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Red Dawn (2-Disc Collector's Edition) [Import]
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The setting is in the mountainous states of the western United States when an invasion force suddenly begins parachuting down out of the skies. A small group of 8 young people manage to escape to the mountains and form a small partisan band that fights the Soviet forces that have control of the cities. They call themselves “Wolverines” and they are very effective at guerilla warfare tactics. After several months the fronts are stabilized, the western border of the occupied zone is the Rocky Mountains and the eastern border is the Mississippi River.
The occupying army adopts the tactics of machine gunning groups of hostages every time one of their units is attacked, yet that only increases the determination of the small group of fighters. The opposing army never seems to learn from their mistakes, yet it is clear that in a long war the Wolverines chance of survival is very low.
There is a lot of bad guys going down at the hands of the good guys action, but the acting is sometimes poor and gives the appearance of being forced. The premise requires an enormous amount of suspension of disbelief, the idea that an army that size could invade the U. S. from the south is preposterous. Most of the standard fear boxes are checked, for example one of the reasons that the United States was caught unaware was due to the massive infiltration of fifth columnists crossing the border illegally.
This is a movie that could only make sense if you accept the premise that the Soviet Union was a military colossus bent on dominating the world militarily If that is not present and plausible, then the movie comes across as absurd. Great scenery though!
The film takes place during the early 1980s. The Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union has been heating up and in a mass alliance with Cuba, Nicuragra, and several other countries the Soviets make a mass "first strike" attack on the U.S. Paratrooper land on the football field of a small (Colorado?) town, killing teachers, and blowing up cars. A small group of friends escape in their truck and head into the mountains. Two girls eventually join the group and for a small time so does a downed U.S. fighter pilot. The group starts fighting back against the invasion forces and begins calling themselves the "Wolverines", named after the local high school mascot. The film ends on the eve that the tide of war begins to turn.
Many of the actors and actresses in the film were hardly known before this film and the movie formed the foundation for several of their careers: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen. Even Harry Dean Stanton has a small role as the Wolverine brother's dad. John Milius directed and under his guidance everything in the film clicks.
This movie probably resonates more with men than women and is one of the few movies that will bring a tear to a fellow's eye. The film has a lot of very good messages that are perhaps even more substantial in this post-Sept.11th era than they were during the Cold War. I still get chocked up everytime I see this thing.
As scenario's go, it's a nifty one. Russia and the Warsaw pact take out Europe and NATO dissolves. Cuban and marxist central American armies use commercial airlines to drop airborne units into the midwestern United States while Russia uses ICBM's to take out key American cities and defense installations. It is not unrealistic that terrorists or a foreign government could use commercial airliners to launch a sneak attack on our own soil, especially in light of the events of 9-11.
Ron O'Neal, "Priest" of "SUPERFLY" fame, plays the leader of the cuban forces, who faces off against the local high school football team which has taken off to the mountains to use their outdoor skills to form a guerrila army and use hit-and-run tactics to fight back. O'Neal gave a good performance as a man who has become what he depises, as his character fought wars of resistance in central america. Now, the tables are turned and he has become the imperialist aggressor.
Milius is actually using "RED DAWN" as a thinly disguised allegory of the benefits of the second amendmend, which does not give Americans the right to bear arms, but the right to use arms to defend land and country. While personally, I think a rifle/gun is a cowards weapon, who is to say what a person would do in a kill or be killed situation? The second amendmend is probably the only thing standing in the way of a total takeover of our country.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a great 80's classic the remake did not do justice to this one, great movies like this they should just leave alone this is a must see and a must havePublished 3 months ago by Paul
Can't beat the original Swayze and cast did a great job on this one.Published on July 5 2014 by Chales V. Jones
This original copy of Red Dawn is by far better than the remake. A movie that is definitely worth owning if you are fans of Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Elizabeth Shue or any of... Read morePublished on June 30 2014 by Jennifer
This movie is much better than the remake, and it was nice to walk down memory lane while watching it!Published on March 27 2014 by Michelle Hillier
From the moment to stirring music grabs your attention to the closing scenes this action adventure holds you in its grip. Read morePublished on April 30 2013 by Brian Sharpe
This DVD arrived well within the promised delivery date. I've enjoyed this movie for years in VHS format and it's just as great in DVD. Read morePublished on April 17 2013 by James I. Sherwood