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A submarine classic
FlickJunkie-228 August 2000
'Red October' did for modern submarine warfare what 'Das Boot' did for WWII. It took a concept that is inconceivable to most people (living in a boat underwater with people trying to blow you up) and brought it up close and personal. The resulting suspense and excitement for this type of film is always extremely entertaining and this film delivers nicely.

Tom Clancy's thrilling novel converts well to the big screen. Clancy is a master of making improbable tales of international intrigue seem plausible. This story of a Soviet sub commander who is trying to defect to the U.S. adds a unique twist to the suspense normally associated with submarine films.

John McTiernan, who is building an enormous reputation in the action/adventure genre did a fabulous job as director. This film focused less on the submarine and its crew than its cousin 'Das Boot', and more on the international intrigue angle. McTiernan is very effective in keeping up the pace and giving the viewer riveting suspense as smart torpedos chase subs through the murky deep.

As always, Sean Connery was powerful as the defecting captain, determined not to allow this first strike weapon to start a nuclear holocaust. Connery gave his character both a conscience and a ruthless commitment, stopping at nothing to reach his goal.

Alec Baldwin turns in one of his better performances as Jack Ryan. Unlike Harrison Ford who made Ryan into an action hero in other Tom Clancy adaptations, Baldwin seemed better cast as the CIA nerd who was thrust into a field situation without any real experience. In this way, I felt he was a better representation of the character as Clancy originally wrote him.

This is a highly entertaining and engrossing film that will keep most action and suspense viewers on the edge of their seats. I rated it a 9/10.
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This movie was filmed on my submarine.....
mmel__9828 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I was attached to the USS Portsmouth when this movie was made here in San Diego, at the Point Loma Submarine Base; some of my closest friends were cast as Soviet sailors in the movie. This movie is amazingly accurate on many levels (granted, there are goofs here and there...but nothing that a non-submarine sailor would be likely to catch). I actually had the pleasure of serving onboard two of the subs featured in this movie; the second one was the USS Blueback (SS 581), which was the last diesel submarine in our navy. The scene where the submarine flies out of the water is actually the Blueback, during an emergency surface; a little scary the first time I did it, but incredibly fun every other time I did it. This movie brings back so many memories, and I hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as I have.
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The action-thriller to end all action-thrillers
RogueSix_8520 January 2006
After seeing this movie, you'll wonder how Hollywood manages to turn out so many junk-action movies, now that they've figured out the right formula. To be fair, the vast majority of action movies don't have the benefit of Tom Clancy's greatest novel (granted, 'Sum of All Fears' was a very, very close second, for me). High tension and realistic (emphasis on that last word) depictions of modern warfare make for an excellent story.

Nonetheless, there are a few key qualities that shouldn't go unnoticed to today's directors. First (again) is the basis of a good plot that actually captures your attention, makes you think, and puts you on the edge of your seat. Second is the high caliber of actors: James Earl Jones, Alec Baldwin (I'm a Harrison Ford fan, but I still think Baldwin was far better for the role), and - last but certainly not least - Sean Connery. I'm sure this wasn't cheap, but when you look at the product produced by three of the best professional actors, it's worth every penny. Third, is the great music; nothing too over the top, but well-orchestrated, and featuring a great set of pieces by a Russian men's choir (hard to go wrong!). Lastly, the great use of special effects, from which George Lucas himself could use a clue or two: it smoothly supports, and doesn't take the place of or interfere with, the development of the plot.

This is my #2 favorite movie of all-time, but you don't have to take my word for it. See it yourself! You'll be glad you did.
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Fasten Your Seat Belt, Comrade
slokes12 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Tom Clancy is a gearhead whose books I find nearly impossible to get into. So it's a surprise to find one of his novels, adapted on screen, is not only good but as enjoyable and riveting as is "The Hunt For Red October."

Sean Connery plays a Soviet sub skipper, Marko Ramius, who at the height of the Cold War is put at the helm of his navy's most advanced creation, the Red October, a nuclear-missile carrier with a propulsion system that enables it to elude sonar. After he puts out to sea, Ramius has a letter delivered to a senior Soviet official that sends the U.S.S.R. into panic mode. The U.S. wonders why. Has Ramius gone nuts? Will the U.S. be able to stop him before he has the ability to park his missiles along the Eastern Seaboard? Or is CIA analyst Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) correct in suggesting another reason for Ramius's aberrant behavior?

