Here’s a sign the Washington Post is a liberal newspaper: today’s Adam Bernstein obituary for Patrick Swayze begins obviously by noting his big hits "Ghost" and "Dirty Dancing," but doesn’t get to "Red Dawn" until paragraph 23. Even then, Bernstein wrongly suggests he had a supporting role:
Mr. Swayze remained a busy supporting actor on television and in film during the next several years, appearing mostly in tough roles in films such as "The Outsiders" (1983), "Uncommon Valor" (1983) and "Red Dawn" (1984).
"Road House", "Next of Kin", and "Point Break" appeared in paragraph 12. The next paragraph even brought up the drag-queen turn:
Most of the action films met with critical disappointment. So did his attempts for a more daring career, from the drag queen Vida Boheme he played in "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar" (1995) to the suicidally forlorn American doctor who finds redemption in Calcutta in "City of Joy" (1992).
"Red Dawn" was not a prestigious film, but it was a breakout lead role for Swayze, and a completely shocking product coming out of a Hollywood: a movie about American teens fighting a resistance against a Soviet invasion of the United States.
There are clearly no fortysomething Reaganites working in the Washington Post newsroom.
The New York Times obit by Anita Gates puts the film in its proper perspective by going through the roles briefly and chronologically and noting it as a breakout role.