“Red Dawn” (1984) - Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #37 Gem Mint 10.0

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

“Red Dawn” (1984) directed by John Milius

It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers band together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.

You might like this if you like: John Milius, Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, Powers Boothe, Harry Dean Stanton, Charlie Sheen, action movies, thrillers, westerns, apocalypse films, "Inglourious Basterds" (2009), "Dirty Dancing" (1987), "Lord of the Flies" (1990), "First Blood" (1982)/The Rambo movie franchise, what-if scenario stories, military action, "Superman: Red Son" (2003 comic run by Mark Millar), "Children of Men" (2006)

Patrick Swayze (left), C. Thomas Howell (middle) & Charlie Sheen (right) in "Red Dawn" (1984)

One of the greatest action/thrillers I’ve ever seen. It feels like one of today’s post apocalyptic films. I first heard about this movie when discovering John Milius’ work and immediately fell in love with Milius’ way of storytelling. His characters/casting choices. The situations he comes up with to throw his characters into.. rattles my mind.

All I knew about the film going in was that Patrick Swayze starred in it and it was a sort of “what-if” scenario explored post Vietnam war. And of course that it was a Milius film. That was enough to get me excited.

Jennifer Grey (left) & Lea Thompson (right) in "Red Dawn" (1984)

The rest of the cast was a huge surprise to me! I love that I somehow didn’t know that Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, Powers Boothe and Harry Dean Stanton were all in it! What a cast! Seeing them so young and before their time (for some) in this type of film just makes it all the more exciting!

Of course when I saw Jennifer Grey I immediately jumped out of my seat and thought this is the greatest thing ever! The perfect double feature date movie would be “Dirty Dancing” & “Red Dawn” back to back. You get to see Swayze and Grey go from romantic and musical to action stars kicking ass!

The cast of "Red Dawn" (1984)

Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” fans may recognize the elements he used from this film. Rambo fans as well apocalypse/zombie movie fans. Survival movie fans. There’s so many great elements about this movie to love. The characters and performances are great. Milius’ directing, dialogue and actors performances blend perfectly in this 80s action thriller.

"Avenge me!!!"

Written by Sam Gall on 08/15/20

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

Fun fact: First film EVER to be put under the Motion Picture Association label "PG-13"

Official Trailer:

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