Some have speculated this story is not completely fictional. Watching this film, it's easy to understand why. "The Hunt For Red October," on screen, moves with uncommon verity for a spy yarn. With a zest for detail and the human equation, director John McTiernan examines the inner workings not only of the Red October but of the subs, ships, and helicopters chasing it as well as the corridors of power where the fate of the Red October and perhaps the world must be decided. You get the feeling at times you are not just watching an ace popcorn thriller but sitting in on some undocumented bit of history.

The movie's chief strengths are its moody lighting, its unrelenting pace, and especially its deep bench of acting talent. Connery suggests a note of uncertainty to Ramius that keeps the audience on its toes. For the longest time, we don't know what he's up to. Baldwin plays Ryan in a very realistic way that establishes his basically gentle, bookish nature but underscores the depths of his heroism as he pursues an increasingly dangerous path no one else believes in. Scott Glenn is terrific as a crusty U.S. sub commander, while Stellan Skarsgard glowers effectively in-between cigarette puffs as a cagey Soviet. Richard Jordan, in one of his last roles, steals every scene he's in as the National Security Adviser.

There's a nice bit of business between Ryan and Jordan's Jeffrey Pelt where Ryan sticks his neck out and Pelt pounces, telling the analyst that if he believes Ramius is defecting, he should go out there and try to collect him. Pelt's no humanitarian, understand, he just wants to keep his options open: "Listen, I'm a politician, which means I'm a cheat and a liar, and when I'm not kissing babies I'm stealing their lollipops." That's the best thing about the movie. Even as it ups the ante on what's at stake, and feeds you with outlandish moments of humor and drama, the motivations of the characters, and their reactions to increasingly hypertense situations, are kept grounded in reality.

The ending comes off a bit pat, and the behavior of Capt. Ramius and his officers seems at times questionable, but the film doesn't slip in any discernible way, unless you're Russian and notice Connery's Lithuanian "brogue." In fact, it's a rare techno-thriller that not only holds up with repeat viewings, but manages to be even more exciting the more one understands what is going on.

McTiernan is making a guy film here, but he does a nice job providing some brain food, too. Notice how the transition on having the Soviet characters speak Russian to English turns on the word "Armageddon," or the clever interplay between Ramius and his questioning crew. There's a lot going on here, and it makes the film worth treasuring.
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Best Film of Tom Clancy
BillKinder6 July 2002
This movie never fails to entertain me. Smartly directed, well written, and acted it always brings a fresh newness no matter how many times I've seen it. It could have been the beginning of a franchise for Alec Baldwin. He is very much centered and controlled. Sean Connery is also standout.

Could recommend this to anyone without hesitation. On DVD it's a visual feast. Just a great looking movie. Wish that all the other Clancy books had been adapted so well.
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The captain of all submarine movies
WalterFrith22 January 2005
Because of the intrigue this film offers, the circumstances involved tie up neatly in a very convincing way. Needing all of the variables to fall into place if his defection hopes to be successful, Soviet (although Lithuanian by birth) submarine Captain Ramius (Sean Connery) is a very worthy submarine captain. Never cracking under pressure and carrying out his duty professionally, Ramius is the perfect ally to the west in keeping the balance between the super powers in their military endeavours.

Alec Baldwin is good as Jack Ryan. I wish he had stayed on as this character in 'Patriot Games' and 'Clear and Present Danger', because although I like Harrison Ford better as a movie star/actor, Baldwin just seemed better for this role. Too bad he left.

Director John McTiernan uses a smooth pace and lets the screenplay speak louder than his role as the man in charge of it all and the film's photography is tense along with the editing and sound. An Oscar winner for sound effects editing, 'The Hunt for Red October' will put a submarine in your living room if you have the DVD 5.1. surround sound. It's positively realistic!
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A thinking man's James Bond - One of the best films I've ever seen.
J. Ryan24 February 1999
It's almost 10 years now but I am still awed by the caliber of the film. McTiernan has made a moderately good book by Clancy into an outstanding political thriller.

The complexity of the film is particularly challenging. Clancy plots are notorious for beginning with several different threads that interweave somewhere in the book. Screenwriter Larry Ferguson takes apart those threads and models a film based on dual protagonists, Connery and Baldwin. The myriad of supporting actors (including current TN Sen. Fred Thompson) that appear on screen subsequently all have distinct but nonetheless crucial roles to the plot.

Baldwin, in what is and will probably be his career best role ever, shines as the intelligent and patriotic Jack Ryan, a thinking man's hero. Connery lends incredible presence, as usual, to his interpretation of Ramius.

A pure masterpiece.
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Seen it 8 times -- and it never gets old
A_Different_Drummer2 March 2015
Let's talk about some of the things that make a movie a classic.

Acting? Check. Just look at the stars.

