After a quick rundown of politics in the film’s then-near-future world (Mexico has fallen to the Commies etc), director John Milius cuts straight to the action.
Teenagers Matt (Charlie Sheen) and Robert (C. Thomas Howell) watch in horror as elite Red Army paratroopers land on the varsity football field and their history teacher gets mowed down by Russian and Cuban troops.
Soon they’re fleeing to the hills with Sheen’s older brother Jed (Patrick Swayze), as the Reds infest their small Colorado town. When it becomes clear that they’re behind enemy lines in World War III, they decide to fight back.
Taking the name of their high school football team, the Wolverines, they wage unremitting guerrilla warfare in defence of their parents, their friends and their country.
Released at the height of late-Cold War tensions, Red Dawn almost seemed designed to fan flames and served as a valentine to American values and the guns and ammo that keep them alive.
C. Thomas Howell
Harry Dean Stanton