Red Dawn Movie Information

I did a DuckDuckGo (I use rather than Google) search for Red Dawn 2012 Photo Galleries when I decided to do this addendum page. I had thought about trying to get the movie companies permission to copy some stills from our Red Dawn DVD to show a few Grand Ledge moments, but decided to abandon the concept altogether when I thought about what might already be out there on the Internet. The four images (obviously not my photography because they are from the movie) here showed up on multiple pages of the over three dozen sites I visited that said they had Red Dawn photos. This seemed to be pretty much the extent of Fitzgerald Park shots, except for one which showed the mining cart tracks. That one, however, only showed up on one stock photo site where images had to be purchased, not simply shared. You should be able to recognize the backgrounds from the Red Dawn at Fitzgerald Park page. Plus, as a bonus, one of the four shots is a moment I spoke about with two of the stars on the bridge. 


The bulk of the information below came from and

My favorite quote:

Tanner: We're trying to link up with a group of insurgents working in the area. Call themselves Wolverines.
You ever hear of them?
Julie: Yeah, we've heard of them.
Jed Eckert: You here to help them out?
Tanner: No. Actually, we were hoping they can help *us* out.
Jed Eckert: [walking past Tanner] we're the Wolverines.
Tanner: [to himself after Jed, Robert & Matt have passed] I was afraid of that. 


Chris Hemsworth as Jed Eckert
Josh Peck as Matt Eckert
Josh Hutcherson as Robert Kitner
Adrianne Palicki as Toni Walsh
Isabel Lucas as Erica Martin
Connor Cruise as Daryl Jenkins
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Sergeant Major Andrew Tanner
Kenneth Choi as Cpl. Smith
Edwin Hodge as Danny Jackson
Brett Cullen as Tom Eckert
Alyssa Diaz as Julie Goodyear
Julian Alcaraz as Greg Goodyear
Michael Beach as Mayor Jenkins
Will Yun Lee as Captain Cho
Matt Gerald as Sgt. Hodges
Steve Lenz as Pete
Mark Schlereth as Coach Dolen

Plot: An introductory montage shows the fallout of the economic crisis in the European Union and a weakened NATO alliance, amid increasing cooperation between an increasingly militant North Korea and ultranationalist-controlled Russia. The increased deployment of U.S. troops abroad leaves the mainland vulnerable. 

U.S. Marine Jed Eckert is home on leave in Spokane, Washington. He reunites with his father, Spokane Police Sergeant Tom Eckert and his brother, football player Matt Eckert. The morning after a mysterious power outage, Jed and Matt are shocked to see swarms of invading North Korean paratroopers and transport aircraft. Their father tells them to flee to their cabin in the woods while he helps the townspeople. They are later joined there by Robert Kitner, Daryl Jenkins, and Pete. Tensions build as the teens try to decide whether to surrender to the invaders or resist, with Pete ending up betraying their position. North Korean soldiers, under the command of Captain Cho, bring Sergeant Eckert and the mayor out to convince the group to surrender; while the mayor persuades the boys to give up, Cho executes Sergeant Eckert after he refuses to cooperate and actively encourages them to resist. 

Later, Jed announces that he intends to fight and the others agree to join him, calling themselves the Wolverines after their school mascot. After acquiring weapons, establishing a base in an abandoned mine, and being trained by Jed, the Wolverines begin a series of guerrilla attacks against soldiers and collaborators, including Pete. The North Koreans retaliate by bombarding the surrounding woods to destroy the Wolverines' base, killing Danny and Julie, with the remaining survivors fleeing deeper into the woods. The Wolverines eventually encounter Marine Sergeant Major Andrew Tanner and two other Marines, Smith and Hodges. They reveal that the Russian-backed North Korean invasion used an EMP weapon that crippled the U.S. electrical grid and military, followed by landings along the east and west coasts, with American counterattacks eventually halting their advances, leaving an area stretching from Michigan to Montana and Alabama to Arizona as "Free America". They also reveal that Captain Cho carries a suitcase containing an EMP-resistant radio telephone that would enable the U.S. command to contact its remaining forces for a counter-offensive. The Wolverines assist Tanner, Smith, and Hodges in infiltrating the local police station, the North Koreans' center of operations. They succeed in stealing the suitcase with Jed avenging his father's death by killing Cho, though Hodges is killed in the gunfight. 

After they successfully escape with the suitcase, the Wolverines regroup at their base. After a short conversation between Matt and Jed, however, they are ambushed by Russian Spetsnaz and Jed is killed in the firefight. Visibly shaken, Matt and the rest of the Wolverines escape with the suitcase to the Marines' extraction point. The next day, Robert comes to the realization that during an earlier escape, Daryl had been tagged with a tracking transmitter and that the Russians have been homing in on them ever since. After some thought, Daryl accepts the fact that he cannot go on with them and decides to stay behind, his fate unknown. 

Sergeant Major Tanner and Smith depart in a UH-1 with the suitcase. The remaining Wolverines decided to stay behind and continue to fight, recruiting more members and raiding prisoner camps, with Matt now leading the effort to continue repelling the occupation. 


Production and release: Red Dawn is a 2012 American war film directed by Dan Bradley. The screenplay by Carl Ellsworth and Jeremy Passmore is based on the 1984 film of the same name. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced its intention to remake Red Dawn in May 2008 and subsequently hired Bradley and Ellsworth. The principal characters were cast the following year and the film went into production in September 2009 in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Originally scheduled to be released on November 24, 2010, the film was shelved because of MGM's financial troubles. While in post-production, the invading army and antagonists were changed from Chinese to North Korean in order to maintain access to China's box office. But despite this effort, the film was still not released in China. FilmDistrict bought the worldwide distribution rights in September 2011 and the film was released in the United States on November 23, 2012. 

10 filming locations:

Spokane, Washington, USA
Grand Ledge, Michigan, USA
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Royal Oak, Michigan, USA
Pontiac, Michigan, USA
Harper Woods, Michigan, USA
Mt. Clemens, Michigan, USA
Raleigh Michigan Studios- 1999 Centerpoint Parkway, Pontiac, Michigan, USA  (studio)
26 Kendrick St., Mount Clemens, Michigan, USA (Eckert House)
Polsa Rosa Ranch - 5726 Soledad Canyon Road, Acton, California, USA


Based on the sites I visited, it appears the movie was not well received by critics. It is not clear if it lost money, broke even, or finally made a profit. The last figures I saw were from 2013. Many of the DVD graphics I saw indicates it has been dubbed into various languages for world distribution. Well, all I can say is the movie gets plenty of help from here in Grand Ledge every time somebody at Fitzgerald Park asks me where they can see the ledges. Many respond enthusiastically to the information. And as one fellow said: 

"I guess I will have to go rent the movie now."




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