History Film / RedDawn

21st Nov '12 7:40:02 AM erforce
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[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/red_dawn_movie_image_3684.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:330:[-The war to liberate the Mickey D's begins...At Dawn.-] ]]
->''"Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years... Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet troops invade... Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall... Greens Party gains control of West German Parliament. Demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil... Mexico plunged into revolution... NATO dissolves. United States stands alone."''
-->--''OpeningNarration''

The classic RedScare film, released in the darkness immediately preceding glasnost.

After the opening narration, we cut to a classroom of teenagers in scenic Colorado. Their little piece of America gets invaded by Soviet and Cuban paratroopers. Six students manage to get away in [[TheHero Jed Eckert]]'s truck and escape to the mountains, where they become guerillas against the new communist regime. They're joined by two girls, Toni and Erica, and later [[TrappedBehindEnemyLines downed pilot]] Colonel Andy Tanner, who teaches them some basic military tactics. Oh, and they have guns.

Also noted for the first onscreen pairing of Jennifer Grey and PatrickSwayze, who later costarred in the classic ''DirtyDancing'' to the [[{{Squee}} delight]] of {{fangirl}}s everywhere. Also the first film to be released with the PG-13 rating.

For the 2012 remake, see ''Film/RedDawn2012''
----
!!Tropes:
* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: When Colonel Bella writes a letter to his wife near the end of the film. It's a surprisingly touching scene.
* AnalogyBackfire: Only if one assumes this was analogous to the USSR invading Afghanistan. Many Taliban fighters gained experience repelling the Soviets, and would later use those skills attacking civilians. And, ironically, Americans.
* AntiVillain: Colonel Bella, who is an officer in the invading army, but finds himself sympathizing with the guerrillas.
* AnyoneCanDie: Even girls, subverting MenAreTheExpendableGender.
* AxeCrazy: Robert slides down the rungs.
* BattleCry: ''[[ClifftopCaterwauling "Wolverines!"]]'' The Wolverines are the school football team. The protagonists leave the spray-painted symbol of their mascot at the site of ambushes.
* BilingualDialogue: Cuban and Russian troops speak their own language, with subtitles. Played for laughs in one scene when a Russian officer playing tourist [[FunWithForeignLanguages pretends to translate]] a forestry sign, saying it commemorates [[InSovietRussiaTropeMocksYou a bloody Indian revolt]]. What he says is actually a history of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_War Colorado War]]. Apparently he really ''DidTheResearch''.
* BittersweetEnding, The kids lose their innocence and [[spoiler:all but two lose their lives]], though it's suggested by the Partisan Rock memorial that AmericaWinsTheWar.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: The History teacher at the beginning of the movie is the ''very first person'' killed onscreen when he walks up to some [[ItsRainingMen heavily armed paratroopers]] thinking they're Americans soldiers in training who landed in the wrong place and goes out to greet them.
* BrokenBird: It's [[IllKillYou strongly implied]] that one of the girls was raped by Soviet soldiers.
* ChildSoldiers: The movie does a good job of showing how warfare can psychologically scar child soldiers.
* ClifftopCaterwauling: ''Wolverines!''
* ClickHello: "You lose."
* ColonelBadass: Both [[CoolOldGuy Tanner]] and [[WorthyOpponent Bella]] qualify.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: Colonel Strelnikov "The Hunter", who not only thinks of ways to track (and later trap) the Wolverines, but also orders the reprisals against civilians to stop as it only creates support for them.
* DeathFromAbove: Early in the movie, a lone American helicopter shows up a couple of times to strafe or fire rockets at Soviet positions, serving as TheCavalry in a GunshipRescue at one point. Gets an IronicEcho towards the end when a pair of Soviet Hind gunships slaughter half the group. Also, towards the last act of the film, we see American jets doing bombing runs in "No Man's Land".
* DefiantToTheEnd: The first group of civilians executed by way of reprisal for the Wolverines' attacks dies singing ''America the Beautiful'' in the face of the Soviet firing squad.
* DirtyCommunists: Averted; though the movie doesn't stint in depicting Communist atrocities, some enemy soldiers are portrayed as human beings rather than evil faceless mooks.
* DoomedHometown
* {{Drive-In Theater}}: Now used as a POW and indoctrination camp.
* EagleLand (Type I, of course.)
* EliteMooks: Soviet ''Spetsnaz'' are brought in to track down the Wolverines. They're as effective as all the other mooks. They may however have been the ones responsible for the ambush that got [[spoiler: Robert and Toni]] killed. Colonel Strelnikov is also the one who kills [[spoiler: Jed and Matt, although Jed kills him too]].
* EtTuBrute: [[spoiler:The revelation that one of their own has betrayed them signifies a turn for the worst for the Wolverines fortunes.]]
* ExactWords: Early in the movie, a bumper sticker appears, with the line "[[TemptingFate They can have my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers]]". The camera pulls back to show a communist soldier prying a handgun...