Script? Check. Based on book by Clancy back when people read books (and dinosaurs walked) and Clancy OWNED his niche.

Cinematography? Direction? That it takes place on a sub means it is distinctive and memorable from the getgo. Something about the claustrophobia of a submarine reflected in the claustrophobia of a movie theatre.

Most of important of all is the pacing. There are few films that I have seen this many times and the reason is that the story builds so beautifully. With such a great payoff. Story telling at its finest. So tricks, so attempt to sucker punch the viewer, not even any pretty girls to distract from the weak scenes. Because there are none.

A classic. And under-rated.
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The Best of the Jack Ryan Films...
MovieAddict201618 May 2003
"The Hunt for Red October" is taken off of military-expert Tom Clancy's gripping novel. Tom Clancy has a knack for the inner-psyche of our fears. He doesn't openly thrill us, but rather opens our minds to the potential hazards in the US government. Most government/military thrillers skim the surface and gather us a few good things to make us go, "Whoo," but Tom Clancy's books make us fall over in amazement. The man has an incredible knowledge of the government and its subsidaries, and his novels show this.

His film adaptations normally make good. All four are at least good, and one of them, "The Hunt for Red October," is taut, tense, and powerfully moving. The plot of the film is fictional, but it is right out of the headlines.

It is about a submarine, a Russian, and an American. It sounds like the setup for a bar-joke, but it's not. The Russian man is named Ramius (Sean Connery), who, along with his crew, takes a Soviet submarine out to the North Atlantic ocean. The sub is the best-of-the-best, with an all-new propolsion system (it's faster than other submarines), and uses advanced techniques to literally disappear off radar.

After a few days out at sea, the submarine vanishes off radar, and the Russians, frantic, tell the American government that Ramius has taken the sub to America's mainland to launch a missile attack. However, CIA Analyst Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) thinks otherwise. He believes Ramius is defecting to the States along with his crew. Further, he believes the Russians don't want to admit this for fear of losing their best submarine.

The film is directed by John McTiernan, who brought us "Predator," "Die Hard," "The Thomas Crown Affair" (remake) and "Die Hard with a Vengeance." All of the preceding films are very good, most of them great, and "The Hunt for Red October" qualifies as "very good."

Sean Connery gives a commanding performance as the leading character, Ramius. His second-hand-man is played by Sam Neil, faking a Russian accent very badly. But Neil is lovable in his role, despite having the worst Russian accent ever. Tim Curry joins along for the ride on the misfortuned sub as well, and Alec Baldwin gives his best performance as Jack Ryan.

As much as I don't like to admit it, Harrison Ford isn't the ideal Jack Ryan for me. He differs too much from the character in the novel. Neither Ben Affleck nor Alec Baldwin take the cake, either. But if you look past the book persona, you will enjoy the performances in all the films much more.

I don't tend to like military thrillers most of the time. Most likely because they are put together sloppily on the whole. But "The Hunt for Red October" isn't sloppy, careless, nor boring. It's thrilling, exciting, and entertaining.

But the book is better.

4/5 stars -

John Ulmer
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A surprisingly action filled submarine movie.
Boba_Fett113812 March 2005
Yes, it sounds like a weird combination. A submarine movie with exciting action. Still "The Hunt for Red October" is a movie filled with some superb underwater action sequence's that were brilliantly directed by action movie veteran John McTiernan. The underwater finale is really 'edge-of-your-seat' stuff!

With this movie McTiernan shows once more that he is the best action movie director alive, along with James Cameron. Still the movie has more to offer than just action. The story is also what makes this an excellent political thriller, making this movie perfectly watchable for both the action movie lovers and those of political thrillers. Of all the Tom Clancy novel movies this is my personal favorite and best so far.

The cast consists out of some big names. Connery is great as Russian submarine captain who talks Russian with a Scotish accent. Alec Baldwin is a wonderful Jack Ryan. Other actors that stood out to me were; Sam Neill, Tim Curry, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeffrey Jones and Scott Glenn. Only too bad about the Beaumont character, that was just annoying and unnecessary.

The phenomenal cinematography was done by Jan de Bont. The likewise phenomenal music was composed by Basil Poledouris who's name I can't still spell right without having to look it up. Poledouris truly is a criminally underrated composer and with this movie he once again delivers a true masterpiece.

It's the combination of all these great things that make "The Hunt for Red October" a brilliant and tad underrated movie, that is perfectly watchable for a wide range of people.

