on December 9, 2002
There have been a lot of dumb comments in these reveiws. All the questions are answered by just paying attention to the movie!
For example, NATO doesn't appear because it was dissolved. The bulk of the US military doesn't appear because the front lines are in the Dakotas, Utah, Montana, California, and the Mississippi river. We can't nuke Russia because they destroyed almost all of our nukes in their first-strike. Also, Washington DC and the other major centers of communication are destroyed in the first-strike. Finally, guerilla groups always have a large success rate when they begin. It's after the enemy figures out what's going on and how to counter it that they start getting losses.
But, to the review. I find this one of the best movies ever. Not because of some political statement (ever notice that the people who pan this like equal-caliber anti-American movies?, not because of the strong American support. No, I like it because it shows what would have happened if we were in the position of Afganistan 1979-89, or in the USSR 1941-44.
I am just thankful that this movie, and nothing like it, actually happened.
And, just for the heck of it: WOLVERINES!
on November 7, 2006
I was walking around at the local dvd store yesterday looking for a nice movie to watch that same evening. My eye fell on Red Dawn, and I read what the back of the dvd said. I was tempted and it sounded like an interesting film, so I bought it and watched it.
Red Dawn follows the story of 8 teenagers that manage to escape an attack on their home town when world war III breaks out. They flee into the mountains and from there they attack the enemyforces with gurellia attacks. This leads to great, but also brutal action scenes, thrilling, but also disturbing situations and highly emotional scenes that show the human soul hurt and broke down.
As soon as the credits were rolling over the screen I was quiet and just gazed at the screen, thinking about what I had seen. The message had reached me loud and clear.
The casting of this film is well done. All of the actors act realistic and their emotion feels terribly real, which definitely helps you to feel for them. The cast contains famous stars that where all not that famous while starring in this film. It contains Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing, Road House, Ghost), Charlie Sheen (Platoon, Wall street), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future I, II and III) and Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing). The rest of the main cast is less famous (at least, to me), but still do one hell of a job bringing their characters to life that all feel like real personnes in stead of just a few movie characters.
The only thing that should have been different about this film is that you don't really get to know the characters before the war stars. After only about four minutes the attack starts, so you don't really know what kind of main characters you are dealing with. But when they are together and thinking what there can be done, you will see who is who and what kind of characters they are.
The film has a lot of action sequences and thrilling moments that will entertain action and war fans for sure. Also Drama fans are definitely on the right place with this movie cause it really touches you. Comedy fans will have to watch someplace else, cause there are only about two little jokes in the entire film, for the rest the film is shocking, realistic, even disturbing at some points and is definitely not for the faint of heart. It really shows what happens to people during war, how their feelings change, how their entire personality changes. The message is therefor loud and clear: war is terrible, changes people terribly and gives nothing more than destruction, pain and a lot of suffering.
The film has a true eighties look and helps to give the story a kind of gritty look. It is a well shot picture and although some of the camerapositions don't capture some expressions that well, it shows you what has to be shown. The sets are mostly outdoor and there are beautiful landscapes that help bring the story to life. It does not feel like being filmed in a backyard. The music is nice but isn't that present in all the scenes which is a pitty some times.
The film is still echoing in my mind. It sure left an impression on me and the film is an emotional journey that left me actually caring for the characters.
A film that I will remember for a long time to come.
How will it go with you? There is only one way to find out: watch this film and the message will be presented loud and clear to you.
on August 9, 2004
I vividly remember seeing this movie when I was 10 years old living in Washington, D.C.. As a military brat, I was obsessed by all things military, but also keenly aware of the global political state of the world. Reagan ruled supreme, and a succession of weak Politburo puppets lived and died in the Kremlin. The mid-80's was a scary time for many.
It's easy twenty years later to dismiss the premise of Red Dawn as overblown and unrealistic. How things have changed since 1984.
Many reviewers have criticized this film for major plot holes and inconsistencies. I offer that these people have not actually viewed and absorbed the story elements portrayed by Red Dawn and John Milius.
1. It was clearly stated in the beginning of the film that the Soviet economy was suffering from back to back poor grain harvests. This is what triggered the attack on NATO and then the United States. Hungry people get desperate.
