In an alternate 1980s, the United States of America is strategically isolated after NATO is disbanded. At the same time, the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies aggressively expand. In addition, the Ukrainian wheat harvest fails while a socialist coup d’état occurs in Mexico.
In September, in the town of Calumet, Colorado, a local high school teacher pauses upon seeing Soviet troops parachuting from An-12 transport aircraft. He walks outside to question them and they open fire, killing the teacher and several students. Pandemonium follows as students flee amid heavy gunfire. Jed Eckert, who had dropped his brother Matt off at the high school, returns to pick up him and several of their friends, narrowly escaping the chaos.
Red Dawn is a 1984 American action drama film directed by John Milius with a screenplay by Milius and Kevin Reynolds. The film depicts a fictional World War III centering on a land invasion of the continental United States by an alliance of Soviet, Warsaw Pact and Latin American states. The story follows a group of teenaged guerillas, known as the Wolverines, in Soviet-occupied Colorado. The film stars Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey, with supporting roles played by Ben Johnson, Harry Dean Stanton, Ron O’Neal, William Smith and Powers Boothe.
Despite mixed reviews from critics, the film became a commercial success, grossing $38 million against a budget of $17 million. It was the first film to be released in the U.S. with a PG-13 rating (under the modified rating system introduced on July 1, 1984). A remake was released in 2012.