392 user 106 critic

Red Dawn (1984)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama | 10 August 1984 (USA)
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.



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Darren Dalton ...
Doug Toby ...


From out of the sky, Soviet, Nicaraguan, and Cuban troops begin landing on the football field of a Colorado high school. In seconds, the paratroopers have attacked the school and sent a group of teenagers fleeing into the mountains. Armed only with hunting rifles, pistols, and bows and arrows, the teens struggle to survive the bitter winter and the Soviet KGB patrols hunting for them. Eventually, trouble arises when they kill a group of Soviet soldiers on patrol in the highlands. Soon they will wage their own guerrilla warfare against the invading Soviet troops-under the banner of 'Wolverines!' Written by Derek O'Cain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The invading armies planned for everything - except for eight kids called "The Wolverines." See more »


Action | Drama


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

10 August 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ten Soldiers  »


Box Office


$4,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,230,381, 12 August 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(4 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original title of the script was "Teen Soldiers". See more »


When Robert saws the barrel off his shotgun, the sound does not match his actions. See more »


Danny: [at the Wolverines' funeral for Colonel Andy Tanner and Arturo "Aardvark" Mondracon] These were good friends. Take them away from here... someplace safe... where this world's war never happened. And as we remember... please let them forget, O Lord... so they can be little again.
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Crazy Credits

None of the actors are in the opening credits See more »


Referenced in Divergent (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Not great, but there's a lot of appeal nonetheless and it's memorable
22 April 2015 | by See all my reviews

"Red Dawn" does a good job setting up its somewhat fantastical scenario but it's very much a product of its time and might not ring the same way it did when it was first released. I still feel like has a certain amount of appeal, but if you love this movie it's mostly the nostalgia talking. When the United States is invaded by the Soviet Union and its Cuban and Nicaraguan allies, the Americans are overwhelmed. While this Third World War rages, our story begins to take place. A small group of high school students arm themselves, hide in the woods and resist the invaders with guerrilla warfare, assembling underneath the name of their high school mascot, the Wolverines.

The special effects are good and to someone that would be genuinely fearful of an invasion by the soviets this could be a dream come true or a really frightening scenario. I enjoyed the fact that the film gets into its premise right away, telling anyone that doesn't buy the premise to promptly leave the theatre or stop complaining about the events that are taking place. The film also does a good job portraying the long passage of time and the changes that happen to the characters as they become more accustomed to guerilla warfare. Where the film doesn't work is in the emotional growth and towards the end where our heroes make decisions that feel out of character and downright stupid. While I was able to buy the premise fully, I did find that this story doesn't feel as fleshed out as it should be. I'm leaning more towards "video game-like" than "epic" when choosing what word to define the storyline, despite the fact that there is a full-blown war going on.

If you can suspend your disbelief (and the film does take the time to set itself up as a possible scenario so it shouldn't be too hard) and put yourself in the mentality of the red scare you will get a kick out of this, though you might leave wanting more when it comes to the story and characters. (On VHS, November 21, 2012)

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