2. Nuclear weapons were used on strategic sites to disable key military installations and infrastructure. Many readers do not understand that since the 'invaders' would want to preserve the "Bread Basket" of the country, they wouldn't use tactical nuclear weapons. Battlefield nukes with small yields are strong enough to decimate with precision. They exist, but have never been used in combat.
3. The "Wolverines" were not acting alone. "Radio Free America" showed this. It was demonstrated in the movie that resistance was taking place all over the country. The U.S. has over 73,000,000 men of 'fighting age'. An enemy aims a gun at your home or family, show me one of those 75,000,000 who would not take up arms in defense.
4. The enemy used commercial airliners to invade the U.S. It's been done before. A bit of a stretch, but this is presented as fiction.
Some cheesy dialogue? Sure. Continuity problems? Maybe. Preachy? Sometimes, but this is a film of good over evil. Believable casting of teenagers. Sometimes wooden, sometimes moving, aren't people that way in real life?
Spineless European 20-somethings and the like say that this is just another example of American imperialism. I'd say ask your grandparents if they feel the same way as America sacrificed hundreds of thousands of lives to save your shores, while we were in no immediate danger. TWICE.
You spent your childhood living under the veil of security that the United States provided. My generation will repay your debt for the rest our our lives. Donations accepted.
on August 15, 2001
I remember watching this movie when it first came out on VHS. As a kid, I thought it was a frightening movie, a possible scenario of World War III. After buying the DVD and watching it again, I must say that it still stirs emotions in me. This depiction of an attack on U.S. soil is possible, but improbable. To watch this movie and say that the events shown could NEVER happen is foolish and ignorant.
One previous reviewer asks what happened to NATO in the movie. Well, if the reviewer had paid attention, NATO had dissolved in the movie. Another IMPORTANT detail that some reviewers left out was the nuclear attack on most bases and federal headquarters. The communists did not just take all their planes and tanks and just march in. A nuclear "first-strike" was initiated to throw the U.S. completely off-balance. Powers Boothe, who plays a downed F-15 pilot, explains all of these events to the kids that are now acting as guerillas in the movie. As someone who served in the Air Force as a missle launch control officer, I got to see how strategies like the ones portrayed in this movie could work.
The whole story in this movie is about Russians and Cubans (along with Nicaraguans) invading the U.S. and how it affects the lives of some high school kids. These kids become "The Wolverines". Named after their high school mascot, they become guerillas, slowly taking out small enemy installations and equipment. They do not single-handedly destroy all the commies as some other reviewers think that was depicted! There were other guerilla units, too.
The film portrays war in a somewhat negative light, but preserves patriotism and acknowledges the legitimacy of the Second Amendment. I highly recommend buying this DVD because of that! The only blemish that it has is the sound quality. I expected better sound with Dolby Digital and DVD quality.
on October 10, 2012
Just received this from Amazon Tuesday (Awesome since Best Buy didn't have it until the following day). They really did a good job cleaning this vintage film up. The sound was sharp and clear, the images... Oh those horrific 1980s images of mass killings! I must have seen the original 20 times or so on all formats from Laserdisc to streaming HD. This is the finest. I picked out things I had missed in the background. The uniforms stand out and the action comes alive on this blu ray! Yes, the movie is dated but seeing Patrick, Charlie, Thomas and the rest of the Wolverines kicking Soviet butt in HD! This is the best visual quality version of this classic war film. WOLVERINES!
on May 3, 2011
I was actually just checking to see if this movie, a product of its Cold-war times, was available on-demand. Then, lo and behold, while scanning the DVD review, I'm smacked in the very first line from the amazon.com "professional" reviewer that this movie is a "paranoid right-wing fantasy".
Now, if you've seen the movie, you're aware that there really isn't any overt political content or agenda in the film; there may be a trifle in the subtext that Russia was amongst the invading countries, but again, it's a FANTASY and a product of its times. The protagonists were a bunch of high-school kids who presumably wouldn't know William F. Buckley from Alfred E. Newman, nor Oliver North from Oliver Twist.
To extrapolate "paranoid right-wing fantasy" from "fantasy" just because there are invaders and armed resistance, makes as much sense on its face as referring to the "Star Wars" sextology with the same description. (Has George Lucas then renounced his liberality?). It's quite clear to me that this out-of-the-blue choice of phrase- "paranoid right-wing fantasy"- says much more about the reviewer than the subject.
