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Red Dawn (Collector's Edition)
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|Genre||Action & Adventure|
|Format||Multiple Formats, Collector's Edition, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen|
|Contributor||Brad Savage, Harry Dean Stanton, Sidney Beckerman, William Smith, Doug Toby, C. Thomas Howell, John Milius, Patrick Swayze, Thom Noble, Barry Beckerman, Buzz Feitshans, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, Ben Johnson, Charlie Sheen, Powers Boothe, Kevin Reynolds, Darren Dalton, Ron O'Neal, Ric Waite See more|
|Runtime||1 hour and 54 minutes|
Red Dawn opens with one of the most shocking scenes ever filmed; on a peaceful morning, through the windows of a high school classroom, students see paratroopers land on the varsity football field: the invasion of the United States has begun! As their town is overrun by foreign nationals, eight teenagers escape to the mountains. Taking the name of their high school football team, the Wolverines, they wage unremitting guerrilla warfare in defense of their parents, their friends and their country. Powerful, chilling and absolutely gripping, this outstanding film features some of today's most popular stars, including Patrick Swayze (Ghost), Charlie Sheen (Platoon), C. Thomas Howell (The Hitcher), Lea Thompson ("Caroline in the City"), Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing) and veteran actor Harry Dean Stanton (Alien). When it comes to thrilling entertainment, Red Dawn wins the war with a vengeance!
- Audio: English: Stereo 2.0 / Spanish: Mono / French: Stereo
- Language: Dubbed: French & Spanish / Subtitled: French & Spanish
- Theatrical Aspect Ratio: Widescreen: 1.85:1
- Widescreen Feature Film
- Carnage Counter: This feature on the DVD will keep a running tally of violent acts - deaths, bodily injuries, shots fired, etc. - at the top of the screen so that the viewer can keep count as the film plays.
- Special Features:
- 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.
- Aspect Ratio : 1.85:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches; 3.84 Ounces
- Director : John Milius
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Collector's Edition, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 54 minutes
- Release date : July 17, 2007
- Actors : Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, Darren Dalton
- Dubbed: : French, Spanish
- Subtitles: : French, Spanish
- Producers : Barry Beckerman, Buzz Feitshans, Sidney Beckerman
- Studio : MGM (Video & DVD)
- ASIN : B000PMFS14
- Writers : John Milius, Kevin Reynolds
- Number of discs : 2
- Best Sellers Rank: #105,534 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2018
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In 1981 President Reagan came under the gun literally as he was the intended target of an assassination. While he was shot, he did not die, and his Presidency lived on. Other notable incidents that happened during the late cold war era years include such things as heavy trading and the economic boom of the 80's, and it was a time when "Televangelist Jimmy Swaggert would confess over television to having been with a prostitute". It was the time of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and their Prayer line in the height of its glory, shot down by "Jessica Hahn, the church volunteer whose sexual assault by Jim Bakker leads to his downfall" who would testify before a federal grand jury in 1987 of his misconduct.
These were also the Years of Admiral John Poindexter and Col. Oliver North whom had to appear before Iran-Contra congressional investigators. and the stock market crash that marked all the headlines on October 16, 1987. We also cannot forget the historic imprisonment of Manuel Noriega after surrendering to U.S. authorities in Panama Jan. 3, 1990,or the Prison Furlough program started by George Bush in 1988 with the release of Willie Horton.
The 80's were also the time of such incidents as the Chinese students protest in Tiananmen Square, the time where "East Germans rush through the newly opened wall into West Berlin", and the time of "The Donald" as Donald Trump becomes "super deal maker of the 1980's"
Though while such contextual history is important to what was going on throughout the world at this time it is even more imperative to the scope of this review that the relationships between the United States and the Soviet Union be established and how each took the possibility of a direct nuclear war seriously. In a time of intense armament build up on both sides this would lead the United States toward the SDI.
The SDI or Strategic Defense Initiative or "Star Wars" program as many would call it. Was a space based weapons platform that would fire lasers whose intent was to destroy incoming ICBM's targeted at U.S. locations. This was a defensive weapon whose goal was to take out missiles before they reach the U.S. and while the technology was researched it was never implemented, but this wasn't the only technology that came about due to the cold war, such other technologies from came as a result of the cold war in general are, the microwave oven, eniac, the hang glider, the integrated circuit, communications satellites, corona spy satellite, minuteman icbm, arpanet, the smoke detector, the super computers, and the global positioning system.