* ExecutiveMeddling: Writer-director John Milius wanted to focus on the [[WarIsHell war is hell]] aspect, while the studio pressed for a more idealized presentation. The most obvious result of this is the tacked-on epilogue, which explicitly states that Americans won the war due to bravery of fighters like the Wolverines. Without it, the movie would have left it open if the efforts of the Wolverines changed ''anything'' in the end. The darker approach shows through in several places, such as how many of the heroes meet their ends in meaningless deaths.
* ExpandedUniverse: [[http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=124063 This thread on alternatehistory.com]], which got to 335 pages (!) as of April 2011 before moving to [[http://www.tboverse.us/HPCAFORUM/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=31 its current location]], is a so-called "double-blind what-if" in which posters role-play veterans of the war depicted in the movie. Much discussion on weapons and campaigns of the war, as well as on the fates of surviving movie characters; for example, [[spoiler:Colonel Bella ended up defecting to the Allied side shortly after the events of the movie, became a U.S. citizen and helped U.S. authorities track down war criminals after the end of the war.]]
** [[RedDawnPlus20 Now has its own TVTropes page]].
* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner: America, the Beautiful.
** Also the Spetsnaz prisoner about to be shot by the Wolverines. "Dogface! [[{{Lzherusskie}} I show you how soldier dies!]]"
* GagSub: Done with the Spanish and Russian subtitles on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B3Ewl1CzWg this youtube version]]. There's a {{Rifftrax}} out there as well.
* TheGreatPoliticsMessUp: Peace broke out with the Russians what, a year after this was made? And it's not like it was the height of the Cold War either, despite military overspending... But then again, the movie takes place in an AlternateHistory anyway.
* [[spoiler:TheHeroDies]]: Which contributes to several more tropes being played straight.
* HeroicSacrifice: Several.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters:
-->'''Tanner''': "All that hate's going to burn you up, kid."
-->'''Robert''' ''(carving 'kill' notches on his AK-47 with a balisong)'': "Keeps me warm."
* ImproperlyPlacedFirearms / RareVehicles / JustPlaneWrong: Generally averted with [[WeaponsUnderstudies mock-ups]] ranging from machine guns to APCs and helicopters, though a sharp-eyed weapons buff can still tell the difference. EliteMooks use the [=AK74=] rifle (or at least an effective facsimile, mocked up from the same Egyptian AK copies used by the other "Soviet" extras), rarely seen in movies made before the collapse of the Iron Curtain. A mock-up of a T72 tank was so accurate it reportedly caught the attention of two CIA men who wanted to know where it had come from.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Tanner needs one after the kids express their ignorance of common military tactical terms.
* InsertGrenadeHere: When the group is pinned down by a tank (which doesn't see them) one of the main characters attempts this but gets hurt pretty badly and is unable to complete the task. [[spoiler:Instead he sets off a smoke grenade so that an American tank can spot the camouflaged Soviet tank and blow it (and him) up.]]
* InvadedStatesOfAmerica: Shining example.
* ItsUpToYou
* JustPlaneWrong: SA 330 Pumas stand in for Mi-24 Hind-A gunships since the actual chopper wasn't the sort of thing you could borrow back in the day.
* LaResistance: The Wolverines after getting their hands on numerous weapons.
* UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar: A captured soldier starts giving his name and rank, and gets promptly beaten up.
-->"No-one gives a damn who you are!"
** In the same scene,
-->"This violates the Geneva Convention!"
-->''"I've never heard of it!"''
*** To be fair that soldier had no right to complain about Geneva Convention violations considering that his squad was tracking a man whom his side had tortured and forced to swallow a tracking device. Not to mention all the civilians his side had been murdering until recently.
* {{Minion With An F In Evil}}: Colonel Ernesto Bella is initially introduced in a way that suggests he's the movie's {{Big Bad}}. However, not only is he not in charge of the local occupying force, but is shown to be far more reasonable than his Soviet counterparts (he criticizes them for the stupid tactic of shooting civilians after every Wolverine attack, saying that they're only gaining support because of it). He eventually becomes increasingly disillusioned with the war to the point where after the Eckert Brothers' last stand, he momentarily holds them at gun point before ''letting them go'' and dropping his gun in disgust. In other circumstances, Bella could well have been a classic WorthyOpponent.
** In the scene where civilian prisoners/hostages are executed after the Wolverines make their first kills of Soviet soldiers, Bella is clearly far more disgusted by the [[TheQuisling town mayor's]] horrified reaction than by the defiance of the executed hostages.
* MissingBackblast: Averted: In the final battle two of the American guerillas fire their RPG-7's at the command trailer used by a Soviet general. An enemy soldier who comes round the corner behind them at that precise moment falls to the ground screaming as he's been scorched by the backblast.
** Subverted in at least one scene, where one of the Wolverines loses his hat while firing an RPG-7.
* MoodWhiplash: The movie keeps shifting between pure {{Narm}} (often with lines about patriotism and fighting spirit) and genuinely dark moments.
* {{Not So Different}}:
