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Russia’s Cold War Revival Means It’s Time for Red Dawn and Red October Again


A few months ago, watching The Hunt for Red Octobe r (1990) would have felt like a trip down memory lane. Now with Russia’s march into Georgia in August, the tensions with Russia are heating up again. What to do while the diplomats settle their differences (again)? Check out these five glasnost gems (again). Why not? Maybe there are lessons to be learned (again).

Fail Safe (1964): This Cold War disaster scenario depicts a technological malfunction that causes a communications breakdown of epic proportions — the complete destruction of Moscow and New York.

Lesson: The best defense is not always a strong offense.

The Hunt for Red October (1990): A Soviet sub commander (Sean Connery) tries to navigate his vessel to U.S. waters in order to defect. Unsure of his intentions, Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) is dispatched to meet with him as twitchy U.S. and Soviet diplomats hinder his mission.

Lesson: Some risks are worth taking; some countries are worth defecting to.

The Spy Who Loved Me
(1977). James Bond was often pitted against the Soviets (see: From Russia with Love, The Living Daylights). But, it’s worth noting that 007 also
teamed up with his antagonists on occasion. In this installment of the franchise, Bond (Roger Moore) and Russian agent Anya Amasova (Barbara
Bach) start off on opposite sides and then join together to stop a shipping tycoon from starting a global
nuclear war.

Lesson: Détente works.

Red Dawn
(1984): A classic in the genre of Soviet-bashing, this movie tried to
stoke fear in American hearts by imagining World War III in the guise
of a Soviet invasion of the United States. The purported invasion spurs
a group of high school students (Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen,
among others) to engage in guerrilla warfare against the interlopers.

Lesson: Well, none. But a
remake is already in the works, “very much keeping in mind the
post-9/11 world that we’re in,” according to the screenwriter. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned in that version.

Rocky IV
(1985): It’s the Americans vs. the Soviets in the boxing ring — or
Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) vs. Ivan “Whatever he hits, he destroys”
Drago (Dolph Lundgren). Not surprisingly, the United States… err,
Rocky… wins the fight and, gains even the admiration of the

Lesson: Rocky tells the crowd that a match-up in a boxing ring is
preferable to war: “In here, there were two guys killing each other,
but I guess that’s better than twenty million. I guess what I’m trying
to say is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can

For a full schedule of The Hunt for Red October on AMC, click here.

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