This technology especially the nuclear armaments play a vital role in the films. In Red Dawn by an off screen nuclear attack that catches America off guard and wipes out part of the country.
The most prominent movie of the late Cold War era to highlight an invasion by the Soviet Union is the movie Red Dawn. This movie was made by United Artists in 1984 during the prime late cold war era years and had such talent as Patrick Swayze, and Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, and Powers Booth. The movie was directed by John Millius. A brief introduction at the beginning of the movie states that "The Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years; labor and food riots in Poland and Soviet troops invade; Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strengths of 500,000, El Salvador and Honduras fall; Green Party gains control of west German Parliament and demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil; Mexico is plunged into revolution; N.A.T.O. dissolves and the United States stands alone". Further plot development includes that the U.S. have been invaded by Russian and Nicaraguan forces on mainland America. In response several high school students form a small tactical force and perform guerilla tactics against the enemy. These close knit guerilla soldiers named, "The Wolverines" after their local high school mascot, cause considerable damage to the invading forces, which in the end makes the Russian commanders think twice about what they have done.
The movie Red Dawn opens with a large statue of Teddy Roosevelt as the leader of the Rough Riders, portraying to the audience that we should never forget who we fight and for what we fight, in the case of this movie the Soviet Union. That it was soldiers like Teddy Roosevelt when he was part of the Rough Riders who have secured our freedom and our liberty, and to fail to do the same, let alone recognize such, is a mistake that should not be made by any citizen of the United States. In context with the rest of the movie this can be seen as deliberate propaganda to viewers that they should feel proud of being an American, and that it is every citizen's duty to make sure liberty, democracy, and the American way of life goes on at any and all cost.
In stark contrast to be a proud citizen a (which is a portrayed that a pacifist is not) political statement about being pacifist during late Cold War era that can be seen in the movie is one where a teacher, whom seems to be friendly, and more than likely a pacifist, goes outside to try to find out what the paratroopers are doing. Never mind the fact that the Russian soldiers are setting up machine gun emplacements all around him, while further paratroopers are coming down, and the fact that he is a history teacher (which he should know what's happening, being able to relate history to current events), he still acts like a buffoon and gets shot.
This teacher being shot is one of the most explicit political points shown in the film. The clear message is that if your pacifist, if you try to be the Soviets' friend, you will end up dead. They don't care about you, and even if you are a civilian, they will still kill you. A further statement is that those who follow pacifist leaders who don't want to confront the Soviet threat will end up dead as well, just as the students who didn't have the good sense to take precaution and still followed their non-confrontational pacifist leader (the teacher) ended up dead with their bodies hanging out the window. This is a telling message to the audience that we must fight the Soviets albeit in a cold war, or we will end up dead, and any one in Congress that doesn't agree will lead you to your doom.
Yet no one will lead you to your doom if you a have a weapon..well maybe, but at least you have a fighting chance and in which Charlton Heston's famous words are imprinted upon the sticker with "They can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead hands". This scene is immediately followed by another in which a Soviet soldier bends over and takes a pistol from the hands of a dead civilian who lying in the street beside the same car. This tells us that we need to have guns to protect ourselves, and this motif is repeated throughout the movie. However there is more than one way to interpret this scene. It could be seen as a defiant attitude toward anti-gun laws and legislators, who want to put restrictions on weapons that NO AMERICAN will ever take my gun away, if it happens it will be by a foreign power, and secondly that anti-gun legislation will not stop the criminals (IE Soviets) and that good people will still die. A propagandist message as well, extending from the second amendment right to bear arms, to the cold war itself.
Another area of deep rooted propaganda in the movie is when all the gun owners are taken and put into concentration camps. The Soviets say that the gun owners are trouble makers that will cause harm and disruption to their affairs, (much like anti-gun people say that gun owners cause problems whereby criminal activities and accidental shootings along with other things, that people should not be allowed to have weapons to throw them all away) and all the gun owners are thrown away into concentration camps.
