Red Dawn

Friday, November 16 - Saturday, November 17, 2012

High-definition digital projection

“To any sniveling lily-livers who suppose that John Milius, having produced Uncommon Valor, directed Conan the Barbarian and written Apolcalypse Now, has already reached the pinnacle of movie-making machismo, a warning: Mr. Milius’s RED DAWN is more rip-roaring than anything he has done before. Here is Mr. Milius at his most alarming, delivering a rootin’-tootin’ scenario for World War III.

“The place: a small, all-American town. The time: sooner than you think, mister. A history teacher is telling his class about Ghenghis Khan, when he looks out the window and sees enemy parachutists landing. We learn from a 15-second preamble that the United States has lost all its allies, and that the Soviet Union is badly in need of food. Soon enough, we see, beneath a bumper sticker that says ‘They can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers,’ the corpse of a American citizen, being relieved of his weapon by an invading soldier.

“In Calumet, Colo., where the action takes place, a band of brave high- school boys heads for the mountains, taking with them bows and arrows and lots of Coca-Cola. They hide out for awhile, initiating themselves in the ways of the wild – drinking the blood of a deer they kill, for instance, or urinating into the radiator of their truck when it runs out of water. Eventually, they are ready to infiltrate Calumet’s Main Street, and what they see there is horrible. The citizens have been rounded up in a detention camp, which used to be the local drive-in. The drugstore’s supplies are so depleted that there’s only one lone bottle of Charlie on the shelves. The movie theater is playing Alexander Nevsky.

“The band of teen-agers, calling themselves the Wolverines, after the town’s football team, and joined by two girls whose grandfather refers to them as ‘my heirlooms,’ begins a guerrilla war against the invaders, some of whom are Cuban and Nicaraguan.

“The rest of the film follows the course of this fateful struggle and is confined to Calumet, with only occasional news bulletins from ‘Free America,’ as much of the country is now known. An outsider the kids encounter tells them what’s happening in Denver, for instance: ‘They live on rats and sawdust bread and, sometimes, on each other.’ This same outsider, asked ‘Who’s on our side?’ by one Wolverine, replies, ‘Six hundred million screamin’ Chinamen.’

“‘Last I heard there were a billion screamin’ Chinamen,’ the Wolverine answers.

“‘There were’ is the grim reply.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

  • Country USA
  • Rating PG-13
  • Year 1984
  • Running Time 114 minutes
  • Director John Milius

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.