** The Soviet soldiers in general. When they're not getting shot or blown up, they talk about their families, goof around, invent hilarious translations for English signage, and otherwise act a little like tourists.
** One of the Wolverines asks this when Jed is about to execute both a captured soldier and [[spoiler: The Mayor's completely unwilling [[TheMole turncoat]] of a son]].
-->'''Matt''': "What's the difference, Jed? Tell me, what's the difference between us and them?"
-->'''Jed''': "Because...[[OccupiersOutOfOurCountry WE LIVE HERE!]]" ''(shoots soldier)''
** Colonel Bella gets his moment as well when the aftermath of a Wolverines raid [[HeelRealization reminds]] him of his own guerrilla fighter past:
--->'''Bella''': "I have seen this before. But these are my men!"
* NukeEm: Precision nuclear strikes wipe out silos in the Dakotas, plus key communications points like Omaha, Washington, and Kansas City. Further strikes are averted by the Soviets' need to take the United States intact. Other countries though...
-->'''Jed Eckert''': "Well, who *is* on our side?"
-->'''Col. Tanner''': "Six hundred million screaming Chinamen."
-->'''Darryl Bates''': "Last I heard, there were a billion screaming Chinamen."
-->'''Col. Tanner''': "There ''were''." ''(tosses his booze on the fire, so it gives out a great burst of flame)''
* OccupiersOutOfOurCountry The whole movie is about this.
* OneSidedBattle: The Wolverines regularly wipe out [[{{Mooks}} larger forces]], even though guerilla doctrine advises using a large number of guerillas to attack much smaller army units. There is some thought given to tactics however, such as making an ambushed force take cover in an area covered by claymore mines, or [[WeNeedADistraction using the girls to plant bombs]]. Also by the end of the movie all except two of the Wolverines have been killed.
* OvernightConquest: The Russian conquest of large parts of the USA is performed in a matter of days.
* PragmaticVillainy: As stated above, Bella opposes killing civilians not because it is morally wrong but because it increases support for the Wolverines.
* PrecociousCrush: Toni falls in love with older and married Colonel Tanner, though there's nothing physical between them except a bit of tussling.
* TheQuisling: Mayor Bates. Unusually for this trope, he's clearly following the enemy out of fear alone, and is obviously terrified and disgusted by his town's [[DayOfTheJackboot new occupiers]].
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The Wolverines at peak strength are two high school brothers, a cowardly friend, a bloodthirsty friend, a younger friend, a set of sisters they pick up, and a down airman.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: The SovietInvasionOfAfghanistan inspired the film.
* ARealManIsAKiller: Robert drinks the blood of the first deer he shoots, and notes he likes the taste. He eventually ends up the most AxeCrazy of the Wolverines.
-->"Then you'll be a real hunter. My dad said that once you do that, there's going to be something different about you, always."
* RecycledInSpace: [[RippedFromTheHeadlines The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan]]....in America!
* RedsWithRockets. And [[TankGoodness tanks]]. And [[ItsRainingMen paratroopers]]. And [[DeathFromAbove Hind gunships]]. And [[MoreDakka ZSU-23-4 self-propelled]] [[AntiAir anti-aircraft guns]].
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: Unarmed prisoners and [[CoupDeGrace enemy wounded]] are shot by the Wolverines.
* ShmuckBait: The Wolverines see a Soviet truck drop some supplies on the road so clumsily that it screams too easy, yet they get them without suspicion and pay the price as a Soviet attack helicopter attacks.
** Jed is clearly extremely suspicious... but he's also so tired of having to crush the others' hopes and dreams of being able to enjoy themselves that he gives in to temptation and lets them have some "normal" food (and thus pays the price).
* ShoutOut: An evil Russian soldier named [[DoctorZhivago Strelnikov]], for one.
** In one scene Jed imitates JohnWayne flinging his scabbard off his rifle in TheSearchers.
* SpotTheImposter: On being asked what's the capital of Texas, Colonel Tanner replies "Austin" and is immediately accused by Toni of being a DirtyCommunist. He replies that [[YouWatchTooMuchX she's seen too many movies]]. It doesn't help that Tanner's answer that Austin was the capital of Texas was correct, while Toni was certain that ''[[WhatAnIdiot Houston]]'' was its capital. Likely a ShoutOut to a well-known incident during the Battle of the Bulge (see the RealLife section of SpotTheImposter).
* TruthInTelevision: When the film was released, NPR had a former member of the Dutch Resistance give a review of it. He said the movie exactly portrayed the life of a partisan force, including the desperation, mistrust, and "cannibalism" (ie, "swallowed a bug" scene) that occurs.
* VillainBall: The Soviets invade, and the first (on-screen) thing they do is shoot up a school?
* VoiceOfTheResistance: Radio Free America.
* WarriorPoet: When Col. Bella writes home to his sweetheart, it's nothing if not beautiful.
* WorldWarIII: And thats why you see Soviet soldiers in front of an American fast food joint up there.
* YanksWithTanks: A single M1 Abrams appears briefly, curiously unsupported by other armour or infantry.
* YouMeddlingKids: And the Reds [[ItsUpToYou would have won]], too.
* YourMom
-->'''Spetsnaz about to be executed:''' Dogface! [[{{Lzherusskie}} I show you how soldier dies!]]\\
'''Robert:''' I've seen it before, pal.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: The movie essentially transplanted the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to a different setting, placing a group of typical American youth in the roles of the Afghan freedom fighters. Which becomes HarsherInHindsight considering what [[OsamaBinLaden they]] [[WarOnTerror caused]].
----