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Classy and very solid in all departments
bob the moo1 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
A Russian submarine, rigged with a stealth drive to hide the noise of the screws, has slipped silently away from it's planned course. The Captain, Ramius, has left a note indicating that he intends to defect to the US. Desperate to stop the US acquiring the stealth technology Russia inform the US of Ramius' plan to attack the US and engage their help in stopping him. However CIA analysist Jack Ryan suspects Ramius may really be defecting and sets out to help him. An underwater game of cat and mouse ensues.

The first of the ‘Jack Ryan' films is almost the best. Not only do we do without Ford's rather dull and workmanlike performances, but also has a good story and sense of time. The story is solid – it isn't flashy, but it delivers well. The only time it seems weak is when it goes away from the action to try and give a character background, eg Ryan with his family etc, then it is cheesy and forced. However when it is with the action it manages to be tense without being really exciting. The story never plods but at times it does move slow, however this is well played as tension and makes it more enjoyable.

However the film's main asset is simply put – Connery. Despite playing a Russian with a Scottish accent, Connery is magnificent and dominates the screen no matter who he shares it with. He manages to make us care more about him than any of the American characters. Baldwin is good, he wasn't a star at this point but he makes a better Ryan than Ford did. The rest of the cast is deep in quality – in both big roles and small roles. Sam Neill, James Earl Jones, Joss Ackland, Richard Jordan, Tim Curry, Courtney Vance, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeffrey Jones etc (even a small role for McTiernan's dad). The deep cast helps add a touch of class to proceedings.

Overall this isn't a fantastic thriller, however it is classy and very solid in all departments. It may lack a certain spark but it is solidly entertaining throughout.
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Edge of your seat suspense from a master storyteller.
huttfam513 March 2000
Tom Clancy's tour-de-force turned into a great movie, with a great cast. Sean Connery IS Marko Ramius--he steals every scene he's in. Alec Baldwin is solid as Jack Ryan. And the supporting cast led by James Earl Jones, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, Fred Dalton Thompson, and the late Richard Jordan is supurb. This is a suspensful thriller from the word go. The action is almost non-stop. The combat footage--both above and below the water are excellent. Hitchcock would have loved this one!
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The last good movie Connery and Alec ever made.
happywaffle31 March 2003
I know I talk about them like they're dead, but seriously - each actor gave a tour de force performance in this film and then lost his respective ability to pick scripts. Alec was by far the best Jack Ryan with his affable persona - Harrison was dull dull dull, and Ben Affleck was just a little too frat-boy. The screenwriter took an excellent 500-page book and almost miraculously condensed it into a coherent two-hour story that was just as taut. This one makes my own personal top-fifty list.
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A great submarine movie
dalesh9 February 2003
Fortuneately, this movie is not entirely true to Tom Clancy's vision and book. Tom Clancy is an American superpatriot and nationalist. He loves to gush about the superiority of the American military establishment and its high technology. This movie puts a more sympathetic face on the Russians and the commoner's point of view. Sean Connery plays a very likable Russian Submarine Commander. Of course, Sean Connery is always going to steal the show in any movie. He's kind of like the John Wayne of the last twenty five years. But the supporting actors are also engaging as well. Scott Glenn, Fred Thompson, and James Earl Jones all do very well at commanding our attention. These actors always give strong, interesting, and dynamic performances. With all the high technology and military hardware in this movie it is interesting to note how a simple seaman(an enlisted man at that!) solves the great technical puzzle in this movie. All the officers, admirals, computers, aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and what have you are clearly stumped. But, Jonesy, with simple reasoning and a keen intuition, solves the riddle that is the Red October. Yes, he uses a computer to help him, but most importantly, he uses his mind! The strength of this movie is that with all the gadgetry and high technology, the human element is not lost but is always on top. Plus, it does not degrade into pro-American propaganda. Because of this, I think that people who know nothing about the military or who don't even like war movies will find this movie enjoyable.
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Cold War hokum, but hey, it's Hollywood...
dilbert-229 October 1998
It's been argued that "any viewer knowing anything about navies, the Cold War or the Russian language" will be disappointed by this movie. Well, that's rather like saying that anyone who knows anything about the fine-details of cartoon animation or the biology of rodents will be disappointed by 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'.'Red October', an emaciated version of a chunky Clancy novel, is a tight, sweaty thriller supported by a sterling cast;I mean, with the exception of maybe 'Beetlejuice' where else can you watch Alec Baldwin without wanting to slap his fat mug? McTiernan cuts all the flab from the base novel to present a lean little movie, and who in their right mind can possibly reprimand Connery for his accent? The man's played a British spy, an Irish cop, an Eygptian immortal and a Russian submarine captain all with the same brogue- who cares? He still portrays the role with all the nobility and world-weariness the part deserves.
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Great Memorable Film of 1990!
SonicStuart27 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Rated PG

