . A Gang of high-school kids become the last line of defence. See more »


Action | Drama


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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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
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Did You Know?


Near the end of the movie Jed and Matt climb onto a flatcar that slowly moving in order to escape. The car contains 2 small anti-tank guns. Both of these guns are from WW II and although different in appearance, both are 37mm in caliber. The one with the flat rectangular shield is an American M3 and the one with the sloped shield is a German Pak 36. See more »


The Colonel empties his 45 while standing on top of the tank. It continues to fire after the slide has locked back. 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 American Dad!: Permanent Record Wrecker (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Not great, but there's a lot of appeal nonetheless and it's memorable
22 April 2015 | by (Winnipeg) – See all my reviews

"Red Dawn" does a good job setting up its somewhat fantastical scenario but it's very much a product of its time and might not ring the same way it did when it was first released. I still feel like has a certain amount of appeal, but if you love this movie it's mostly the nostalgia talking. When the United States is invaded by the Soviet Union and its Cuban and Nicaraguan allies, the Americans are overwhelmed. While this Third World War rages, our story begins to take place. A small group of high school students arm themselves, hide in the woods and resist the invaders with guerrilla warfare, assembling underneath the name of their high school mascot, the Wolverines.

The special effects are good and to someone that would be genuinely fearful of an invasion by the soviets this could be a dream come true or a really frightening scenario. I enjoyed the fact that the film gets into its premise right away, telling anyone that doesn't buy the premise to promptly leave the theatre or stop complaining about the events that are taking place. The film also does a good job portraying the long passage of time and the changes that happen to the characters as they become more accustomed to guerilla warfare. Where the film doesn't work is in the emotional growth and towards the end where our heroes make decisions that feel out of character and downright stupid. While I was able to buy the premise fully, I did find that this story doesn't feel as fleshed out as it should be. I'm leaning more towards "video game-like" than "epic" when choosing what word to define the storyline, despite the fact that there is a full-blown war going on.

If you can suspend your disbelief (and the film does take the time to set itself up as a possible scenario so it shouldn't be too hard) and put yourself in the mentality of the red scare you will get a kick out of this, though you might leave wanting more when it comes to the story and characters. (On VHS, November 21, 2012)

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