to:

[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/red_dawn_movie_image_3684.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:330:[-The war to liberate the Mickey D's begins...At Dawn.-] ]]
->''"Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years... Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet troops invade... Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall... Greens Party gains control of West German Parliament. Demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil... Mexico plunged into revolution... NATO dissolves. United States stands alone."''
-->--''OpeningNarration''

The classic RedScare film, released in the darkness immediately preceding glasnost.

After the opening narration, we cut to a classroom of teenagers in scenic Colorado. Their little piece of America gets invaded by Soviet and Cuban paratroopers. Six students manage to get away in [[TheHero Jed Eckert]]'s truck and escape to the mountains, where they become guerillas against the new communist regime. They're joined by two girls, Toni and Erica, and later [[TrappedBehindEnemyLines downed pilot]] Colonel Andy Tanner, who teaches them some basic military tactics. Oh, and they have guns.

Also noted for the first onscreen pairing of Jennifer Grey and PatrickSwayze, who later costarred in the classic ''DirtyDancing'' to the [[{{Squee}} delight]] of {{fangirl}}s everywhere. Also the first film to be released with the PG-13 rating.

For the 2012 remake, see ''Film/RedDawn2012''
----
!!Tropes:
* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: When Colonel Bella writes a letter to his wife near the end of the film. It's a surprisingly touching scene.
* AnalogyBackfire: Only if one assumes this was analogous to the USSR invading Afghanistan. Many Taliban fighters gained experience repelling the Soviets, and would later use those skills attacking civilians. And, ironically, Americans.
* AntiVillain: Colonel Bella, who is an officer in the invading army, but finds himself sympathizing with the guerrillas.
* AnyoneCanDie: Even girls, subverting MenAreTheExpendableGender.
* AxeCrazy: Robert slides down the rungs.
* BattleCry: ''[[ClifftopCaterwauling "Wolverines!"]]'' The Wolverines are the school football team. The protagonists leave the spray-painted symbol of their mascot at the site of ambushes.
* BilingualDialogue: Cuban and Russian troops speak their own language, with subtitles. Played for laughs in one scene when a Russian officer playing tourist [[FunWithForeignLanguages pretends to translate]] a forestry sign, saying it commemorates [[InSovietRussiaTropeMocksYou a bloody Indian revolt]]. What he says is actually a history of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_War Colorado War]]. Apparently he really ''DidTheResearch''.
* BittersweetEnding, The kids lose their innocence and [[spoiler:all but two lose their lives]], though it's suggested by the Partisan Rock memorial that AmericaWinsTheWar.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: The History teacher at the beginning of the movie is the ''very first person'' killed onscreen when he walks up to some [[ItsRainingMen heavily armed paratroopers]] thinking they're Americans soldiers in training who landed in the wrong place and goes out to greet them.
* BrokenBird: It's [[IllKillYou strongly implied]] that one of the girls was raped by Soviet soldiers.
* ChildSoldiers: The movie does a good job of showing how warfare can psychologically scar child soldiers.
* ClifftopCaterwauling: ''Wolverines!''
* ClickHello: "You lose."
* ColonelBadass: Both [[CoolOldGuy Tanner]] and [[WorthyOpponent Bella]] qualify.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: Colonel Strelnikov "The Hunter", who not only thinks of ways to track (and later trap) the Wolverines, but also orders the reprisals against civilians to stop as it only creates support for them.
* DeathFromAbove: Early in the movie, a lone American helicopter shows up a couple of times to strafe or fire rockets at Soviet positions, serving as TheCavalry in a GunshipRescue at one point. Gets an IronicEcho towards the end when a pair of Soviet Hind gunships slaughter half the group. Also, towards the last act of the film, we see American jets doing bombing runs in "No Man's Land".
* DefiantToTheEnd: The first group of civilians executed by way of reprisal for the Wolverines' attacks dies singing ''America the Beautiful'' in the face of the Soviet firing squad.
* DirtyCommunists: Averted; though the movie doesn't stint in depicting Communist atrocities, some enemy soldiers are portrayed as human beings rather than evil faceless mooks.
* DoomedHometown
* {{Drive-In Theater}}: Now used as a POW and indoctrination camp.
* EagleLand (Type I, of course.)
* EliteMooks: Soviet ''Spetsnaz'' are brought in to track down the Wolverines. They're as effective as all the other mooks. They may however have been the ones responsible for the ambush that got [[spoiler: Robert and Toni]] killed. Colonel Strelnikov is also the one who kills [[spoiler: Jed and Matt, although Jed kills him too]].
* EtTuBrute: [[spoiler:The revelation that one of their own has betrayed them signifies a turn for the worst for the Wolverines fortunes.]]
* ExactWords: Early in the movie, a bumper sticker appears, with the line "[[TemptingFate They can have my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers]]". The camera pulls back to show a communist soldier prying a handgun...
* ExecutiveMeddling: Writer-director John Milius wanted to focus on the [[WarIsHell war is hell]] aspect, while the studio pressed for a more idealized presentation. The most obvious result of this is the tacked-on epilogue, which explicitly states that Americans won the war due to bravery of fighters like the Wolverines. Without it, the movie would have left it open if the efforts of the Wolverines changed ''anything'' in the end. The darker approach shows through in several places, such as how many of the heroes meet their ends in meaningless deaths.
