“Red Dawn” (And The PG-13 Rating) Turns 30 Today [VIDEO]

Red Dawn

Wolverines! It’s hard to imagine a world without the PG-13 rating, but believe it or not, it didn’t exist until thirty years ago today when Red Dawn was released. The rating was created in response to two ultra-dark PG rated films from Steven Spielberg, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins, and would serve as a fix for concerned parents and moviegoers. Today, it’s the most popular rating in the world. With the exception of Frozen, every film in the Top 10 highest grossing films of all time worldwide is rated PG-13, and it’s all thanks to Red Dawn.

Red Dawn has a relatively simple premise: Russian troops invade a small town in America and lock everyone up in internment camps. It’s then up to a group of scrappy teens to start the rebellion and beat back the invading Communist forces. The film’s concept earned it almost instant derision from film critics, who found its jingoistic attitude towards violence to be a dangerous message to send teenagers, but the film became an instant cult classic, and launched the careers of its stars Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, and Lea Thompson.

A terrible 2012 remake and the film’s dated fashion, hairstyles, and Cold War mentality all seem to be stacking the deck against it, but watching it today, it holds up better than anyone could have imagined. A lot of that has to do with writer/director John Milius’ inherent understanding of the language of the action film, making the downfall of his career all the more depressing since it’s roots can be traced back to this film. The film is available to stream on Netflix, and is well worth your two hours. So whether your battle cry is “Wolverines!” or “Avenge Me!” Red Dawn will make you proud to be an American now and for all time…

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