These concentration camps were a major part of the film that shows the horrors perpetrated upon the civilian population by the Soviet soldiers, all because they had to register their guns. It should be noted that if you didn't own a gun that you were free to walk the streets, run your store etc. as long as you didn't cause problems. Those that owned guns where immediately taken away to concentration camps where there were to be reeducated, and this was all due to having to register your gun, and comply with anti-gun legislation laws, if those laws wasn't in effect, the soviets could not have tracked who had weapons.
How did the Soviets know who had Guns? It has to do with the gun registration records. When through reviewing registration records some guns are found to be missing, the Soviets conclude that the towns' people have helped and aided the Wolverines by supplying them with weapons, and several of the townspeople are put in front of firing squads and killed. Gun registration is therefore not only leading to concentration camps but death by execution as well.
A part of the movie that rings with connotations of doing your part to be prepared, is when the Wolverines first move to the grocery/camping supply store of one of the boys fathers and they stock up on everything that they think they will need including, batteries, radios, water, food, flashlights, and other survival items namely guns and ammo to protect themselves. They stock up on all these items just like the government tells people to always have these items in a easily accessible area in case of natural disaster such as tornadoes, earthquakes, or a sudden Soviet invasion. This part of the movie makes people think of what emergency gear they have on hand, and further might they need to buy a weapon to complete their assortment...just in case. That we should all have some type of weapon in case of a national emergency.
The movie that plays upon leadership skills and who is able to lead the best. Jed, the oldest of the Wolverines has a confrontation with the other Wolverines in an early part of the film where they are deciding who should be leader. They all eventually concede that it should be Jed because he is older and wiser. An argument could be made that this reasoning would apply to President Reagan, whom was older than most of the other leaders, and some would say wiser. This could potentially be seen as a statement that we may argue about leadership and whom might be a better leader, but in the end we know that there is only but one choice, Jeb (Reagan), whom can see us through till the end and whom we can take faith in to perform the charge that they are given to the best of their ability, because of their wisdom, intelligence and ability to see the world and our enemies as they truly are, that which is a threat to all our security, namely the Soviet Union.
There is a point in the movie where the Wolverines go out hunting, they kill a deer and one of them has to drink the deer's blood, to partake of the blood and be with him, then another one of the Wolverines states "Once Blood is Yours, Your Always Different" (4). This scene in the movie can allude to that by the very virtue of American blood that has been shed, like in the American Revolution on American soil, (Once again by the Soviet Invasion) that America herself took in this blood, soaked it up (just as the wolverine drank it from the deer) and was forever changed and "different" into a country that was blessed by God, and by being different we have a responsibility to uphold freedom and democracy, and go against those with all our might that might try to change that. This tells the Audience that blood that has been shed should not be for naught.
There are also Gender issues within the movie when one of the male Wolverines tells one of the female wolverines to go and wash the dishes, it sparks a whole scene in which the female goes off on the male telling him to wash them and that she is just as good and can do whatever he can and to never ever talk to her like that again. The female is first portrayed as weak and needing help but later becomes a rabid, hardened fighter just like the rest of the males. While gender issues were not as big of a problem during the late cold war era years as it was in the early cold war era years there was still some issues with gender roles. There still remains gender issues to this very day, but less so. This scene in the movie Red Dawn plays upon feminine idealist and the way they see themselves and how they want to be seen by men, as just as strong as they are, and can do whatever a man can. Also that it will take everyone being a hardened warrior to defeat the Soviets.
This hardened warrior message is repeated when they shot a bunch of Soviets and one very young Soviet solder managed to crawl back mortally wounded to his jeep. There was a point where the Wolverine questions whether or not to shoot him because they are around the same age and the young Soviet soldier seems to not be a threat, but is just taking tourist pictures, he eventually decides to shoot him anyway. This piece of propaganda tells the viewer even though they look like us and they act like us, they are not us, but the enemy (perhaps shades of an Invasion of the Body Snatchers a 1950's early cold war movie that states the same thing lies here in this scene), and therefore they can be shown no quarter, no mercy, and that we must win the war, no matter the cost. Afterword he states that it felt good to kill them because of payback for what the soviets had done to their families and way of life.
Though their way of life was exactly what was changed; the movie shows in the cooperation of city officials, namely the mayor, that is working with the Soviets in a Vichy type of puppet government capacity. He has turned traitor to his ideals and to the American way. He has betrayed the people that elected him in cutting a deal with the Soviets. Again here we can see a propaganda use against those Senators who argue that arms brokering was the key to diplomacy, work with the Soviets, broker a deal, let's all be friends, and stop the armament build up etc.
