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Red Dawn

Red Dawn

Genders: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Drama

Director: John Milius

Writer: Kevin Reynolds, John Milius

Actors: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen

Year: 1984
Run time: 1h 54min
IMDB score: 6.1
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: Red Dawn

Genders: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Drama

Imdb Score: 6.1

Runtime: 1h 54min

Released: 10 Aug 1984

Director: John Milius

Writer: Kevin Reynolds, John Milius

Actors: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen

Company: MGM/UA

Imdb Link

Red Dawn Available Subtitles

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English subtitles Red Dawnone year ago

Trailer


Review

Great Flick

8/10 Being a Russian American I found myself switching allegiances during this movie. I must say I loved this flick. I've always been fascinated with the cold war, and the what if scenarios. If you can relate, then this movie is a must see. I thought this movie showed a very strong human side to the realities of a partisan's life, and I believe it was fair. It wasn't an American Rambo, where one man takes down a whole Soviet battalion. No it was a powerful story of what people must conform to in order to deal with the outcome of invasion of ones motherland, and how people, the ordinary person deals with this reality and how they're transformed by it. The United States has never been invaded, and I found this film to be a great prediction of how if an invasion ever took place the American people would fight to the bitter end if they had to. In a way these partisans reminded me of the Soviet partisans of WW2, and how they fought on. This is a great movie which is not overdone, but is very realistic, and fair. The acting is not brilliant, but is good, and the whole movie works. I absolutely loved it!

one year ago

It's Only A Movie...

5/10 I saw this movie when I was in college in Colorado Springs, Colorado when it came out in 1984. Many people dismiss this movie at best as either a teen fantasy or at worse as a right-wing maniac's delusional vision of the future. Yes, it is a teen movie, but there's a bit more to it than that. I'm basically writing this for those of you who either weren't born or too young to remember those days. I grew up in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Anything mildly patriotic was regarded in bad taste. So when John Millius and his friends decided to make this patriotic teen movie about resistance fighters fighting invaders from the Evil Empire, he was just tapping into the frustration that many people (including myself) felt at that time. The scene I remember most vividly is the one when Patrick Swazye shoots the young Russian political officer in the Chevy Blazer. The audience consisted mostly of guys from nearby Fort Collins and Peterson AFB, and they gave this scene a standing ovation. In this post 11 September world, it's hard to imagine a time when, during the Cold War, flying the flag or loving your native land made many people think you were either a Nazi or a member of the John Birch Society. Now this film isn't "Seven Days in May" or "Fail-Safe." It's just a movie that was made at a time after we had lost a war and many in the world regarded the USA as a paper tiger. That's all.

one year ago

It obviously touched a nerve

7/10 Reading previous commentary, I'm amused by the violent reaction this movie still elicits. The ranting of previous reviewers indicates the movie touched a nerve. I have seen really, really bad movies and Red Dawn is certainly not as bad as the ratings it has received here.

As is so often the case, many previous reviewers are criticizing the film because its premise conflicts with their political philosophy. I wonder how they would have rated this film had the characters been teen-aged members of an all-black football team who become partisans fighting bigoted southern whites in a 1960s civil war that never occurred. Would they be so harsh if the movie were about a group of teenage Jewish soccer team members fighting the Nazis in World War II? they might not have rated it nine or 10 stars but I'd bet they would have given it more than one star. Given the current political climate, they might even receive it more warmly if the characters were Iraqi teenagers fighting Americans.

I understand the temptation to judge movies based on your own preferences rather than the movie's own merits. I recently watched Easy Rider for the first time and absolutely could have kicked myself for wasting the two hours or so it took the silly drivel to play out. Were I to rate it strictly on the way I felt about the movie -- the silly situations at the commune where 50 hippies are supposed to live all winter on about a half acre of wheat, about enough to produce a loaf of bread, the laborious acid dropping scene, the cartoonishly villainous red necks, the lame acting (other than Nicholson) -- I guess I'd have to give it about a one-star rating. But it was a beautifully filmed movie and it obviously spoke to people at that time. So a more valid assessment from my perspective would be that it's an anachronism that seems a bit silly today but obviously had merit in context.