* ExpandedUniverse: [[http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=124063 This thread on alternatehistory.com]], which got to 335 pages (!) as of April 2011 before moving to [[http://www.tboverse.us/HPCAFORUM/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=31 its current location]], is a so-called "double-blind what-if" in which posters role-play veterans of the war depicted in the movie. Much discussion on weapons and campaigns of the war, as well as on the fates of surviving movie characters; for example, [[spoiler:Colonel Bella ended up defecting to the Allied side shortly after the events of the movie, became a U.S. citizen and helped U.S. authorities track down war criminals after the end of the war.]]
** [[RedDawnPlus20 Now has its own TVTropes page]].
* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner: America, the Beautiful.
** Also the Spetsnaz prisoner about to be shot by the Wolverines. "Dogface! [[{{Lzherusskie}} I show you how soldier dies!]]"
* GagSub: Done with the Spanish and Russian subtitles on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B3Ewl1CzWg this youtube version]]. There's a {{Rifftrax}} out there as well.
* TheGreatPoliticsMessUp: Peace broke out with the Russians what, a year after this was made? And it's not like it was the height of the Cold War either, despite military overspending... But then again, the movie takes place in an AlternateHistory anyway.
* [[spoiler:TheHeroDies]]: Which contributes to several more tropes being played straight.
* HeroicSacrifice: Several.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters:
-->'''Tanner''': "All that hate's going to burn you up, kid."
-->'''Robert''' ''(carving 'kill' notches on his AK-47 with a balisong)'': "Keeps me warm."
* ImproperlyPlacedFirearms / RareVehicles / JustPlaneWrong: Generally averted with [[WeaponsUnderstudies mock-ups]] ranging from machine guns to APCs and helicopters, though a sharp-eyed weapons buff can still tell the difference. EliteMooks use the [=AK74=] rifle (or at least an effective facsimile, mocked up from the same Egyptian AK copies used by the other "Soviet" extras), rarely seen in movies made before the collapse of the Iron Curtain. A mock-up of a T72 tank was so accurate it reportedly caught the attention of two CIA men who wanted to know where it had come from.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Tanner needs one after the kids express their ignorance of common military tactical terms.
* InsertGrenadeHere: When the group is pinned down by a tank (which doesn't see them) one of the main characters attempts this but gets hurt pretty badly and is unable to complete the task. [[spoiler:Instead he sets off a smoke grenade so that an American tank can spot the camouflaged Soviet tank and blow it (and him) up.]]
* InvadedStatesOfAmerica: Shining example.
* ItsUpToYou
* JustPlaneWrong: SA 330 Pumas stand in for Mi-24 Hind-A gunships since the actual chopper wasn't the sort of thing you could borrow back in the day.
* LaResistance: The Wolverines after getting their hands on numerous weapons.
* UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar: A captured soldier starts giving his name and rank, and gets promptly beaten up.
-->"No-one gives a damn who you are!"
** In the same scene,
-->"This violates the Geneva Convention!"
-->''"I've never heard of it!"''
*** To be fair that soldier had no right to complain about Geneva Convention violations considering that his squad was tracking a man whom his side had tortured and forced to swallow a tracking device. Not to mention all the civilians his side had been murdering until recently.
* {{Minion With An F In Evil}}: Colonel Ernesto Bella is initially introduced in a way that suggests he's the movie's {{Big Bad}}. However, not only is he not in charge of the local occupying force, but is shown to be far more reasonable than his Soviet counterparts (he criticizes them for the stupid tactic of shooting civilians after every Wolverine attack, saying that they're only gaining support because of it). He eventually becomes increasingly disillusioned with the war to the point where after the Eckert Brothers' last stand, he momentarily holds them at gun point before ''letting them go'' and dropping his gun in disgust. In other circumstances, Bella could well have been a classic WorthyOpponent.
** In the scene where civilian prisoners/hostages are executed after the Wolverines make their first kills of Soviet soldiers, Bella is clearly far more disgusted by the [[TheQuisling town mayor's]] horrified reaction than by the defiance of the executed hostages.
* MissingBackblast: Averted: In the final battle two of the American guerillas fire their RPG-7's at the command trailer used by a Soviet general. An enemy soldier who comes round the corner behind them at that precise moment falls to the ground screaming as he's been scorched by the backblast.
** Subverted in at least one scene, where one of the Wolverines loses his hat while firing an RPG-7.
* MoodWhiplash: The movie keeps shifting between pure {{Narm}} (often with lines about patriotism and fighting spirit) and genuinely dark moments.
* {{Not So Different}}:
** The Soviet soldiers in general. When they're not getting shot or blown up, they talk about their families, goof around, invent hilarious translations for English signage, and otherwise act a little like tourists.
** One of the Wolverines asks this when Jed is about to execute both a captured soldier and [[spoiler: The Mayor's completely unwilling [[TheMole turncoat]] of a son]].
-->'''Matt''': "What's the difference, Jed? Tell me, what's the difference between us and them?"
-->'''Jed''': "Because...[[OccupiersOutOfOurCountry WE LIVE HERE!]]" ''(shoots soldier)''
** Colonel Bella gets his moment as well when the aftermath of a Wolverines raid [[HeelRealization reminds]] him of his own guerrilla fighter past:
--->'''Bella''': "I have seen this before. But these are my men!"