Another "Be Patriotic:" scene that can be seen in the movie is one where many of the civilians are facing a firing squad and they all begin singing "America the Beautiful", telling the audience that no matter how down you seem to be that it is your duty to your country that will stand the test of time even unto your death. Live free or die. Death is always preferable to being oppressed, and we must not let it come to that, we must win the Cold War.
There is another part in the movie that puts propaganda to the forefront and that is the destruction of the Soviet/American Friendship Center. The wolverines put a bomb in the friendship center and blow it all to pieces. This is definitely alluding to that there can be no peace between America and the Soviet Union, we do not want to be your "Friend", that America will win the cold war at all cost, and we will never deter from that goal. Our agenda is victory. Someone is going to win, and it's going to be us. Peace will be achieved when we win.
The word "Friends" appear on many of the movie screens over and over in the reeducation camp, almost as like a subliminal message type thing, or if you see it enough you will believe it. The Soviets want to ingrain into the population that they are like us, they are our friends, only different, and if we join them we will become better (Again shades of Invasion of the Body Snatchers). Though we really know differently.
Another minor area of propaganda within the film, just like the gender area before is the area of illegal aliens, which is still a very hotly debated topic even today. In the film illegal aliens came into the country and made preparations for the full invasion. They helped open the door so to speak by infiltrating areas of our culture that would let the Soviets and their invasion be ramped up and set in a more secure strategically improved state. That Americas lax immigration laws and failures to deport illegal aliens gave the Soviets a unique tactical advantage against America that would not have happened if America had taken a more proactive stance on the issue. This scene is the movie is a reason to take a hard line against illegal aliens and send them all packing.
** END SPOILERS**
As has been said this movie if rife with propagandist messages, but none the less an excellent action movie, the first ever PG 13 Movie ever produced, as well as the most violent movie ever produced,81 Soviets killed, 22 civilians killed, 7 Wolverines killed, 16 grenade explosions, 12 RPG explosions, 112 general explosions and 1 deer killed. Quite a feat considering modern movies of today such as SAW and other horror action movies. If your looking for a classic action movie, this is it, and has everything to offer you. Get a bowl of popcorn, turn off the lights, and settle down with a movie that is historicalesque action oriented and propagandist in nature and get ready for a ride.
Fast forward 2020, 21, 22. Russia & Ukraine. Felt like this could be Uki kids fighting for their lives & homeland. So, I say..Go Wolverines..Really enjoyed it. And the savagery of the Russian Army we're getting to see it in real time.
This is the quintessential "America vs Everyone" storyline and Patrick Swazye is gonna make them pay.
I got to H.S. and same thing, VHS and then onto DVD and Bluray and it looked better each time.
I have to say that I never expected it to look as good as it does on 4K. Simply amazing 4K transfer!
Red Dawn looks like it could have been filmed in the early 2000's. What a priveledge to finally see this in 4K definition.
We all know this movie has a cult following, just look at the outstanding cast alone. what a treat!
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First, as a look back to see actors who later became major stars. Second, to see such a film made in pre-CGI days. I haven't seen the re-make, but so many films today feature really ridiculous numbers of people in computer-generated battlefield encounters. This film went the other way, with seemingly, a dozen or so parachutists being a major invasion force. If I were invading the US, naturally I'd take out a school first.
Film quality wasn't up to today's standards of course, but was very acceptable. Sadly the 4:3 format hadn't been well converted to wide screen and Swayze and others looked a tad squashed in the process.
The proposition that such a small group of young people could wage such effective guerrilla war is far-fetched, but to enjoy this story, you need to suspend reality. The acting was pretty good.
In summary, with some flaws, it still stands above so many films that are produced today. Worth a watch.
It is a thoroughly enjoyable romp, The plot of a Soviet/Cuban? attack on the US is so far fetched, but America at the time would have believed it possible. Has anyone seen Doomsday Preppers on NatGeo, that lets you know what the state of mind of some US citizens is today.
What bothers me is I cannot place the Russian villain, he was in loads in the 80's and always a bad guy.
WOLVERINES!!!!!! Got to love it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 8, 2022