6.4/10
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405 user 108 critic

Red Dawn (1984)

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It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers band together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.

Director:

John Milius

Writers:

Kevin Reynolds (story), John Milius (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,570 ( 1,254)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Swayze ... Jed
C. Thomas Howell ... Robert
Lea Thompson ... Erica
Charlie Sheen ... Matt
Darren Dalton ... Daryl
Jennifer Grey ... Toni
Brad Savage ... Danny
Doug Toby Doug Toby ... Aardvark
Ben Johnson ... Mr. Mason
Harry Dean Stanton ... Mr. Eckert
Ron O'Neal ... Bella
William Smith ... Strelnikov
Vladek Sheybal ... Bratchenko
Powers Boothe ... Andy
Frank McRae ... Mr. Teasdale
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Storyline

From out of the sky, Soviet, Nicaraguan, and Cuban troops begin landing on the football field of a Colorado high school. In a few 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 K.G.B. 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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | Spanish

Release Date:

10 August 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ten Soldiers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,230,381, 12 August 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$38,376,497
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production crew built a gas station. Tourists driving by tried to fill up there, thinking it was real. See more »

Goofs

Soon after the Wolverines launch their first offensive, a sign for "Storrie Lake" can be seen. Storrie Lake is in New Mexico, where much of the film was made, but the setting is supposed to be near Denver, Colorado. See more »

Quotes

Darryl Bates: [he and the other Wolverines are gathering food, weapons and survival equipment from Robert Morris's father's store] And grab some toilet paper; I ain't gonna use no leaves.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Scrubs: My Heavy Meddle (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Just because it's propaganda, doesn't mean it's bad
15 December 2003 | by aah35See all my reviews

Anyone who has seen Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph Des Willens" (Triumph of the Will), the documentary about the Nuremburg Rallies, understands that even the vilest propaganda can attain the status of great art. Without a doubt, Nazism was a force to be despised and resisted, yet "Triumph" remains a fascinating, even great film.

That said, I will not put "Red Dawn" on the same plane as Riefenstahl's work. It is neither as good a film nor as vile propaganda. But it does underscore a point I see running through many of the criticisms of "Red Dawn" that have been posted here. Many of the movie's detractors reject the film out of hand because of its undeniably conservative overtones. This, I believe, is lazy criticism. The movie has an excellent pedigree. I suggest you search on ImDb under John Milius' name to see what other films he has been involved in. Some of his more notable accomplishments include the screenplays of "Jeremiah Johnson" and co-authoring "Apocalypse Now", as well as the notably UNconservative adaptation of "Clear and Present Danger". Basil Poledouris' score is fantastic, with its Copland-esque homages. The touches of authenticity in the film are also admirable, including the indoctrination camp (see the recently published "Gulag" or Koestler's "Darkness at Noon")and "Radio Free America" scenes, not to mention the efforts the filmmakers went to to make the military hardware look Russian (as opposed to Russians flying American aircraft in dismal movies like "Iron Eagle II" and "Rambo"). Yes, Red Dawn is propaganda, but just because it may be, from your perspective, the wrong kind of propaganda, you are not justified in invalidating the whole enterprise. It is slick, well-made, and memorable.


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