America against the Soviets in '80s films

Updated 11:28 AM ET, Thu April 21, 2016
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Hollywood went to extremes with Cold War themes in the '80s. Imagine a Soviet invasion of an American small town. That was the idea behind 1984's "Red Dawn," starring Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell and Charlie Sheen. Click through the gallery for more photos of '80s Cold War films. MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection
Clint Eastwood produced, directed and starred in 1982's "Firefox," a spy thriller featuring a jet fighter that flies six times the speed of sound. The Soviet "Firefox" jet is so advanced that its pilot operates it using thought commands. Eastwood plays an ex-U.S. Air Force pilot who sneaks into the Soviet Union to try to steal Firefox. Firefox dogfight scenes were created by original Star Wars special effects wizard John Dykstra. Warner Bros/Everett
Two boyhood friends in Southern California played by Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton, become unlikely spies for the Soviets in 1985's "The Falcon and the Snowman." The drama centers around a disillusioned defense employee who conspires with his boyhood drug dealer friend to sell U.S. intelligence information. Based on the true story of Christopher Boyce, he learns the ugly truth of global intelligence warfare from the inside, making this '80s Cold War film well worth seeing. Also, it's one of Penn's best early film performances in a dramatic role. Orion Pictures Corp/Everett
A comedy about two accidental heroes faced with stopping World War III? Yes! Original SNL cast members Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase succeeded brilliantly in 1985's "Spies Like Us." Two U.S. government officials are duped into a undercover decoy mission to Afghanistan where they end up having to try and stop a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviets. Warner Bros/Everett
Hey, your name is Rocky Balboa and a super-scary Soviet boxer named Ivan Drago kills your best friend Apollo Creed during a boxing match, see? What are ya gonna do about it? Challenge him to a mano-a-mano, globally broadcast revenge match, OF COURSE! Arguably, "Rocky IV" is the masterpiece of Sylvester Stallone's long-running franchise. Why? Three things: Glitter, glory and guts. MGM/Everett Collection