* NukeEm: Precision nuclear strikes wipe out silos in the Dakotas, plus key communications points like Omaha, Washington, and Kansas City. Further strikes are averted by the Soviets' need to take the United States intact. Other countries though...
-->'''Jed Eckert''': "Well, who *is* on our side?"
-->'''Col. Tanner''': "Six hundred million screaming Chinamen."
-->'''Darryl Bates''': "Last I heard, there were a billion screaming Chinamen."
-->'''Col. Tanner''': "There ''were''." ''(tosses his booze on the fire, so it gives out a great burst of flame)''
* OccupiersOutOfOurCountry The whole movie is about this.
* OneSidedBattle: The Wolverines regularly wipe out [[{{Mooks}} larger forces]], even though guerilla doctrine advises using a large number of guerillas to attack much smaller army units. There is some thought given to tactics however, such as making an ambushed force take cover in an area covered by claymore mines, or [[WeNeedADistraction using the girls to plant bombs]]. Also by the end of the movie all except two of the Wolverines have been killed.
* OvernightConquest: The Russian conquest of large parts of the USA is performed in a matter of days.
* PragmaticVillainy: As stated above, Bella opposes killing civilians not because it is morally wrong but because it increases support for the Wolverines.
* PrecociousCrush: Toni falls in love with older and married Colonel Tanner, though there's nothing physical between them except a bit of tussling.
* TheQuisling: Mayor Bates. Unusually for this trope, he's clearly following the enemy out of fear alone, and is obviously terrified and disgusted by his town's [[DayOfTheJackboot new occupiers]].
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The Wolverines at peak strength are two high school brothers, a cowardly friend, a bloodthirsty friend, a younger friend, a set of sisters they pick up, and a down airman.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: The SovietInvasionOfAfghanistan inspired the film.
* ARealManIsAKiller: Robert drinks the blood of the first deer he shoots, and notes he likes the taste. He eventually ends up the most AxeCrazy of the Wolverines.
-->"Then you'll be a real hunter. My dad said that once you do that, there's going to be something different about you, always."
* RecycledInSpace: [[RippedFromTheHeadlines The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan]]....in America!
* RedsWithRockets. And [[TankGoodness tanks]]. And [[ItsRainingMen paratroopers]]. And [[DeathFromAbove Hind gunships]]. And [[MoreDakka ZSU-23-4 self-propelled]] [[AntiAir anti-aircraft guns]].
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: Unarmed prisoners and [[CoupDeGrace enemy wounded]] are shot by the Wolverines.
* ShmuckBait: The Wolverines see a Soviet truck drop some supplies on the road so clumsily that it screams too easy, yet they get them without suspicion and pay the price as a Soviet attack helicopter attacks.
** Jed is clearly extremely suspicious... but he's also so tired of having to crush the others' hopes and dreams of being able to enjoy themselves that he gives in to temptation and lets them have some "normal" food (and thus pays the price).
* ShoutOut: An evil Russian soldier named [[DoctorZhivago Strelnikov]], for one.
** In one scene Jed imitates JohnWayne flinging his scabbard off his rifle in TheSearchers.
* SpotTheImposter: On being asked what's the capital of Texas, Colonel Tanner replies "Austin" and is immediately accused by Toni of being a DirtyCommunist. He replies that [[YouWatchTooMuchX she's seen too many movies]]. It doesn't help that Tanner's answer that Austin was the capital of Texas was correct, while Toni was certain that ''[[WhatAnIdiot Houston]]'' was its capital. Likely a ShoutOut to a well-known incident during the Battle of the Bulge (see the RealLife section of SpotTheImposter).
* TruthInTelevision: When the film was released, NPR had a former member of the Dutch Resistance give a review of it. He said the movie exactly portrayed the life of a partisan force, including the desperation, mistrust, and "cannibalism" (ie, "swallowed a bug" scene) that occurs.
* VillainBall: The Soviets invade, and the first (on-screen) thing they do is shoot up a school?
* VoiceOfTheResistance: Radio Free America.
* WarriorPoet: When Col. Bella writes home to his sweetheart, it's nothing if not beautiful.
* WorldWarIII: And thats why you see Soviet soldiers in front of an American fast food joint up there.
* YanksWithTanks: A single M1 Abrams appears briefly, curiously unsupported by other armour or infantry.
* YouMeddlingKids: And the Reds [[ItsUpToYou would have won]], too.
* YourMom
-->'''Spetsnaz about to be executed:''' Dogface! [[{{Lzherusskie}} I show you how soldier dies!]]\\
'''Robert:''' I've seen it before, pal.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: The movie essentially transplanted the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to a different setting, placing a group of typical American youth in the roles of the Afghan freedom fighters. Which becomes HarsherInHindsight considering what [[OsamaBinLaden they]] [[WarOnTerror caused]].
----
[[redirect:RedDawn]]
20th Nov '12 12:45:49 AM No0ne
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* {{Minion With An F In Evil}}: Colonel Ernesto Bella is initially introduced in a way that suggests he's the movie's {{Big Bad}}. However, not only is he not in charge of the local occupying force, but is shown to be far more reasonable than his Soviet counterparts (he criticizes them for the stupid tactic of shooting civilians after every Wolverine attack, saying that they're only gaining support because of it). He eventually becomes increasingly disillusioned with the war to the point where after the Eckert Brothers' last stand, he momentarily holds them at gun point before ''letting them go'' and dropping his gun in disgust. In other circumstances, Bella could well have been a classic WorthyOpponent.

