Red Dawn and its Role in the War of Ideologies

Red Dawn by John Milius is not only a trilling fiction movie which describes invasion of the Soviet Union. This movie also gives a sketch of the epoch and clearly illustrates an attitude of the United States to its ideological and political opponent – the USSR. Soviet people depicted in the movie reflect American perception of this country, its ideology and values system. Shot by one of the most radical right-wing directors, the movie definitely has a political coloring.  Red Dawn was shot in 1984. This year is the year of Regan’s re-election and the movie is definitely connected with the political situation which existed in the country when the movie was created. The movie shows the results of Soviet Union invasion to the U.S. during the WWIII and brave resistance of young American citizens to the invaders. Ordinary people of both countries were aggressively agitated about the enemy country and Russian invasion became a real threat during that time.  All these events became reflected in the movie. The Red Dawn shows one of the possible scenarios of the events if WWIII breaks out. The authors did everything possible in order to depict the seriousness of the USSR threat to the American people. Red Dawn contain a lot of scenes of fight and violence. In contrast to original screenplay, which made an accent in the relations and conflicts between the members of organization, the movie makes and accent of the fight between the group of resistance and the invaders.

The time when the movie was created had great influence on the scenario and story line. That is the reason it became so popular and still has people who like it. Starring case also became an important factor which added popularity to the movie. Many prominent actors start in the movie. Such actors as Harry Dean Stanton,
Powers Boothe, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell are starring in it.

Anticommunist propaganda is the main theme of the movie. The authors of the movie use different tools in order to show the fallacy of the communist regime and underline evil nature of all Soviet people. Historical setting of the movie can give logical explanations to the methods used by the creators of the Red Dawn. The 1980s years are the last period of the Cold War. The relations between the United States and the Soviet Union were unstable and tension which grew during last several years resulted in the choice of new methods of war. Both countries decided to compete not in the direct way but with the help of such methods as mass media, etc.  Arm race and military withstanding became less important by this time since both countries finally realized an important role of ideology and propaganda as the main tools of the cold war. Informational war became a new realization of withstanding between two great countries and all possible methods were used by two powerful rivals in order to prove the rightfulness of their ideologies and to prove the fallacy of the opposing one.   Red Dawn is a bright example on informational war and anti Soviet propaganda.

The main plot line is based on the description of the Russian and Cuban invasion to the USA. A group of Russian soldiers attacks a small town, Calumet. A bit later, it becomes obvious that World War III begins. Despite the plot of the story did not have a real political proves, the fiction situation was used by the authors of the movie in order to pass their message to the readers. In the movie America is rather weak as it has lost all its allies.  A group of young and patriotic Americans who call themselves the Wolverines join together in order to liberate the country.

The Wolverines provide a number of serious attacks, liberate a political prisoner camp, make raid on the Soviet supply convoys and a number of other actions aiming to end the Soviet domination. The Soviet army starts feeling real threat from this group of teenagers. In addition the Wolverines     organize a wide propaganda among local population and prepare the Resistance. After a successful ambush, the teen guerrillas gear up for future forays, when they are suddenly betrayed by one of their number and by doubts about the morality of what they are doing (Fernandez). Because of a sudden attack most of the Wolverines are killed and in the end only four of them are left: Jed with his brother, Erica and Danny. Despite the audience does not get a direct answer about the results of the occupation and resistance the authors of the movie give some hints about the ending of the withstanding. In the end of the movie Erica, one of the survivors, shows a memorial dedicated to the WW III and the audience can see American flag above the monument. This gives us reasons to think that the U.S. won the war and terrible events depicted in the movie became only terrible memories for all further generations.

During the time it was created the movie reflected political reality and depicted real fear of people who lived during the time of the cold war. This film is interesting not just because of themes of patriotism, collaboration and feeling of freedom. The director also presents us the American vision of the Soviet policy and way of life. It goes without saying that the date of release 1984 should also be taken into account. This film does not present an independent view on this subject but rather depicts the image created in that time. The Soviet Union suffers from great agricultural crisis. The Green Party takes control of the West German government and bans American nuclear missiles on German soil, leaving Europe undefended to Warsaw Pact troops in the East and causing the eventual dissolution of NATO (Fernandez). The Soviet Union units its forces with communist Cuba and Nicaragua and starts an attack against America. All in all, the Soviet Union, is presented as an invading communist country. Its foreign policy is oriented on the widening its territory, strengthening its military and political power and spreading communism all over the world. The Soviets are presented as aggressive invaders who parachute in a small civil American town and start the war with America. The Soviet ideology of equality and liberty does not coincide with the Soviets’ behavior.

They brutally kill citizens of this town, organize terrible force attacks and invade the whole country. They are used to difficult conditions of life, so they are capable of great endurance and can resist hunger, pain and fear.

Anti-Soviet propaganda and negative depiction of the Soviet people and communist regime became the main themes of Red Dawn. The movie was shot during the long period of withstanding called the Cold War. This period was marked by the bad relations between these two countries and the threat of real war made each country turn to the ideology which would depict only the worst qualities of the opposing country.  The period of the cold war was characterized by the arm race and constant threat of the war between two major states the USSR and the US. Russian army is depicted as a group of heartless murders who kill innocent people and destroy everything on their way. Such a position of the authors of the movie becomes quite understandable if we remember the political situation and great political tension which existed when the movie was crated. The movie advertises the values of freedom and patriotism. The main characters of the movie perfectly pass the mood of people who find themselves in destroyed and devastated country and who have lost their relatives and friends.  The movie creates a dark and gloomy picture of the results of the Soviet invasion and terrible consequences of the Third World War. Despite the movie describes the situation of the WWIII, which sound unrealistic today, it still has a message which can appeal to the audience. American values, described in the movies, become that force which finally help the resistance to win the war. So, movie appeals to the feeling of patriotism and underlines those common values, which make the core of American nation.

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