Red Dawn

From Academic Kids

Red Dawn DVD
This article is about a movie. For the Doctor Who audio drama, see here.

Red Dawn is a 1984 movie by John Milius about an invasion of the United States by the Soviet Union and Cuba, and the resulting guerrilla actions of a group of American high school students in the fictional town of Calumet, Colorado.

The movie featured Patrick Swayze (Jed Eckert), C. Thomas Howell (Robert), Lea Thompson (Erica), Charlie Sheen (Matt Eckert), Darren Dalton (Daryl Bates), Jennifer Grey (Toni) and Powers Boothe (Colonel Andy Tanner).


Plot summary

It's the year 1984. The USSR declared war on the United States, following a horrific famine. Soviet troops invaded the U.S. through three points. The first attack force arrived from Cuba using commercial airliners. There, Soviet paratroopers landed and occupied areas. The second invasion force, the main force, originated from Mexico, presumably a Soviet ally. The last attack force—the smallest—parachuted in from the western coast.

NORAD, the defense system the U.S. had created with Canada, detected the invasion. All U.S. major forces however only concentrated in dealing with the Texan invasion. The southeast United States, the site of the Cuban Soviet invasion, seems to have little U.S. military action. China opposed the invasion but lost half of its population to nuclear attacks. Europe was neutral in the conflict, except for Great Britain, which was also badly crippled.

The Soviet Union managed to take over the whole Great Plains area of the United States, extending from the Rocky Mountains to the Missouri River.

The plot revolves around how several Colorado high school students fared in the war. They called themselves the Wolverines after their school's mascot.

Although most of the partisans are killed by the end of the movie, a voice-over appears at the end of the movie showing a World War III memorial, and stating that the United States eventually wins the war.


The movie was filmed in and around the town of Las Vegas, New Mexico. Many of the buildings and structures which appeared in the film, including an historic Fred Harvey hotel adjacent to the train depot, the Las Vegas train yard, and a building near downtown which was repainted with the fictional name of "Calumet, Colorado" where the movie was set, are still there today as they appeared in the film.

Red Dawn was the first movie to be released with a PG-13 rating. (The Flamingo Kid had received the first PG-13 rating but was not released until after Red Dawn.)

"John has a long mustache", which is heard briefly in the movie, was the code-signal used by the French Resistance in World War II to mobilize their forces once the Allies had landed on the Normandy beaches. It is featured in the movie The Longest Day.

The name of the film and its band of young guerrillas appears to have been used by the United States Army for the December 13, 2003 Operation Red Dawn in which the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured.

See also

The Amerika 1987 television series also shows a Soviet-occupied America, possibly inspired by this movie.

The game Freedom Fighters was greatly inspired by this film; it is also set in an America invaded by the USSR.

It is likely that this movie led to the role playing game Twilight 2000.

External links


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