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***To be fair that soldier had no right to complain about Geneva Convention violations considering that his squad was tracking a man whom his side had tortured and forced to swallow a tracking device. Not to mention all the civilians his side had been murdering until recently.
* {{Minion With An F In Evil}}: Colonel Ernesto Bella is initially introduced in a way that suggests he's the movie's {{Big Bad}}. However, not only is he not in charge of the local occupying force, but is shown to be far more reasonable than his Soviet counterparts (he criticizes them for the stupid tactic of shooting civilians after every Wolverine attack, saying that they're only gaining support because of it). He eventually becomes increasingly disillusioned with the war to the point where after the Eckert Brothers' last stand, he momentarily holds them at gun point before ''letting them go'' and dropping his gun in disgust. In other circumstances, Bella could well have been a classic WorthyOpponent.
10th Nov '12 9:34:09 AM AFP
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* InsertGrenadeHere: When the group is pinned down by a tank (which doesn't see them) one of the main characters attempts this but gets hurt pretty badly and is unable to complete the task. [[spoiler:Instead he sets off a smoke grenade so that friendly fire can spot the tank and blow it (and him) up.]]

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* InsertGrenadeHere: When the group is pinned down by a tank (which doesn't see them) one of the main characters attempts this but gets hurt pretty badly and is unable to complete the task. [[spoiler:Instead he sets off a smoke grenade so that friendly fire an American tank can spot the camouflaged Soviet tank and blow it (and him) up.]]
1st Nov '12 2:01:21 PM FuzzyBoots
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* OvernightOccupation: The Russian conquest of large parts of the USA is performed in a matter of days.