I believe Red Dawn touched something in young people of the mid-80s in the same way Easy Rider touched young people in the late 60s. Sift through the silliness of both movies and you find something people were looking for. Prior to this movie, young people were told that if World War III came, they would either be swallowed by an irresistible communist onslaught or fried in a matter of seconds by a nuclear explosion. Red Dawn said to them, "If the time comes, you will not be helpless. You will fight back and win." It was an entirely unique message at the time and one people were longing to hear. In fact, The United States was already fighting back and won it's greatest victory over its most formidable foe without direct armed conflict and bloodshed because of visionary and resolute political leadership.

From the time of its release until today, Red Dawn has been roundly criticized for the implausibility of the plot. It's quite true that the communist bloc was not capable of a successful invasion of the United States in 1984. But for those who failed to grasp this, Red Dawn was not a documentary. The prologue establishes the circumstances under which the invasion occurred and the action that proceeds from that premise is possible. Would communist troops shoot up a school? Their battle record indicates that if they saw it as or mistook it for a tactical objective, they most certainly would. Would they shoot civilians? Is there anybody out there so ignorant to suggest they wouldn't?

Good Points about Red Dawn: *The action sequences are well done and look realistic. For instance, there's a scene where a plane drops a bomb. You see the fireball first and then hear the sounds. That's a nice, realistic touch. *The actors handle their weapons properly *Beautiful photography *There's some good chemistry between some of the actors *The outcome is typical of what happens in partisan fighting. Partisans typically enjoy initial success because of surprise and knowledge of the terrain. But they usually eventually succumb to better-trained, better-equipped troops *I liked the musical score

Bad points about Red Dawn: *The communists are a tad too stupid for too long *The use of horses is a stretch. *Some of the teenage high-fiving and exuberance will make you groan *Some (but not all) of the dialog and acting is awfully stiff

In short, it's an action picture that will entertain people who like action pictures. It has a unique plot line that has now become an anachronism. At it takes a jab at one of Hollywood's scared cows, communism which is refreshing. Nobody should be ashamed of making it, acting in it or enjoying watching it.

Politically, the real question is not why Hollywood made a film like Red Dawn. It is rather, why did 50 years of totalitarian communist oppression spawn so few films critical of communism? Why are there seemingly scores of movies about McCarthyism and none about the Soviet gulag system? Schindler's List shows that Hollywood can make an incredible film, a film so compelling you can't take your eyes off of it, about something so horrible you can hardly bear to think about it. Stalin's body count exceeds Hitler's yet there is no Schindler's List for the Gulag. And that is something to be ashamed of.

one year ago

Wayne missed the point.

5/10 Previous commenter Wayne missed the point... "Red Dawn" does not glorify violence and war. Far from it... the movie tries to show just how gruesome and de-humanizing an extended conflict like this can be. The occupying Soviet and Cuban/Nicaraguan soldiers are not portrayed as monsters. In fact, there are many moments when they are shown for exactly what they are... often young and frequently scared soldiers, doing the job they have been told to do. There are certain individual characters that are shown as ruthless killers, but they are generally the exception. The movie is less an action film, and more a cautionary tale of taking things too far and going over a precipice from which it is not easy to return. Neitzsche said "Those that do battle with monsters should take care, lest monsters they become." The Wolverines start out as a band of scared kids running for their lives, and grow into guerilla fighters forced to fight for their freedom. Eventually, they take it too far, and start to lose their emotional connection to what they are doing. It's hard to say more without giving away some key points of the ending sequences, but suffice to say that the kids come perilously close to fulfilling Neitzsche's warning. Those that take this movie simply at face value will lose a lot of the potential impact, and will likely miss the messages contained therein.

one year ago

Wolverines!

5/10 Someone else before me wrote that a lot of people don't understand how believable this movie was in it's day. I have to agree with the author. I remember this movie as being pretty scary and pretty violent. I haven't seen it in a while but there's a lot of scenes that haunt me. One in particular is when several of the kids look for their parents at a concentration camp. Harry Dean Stanton gives a powerful performance that serves to show that he's a genuine actor. That scene is heartbreaking, as well as a scene that follows with Patrick Swayze breaking down in the snow covered woods. C. Thomas Howell vs. the helicopter. The ritual of the deer blood. Powers Boothe. The final battle and resolution. Yeah, it's a little much and these days, it wouldn't exactly fly but dammit Jim, I dug it at the time and I still do. I think everyone should see it, just so you can either remember or learn what it was like to live in a time when the general thinking was a little paranoid. I think the movie manages to capture at least that, being what it is, a paranoid fantasy of someone who probably has a huge gun collection in his concrete reinforced cellar. Rating: *** out of *****.

one year ago