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‘Red Dawn’: What Hollywood's most outlandish Cold War movie says about Americans and Russians

25 minutes
‘Red Dawn’: What Hollywood's most outlandish Cold War movie says about Americans and Russians

In a world engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic, “The Naked Pravda” travels back in time to the carefree 1980s, when Americans and Russians worried about simpler things like World War III. Fears in U.S. popular culture that the Cold War might turn hot culminated in 1984 with the film “Red Dawn,” starring Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen, about a group of high school students resisting occupation by invading Soviet, Cuban, and Nicaraguan troops. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ve probably seen people on the Internet shouting “Wolverines!” at each other — a reference to the name Red Dawn’s protagonists adopt for their guerrilla group. 

Soviet-born journalist Slava Malamud joins this discussion about Cold War cinema. Last year, his tweets about the HBO miniseries “Chernobyl” gained enormous popularity, attracting thousands of likes and reposts, including from Craig Mazin, the show’s creator. In May 2019, Meduza published a story from Slava about his stepfather’s experience as a liquidator at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Fridays. Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

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Executive producer — Alexandr Sadikov

Music — Victor Davydov

Eighties Action by Kevin MacLeod / Link / License

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies by Kevin MacLeod / Link / License