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* OvernightOccupation: OvernightConquest: The Russian conquest of large parts of the USA is performed in a matter of days.
1st Nov '12 1:59:51 PM FuzzyBoots
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Added DiffLines:

* OvernightOccupation: The Russian conquest of large parts of the USA is performed in a matter of days.
14th Oct '12 6:57:53 PM 84788484
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Added DiffLines:

** Jed is clearly extremely suspicious... but he's also so tired of having to crush the others' hopes and dreams of being able to enjoy themselves that he gives in to temptation and lets them have some "normal" food (and thus pays the price).
30th Sep '12 1:43:03 PM pyrotorch246
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* DevelopmentHell: The remake actually managed to make it all the way through the production phase, only to get sunk by MGM's financial insolvency.
** It was also delayed because the premise of China attacking America scared off all other major distributors, so MGM had to change the villain to North Korea in order to make it more attractive to film companies, and even then it took several months before it finally found a distributor willing to take a chance on the film.
23rd Sep '12 12:49:06 PM AllenbysEyes
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* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The Wolverines at peak strength are two highschool brothers, a cowardly friend, a bloodthirsty friend, a younger friend, a set of sisters they pick up, and a down airman.

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* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The Wolverines at peak strength are two highschool high school brothers, a cowardly friend, a bloodthirsty friend, a younger friend, a set of sisters they pick up, and a down airman.


Added DiffLines:

* ShoutOut: An evil Russian soldier named [[DoctorZhivago Strelnikov]], for one.
** In one scene Jed imitates JohnWayne flinging his scabbard off his rifle in TheSearchers.
30th Aug '12 12:04:29 PM Eoppen
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Added DiffLines:

* OccupiersOutOfOurCountry The whole movie is about this.
21st Aug '12 7:50:01 PM Parable
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* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner: God Bless America...

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* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner: God Bless America...America, the Beautiful.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Film.RedDawn