Some people just cannot put finger to key without inserting their worldview where it is both inapt and inappropriate; the use of this phrase with little context, in a supposedly commercial movie review, was clearly a gratuitous broad-stroke slap at those of a political bent differing from the "reviewer"'s. Amazon, who evidently approved the review's content, owes its customers better that to give Keogh a soapbox instead of a simple assignment to review what's ON the screen. The doggone movie (and supposedly the review) is about ENTERTAINMENT, not agenda.
on June 22, 2007
Red dawn is a classic 80s movie from writer director John Milius. Milius also co wrote the screenplay for the brilliant Apocalypse Now which he shared an oscar nomination with Frances Ford Coppola.
I also learned this was the first movie to get a Pg-13 rating from the mpaa after public outcry of the violence in pg rated movies such as Indiana Jones and the temple of doom, and Gremlins.(movieweb)
I own about 1200 dvds and i actually do not have this one, so i will splurge and get this new collectors edition. I've listed some info below about the new version i found on the internet hopefully it helps. Thanks for reading.
Collectors Edition DVD
Release Date: July 17th, 2007
Edition: Collector's Edition DVD
MPAA Rating: PG13
Production Year: 1984
Red Daw Rising - a retrospective look at the making of the film.
Building the Red Menace - what it took to make "World War III"
Military Training - this piece explores the extensive training that the actors had to go through in order to become convincing guerilla fighters
WWIII Comes To Town - This piece goes back to Las Vegas, New Mexico and finds out from locals and extras what happened when 'Red Dawn' came and turned their hometown into the fictional town of Calumet, Colorado and the center of World War III.
on July 1, 2009
I have read many reviews of Red Dawn. Those who hate it do so for political reasons. They often repeat what they have heard from their fellow travelers. Often they claim that Wm Smith's character does not speak an intelligible Russian.
Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse and a Master's Degree in Russian Studies from UCLA. He taught Russian at UCLA before abandoning his Ph.D. studies for an MGM contract. He also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Munich while learning languages through the military. Smith is fluent in Russian, Serbo-Croatian, French and German. During the Korean War he was a Russian Intercept Interrogator and was awarded a Purple Heart. I found this same information from numerous sites. See the movie. Do your own research. Be an adult.
on September 1, 2003
If you can just get past initial political knee-jerk reactions (for or against gun control, etc.) to the premise of this movie, you begin to realize it's actually an excellently written and well-acted story, something some grumpy lefties maybe have trouble seeing. Far from being a propagandist motion-poster, the characters, from both sides of the struggle, are presented not as extreme caricatures, but as some-are-good- and some-are-bad and some-are-in-between. This movie holds a fascination for me that I just can't seem to shake. A gripping story, and great viewing!
on December 15, 2011
some have called this movie the paranoid fantasy of a nut, others have called it one of the most patriot movies of the 80's. I personally think it is one of the greatest action movies with some cautionary tales even for us today.
First off the movie itself transferred great to DVD, the sound, the opening, everything is just as i remember it when i first saw it in 1990(i know it came out in 84 but i first saw it in 1990)the opening sequence is just as powerful today as it was back then, and the ending still hits me in the gut. the characters, setting, and acting are as relevant today as they were in 1990 or 1984 and the locations could be anywhere and make you wonder how close this came to being real.
The special feature are also great the making of red dawn(red Dawn rising) is excellent, and the other excellent feature was the making of the red menace feature which told how they made the soviet tanks and vehicles, also the ww3 come to town feature was also good and added alot to the history of the movie, the training feature was stuff i had seen before in other movies but it was ok. the inclusion of the theatrical trailer was an added bonus for someone who saw it late when i was a kid.
the only really negative things i can say is this first off they could have done more with the extra features like add in something about about the possibility of such an event or thoughts from people today on the movie, the other thing is that there will be some people who cannot take the politics out of the film and will be horrified by the message it makes.
ENDING and FINAL THOUGHTS
in closing if you are the kind of person who sees politics in every movie or you dont like the second amendment then steer clear of this movie, but if you loved the original or are new to the movie and bought it cause the new remake is coming out in 2012 and you wanted to see the original then you will enjoy one great movie.