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Red Dawn [VHS]

4.2 out of 5 stars 955 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, Darren Dalton
  • Directors: John Milius
  • Writers: John Milius, Kevin Reynolds
  • Producers: Barry Beckerman, Buzz Feitshans, Sidney Beckerman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English, Russian, Spanish
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: January 13, 1998
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (955 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792837797
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,147 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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!

Amazon.com

Truly ridiculous but somehow moving, this right-wing paranoid fantasy by John Milius (The Wind and the Lion) from 1984 concerns a Soviet takeover of the United States and a band of ragtag adolescents who metamorphose into freedom fighters. One can laugh at the notion of Nicaraguans, Cubans, and Russians having worked out a master plan to invade America, but Milius's account of how such a grim day affects a small Western town really does get under one's skin. The cast--most of whom were not yet stars (Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey had probably never heard of a script called Dirty Dancing at the time)--are quite persuasive as nice kids who come to recognize the tragedy of their lost innocence through fierce, uncompromising struggle. Powers Boothe is very good as a pilot who briefly comes to their aid, and Harry Dean Stanton is stirring as a solid working man and father who represents the virtues his sons are fighting for. The DVD release includes production notes, the original theatrical trailer, trivia, scene access, and an optional widescreen presentation. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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!
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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
Bravo Milius!

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.
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Format: DVD
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.
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