Opening 35 years ago this week, the film Red Dawn brought Globe War III to a compact American town and the town fought back. Written and directed by noted Hollywood gun guy John Milius — legend has it that 1911-toting bowling purist Walter Sobchak in The Huge Lebowski was partially primarily based on him — the motion picture’s opening act entails Soviet paratroopers dropping on an American higher college unannounced, searching to turn the Cold War hot. Inside the very first 10 minutes of the film, teens who managed to give stated Russki sky soldiers the slip start to attain for the glove compartments and gun racks as indicators mount that the invasion is on.
(Caution, huge-time spoilers beneath if you have never ever noticed the film, but then once more it has been out for 35 years, so just what are you waiting for?)
Other than the invaders’ guns place into action as quickly as their chutes collapsed — which are a mix of CZ75 and Tokarev TT-33 pistols and Egyptian Maadi ARMs and Finnish Valmet M78s produced up to appear like Soviet AKs and RPKs — the very first American iron firing back is an M1911A1 GI pried from the literal “cold dead hands” of an armed citizen downtown who played the “Not right now, comrade,” card when it came to reeducation camp residency. As the venerable longslide produced the very first two globe wars, it is fitting that it showed up in the opening act of the third.
Colt Single Action
Former higher college football standout Jed Eckert (Patrick Swayze), upon grabbing his small brother and assorted quickly-to-be-partisan pals from the Soviet drop zone in his sweet Chevy step side, stops off at a gas station/marketplace just outdoors of town. There, the crew empties friendly shop owner Mr. Morris’s displays of hunting guns and ammo — one thing increasingly uncommon in gas stations right now. Then, as youth are pulling stumps for the mountains with Mr. Morris cautioning them to not come back, Jed asks his small brother to fetch a vintage Colt 1873 from the truck’s glove box and verify to make confident that it is loaded.
“It’s currently loaded,” says Matt Eckert (Charlie Sheen).
Oh, you knew it was.
According to IMFDB, aforementioned film-utilised Colt belonged to Milius himself and in the film, it is featured prominently, receiving additional screen time than some of the best-billed actors. Jed, receiving “pretty lean on feelings,” even utilizes it in the film’s final climactic huge boss-style showdown, to evict Soviet partisan hunter, Col. Strelnikov, from his meat suit.
Smith & Wesson K-frame Model 15
Dropping in with shot down US Air Force Lt. Col. Andrew “Andy” Tanner (Powers Boothe) is a classic blued Smith & Wesson K-frame, particularly a .38 particular Model 15. An upgrade to Smith’s Model 10 M&P series of swing-out cylinder medium-framed revolvers, the wheel gun was a staple of the USAF as a bailout gun for pilots and Safety Police — and is only now getting completely replaced in service by the Sig M18.
Regardless of access to lots of captured Warsaw Pact gear, Tanner nonetheless carries the huge Smith in a raid on a Soviet airstrip despite the fact that he later picks up a 1911. Why not a Makarov? Since no one desires that Russki stuff in 1984, that is why.
Remington 870 Wingmaster
Amongst the in depth collection of popular sporting guns borrowed by the crew from Mr. Morris in the opening scenes — a Ruger M77, Winchester pump, and Marlin 336 .30-.30 lever action all make an look — a Remington 870 Wingmaster is present and gets a non-NFA-compliant trim to make it handier. Really hard to submit Type 1s from behind the lines in Soviet-occupied Colorado. The gun comes in handy when young Robert Morris (C. Thomas Howell) springs from a spider hole to zap a quite rapey Soviet tank crew who have been caught in a feint trap.
Even though not as central to the plot, other fantastic guns make cameos such as the FN FAL, M16, and Ruger Mini-14. Of note, Strelnikov even carries a super cool Finnish-produced Jatimatic SMG, a gun that had only debuted a year or two prior to the film was produced and a quite unlikely decision for a Soviet super-soldier rocking his babushka’s sunglasses.
Apart from the cloned AKs and RPKs, lots of other clones seem in the film like an M60 machine gun, mocked up to appear like a Soviet DShK HMG and a wild array of aircraft and automobiles that appear closer to one thing from a Mad Max film than actual Warsaw Pact armor. Even though right now it would be a snap to acquire a complete platoon of functioning T-55 tanks and even a handful of actual MiGs, such hardware was difficult to come by in 1984 throughout the most frigid element of the Cold War.
Either way, try to remember the days when John had a extended mustache subsequent time you pay a visit to Partisan Rock and do not ever mention that “other” Red Dawn film once more.