Genre: Action/Adventure/Thriller

Star Rating: ****1/2 out of 5

Red October is a new Soviet Submarine. When the Americans are given photographs of it, they are extremely curious as to why is it so special. Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin), a CIA analyst, consults with a friend, who deduces that it's equipped with a new engine that can make it run virtually silent and with such a device, they can position themselves on the outskirts of any coastal city and launch their missiles and not give their target any warning. Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) the sub's captain kills their political officer after they open their orders which basically has them conducting routine maneuvers but he kills him and burns their orders and replaces it. He then tells the crew that they are going to test their new engine by positioning themselves by New York and run missile drills. Ryan is then called by his boss to attend a briefing that concerns Red October. It is at this briefing that they discover that Ramius sent a letter to high ranking Soviet official, who after reading the letter went to meet with the Soviet Premier and it was shortly after that meeting that the Soviet navy was deployed to find Red October and sink it. Everyone assumes that Ramius has turned rogue but Ryan who once did research on Ramius assumes that he might be trying to defect. While everyone dismisses him, the National Security Adviser tells Ryan to go out there and find out for sure if he is right cause once Ramius is in position to fire his missiles they have take him out. Ryan reluctantly goes and is not use to fieldwork, is having a hard time coping with the sea. At the same time someone in the Red October crew knows that Ramius has deviated from his assignment and is doing what he can to stop him! Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery do a great job together in this movie! This movie got Oscar Award for Best Effects and Sound Effects Editing. I think this movie should of won an Oscar award for best picture and have Sean Connery for best actor and Alec Baldwin for supporting actor. I highly recommend this movie!

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Very, very good submarine movie
TheLittleSongbird6 February 2009
Don't get me wrong, this is actually a very good movie. And this is coming from a 16 year old schoolgirl! It is fast paced, not too long, and while the story is a bit confusing sometimes, it is one of the few movies that maintains our attention all the way through. Director John McTiernon ensures that the tension rarely slips, and is fairly faithful to the novel, which needs a great deal of understanding especially in the descriptions of the submarines. Though some of the characters especially Dr Petrov have a more significant role in the book. Speaking of the character, many said that 43-year old Tim Curry of Clue fame, looked young and that it was insane casting. He was only in 15 minutes of the movie, but he is so important, and I was impressed by the depth of Curry's performance, it's different to any other role he's played, and how the character turned out in general. As well as the submarine and the odd visuals, the music was phenomenal as well as the look of the film and the sound, with a conveniently Russian feel to it. It was also very musical with what was going on. The acting is what holds the film together, with a charismatic performance from Sean Connery,(in one of his best post-Bond roles) and a career best from Alec Baldwin. Sam Neill also gives a moving performance, as well as the ever-excellent James Earl Jones, who is in my sister's favourite film the Lion King. I recommend this movie highly, if you're a fan of Tom Clancy. I'm not, but I enjoyed it, because I like films that are tense and I like a lot of the actors in the film. 8.5/10. Bethany Cox
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Cold war simplicity
C-Roorda8 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is entertaining alright, but when you look at it more closely, the story is superficial, unrealistic and dull. For one thing, it is clear almost from the beginning that Ramius does not intend to nuke the United States but is trying to defect. So much for keeping the viewers in suspense. Then the National Security Adviser, who can't be at all sure about this, accepts the risk of nuclear Armageddon on the off-chance that he will have the opportunity of inspecting a state of the art Soviet submarine. I think that any US administration would simply decide to blow the submarine out of the water at the very first occasion.

The world depicted in this movie is a nice place to live. Somehow all the key figures are flawless geniuses: Ramius, who knows how to perfectly deliver his submarine into American hands; Ryan, the academic who used to dislike flying but somehow manages to survive a helicopter flight, then drops into the ice cold water of the Atlantic, helps navigating a submarine with no experience whatsoever, and finally wins a gunfight with a Soviet saboteur; Mancuso, commanding the USS Dallas with admirable ease and taking the unlikely ideas of Ryan as well as those of his sonar-man seriously; and finally, Jones the sonar-man who happens to have the best ears of the Western Hemisphere. All five of them are brilliant and do not make a single mistake. Quoting Avon (Blake's Seven): "Suddenly we are hip-deep in heroes."

To make up for this all Soviet officials are stupid, cruel or unpleasant in general. With the exception of Captain Ramius – but then he is not Russian, is he? He is from Lithuania.
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I've always loved this film.
nafodude8 November 2018
My mum made me watch this when I was younger and the more I watch it to this day, the more I love it.

Absolutely one to watch!
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Glad to know about Jack Ryan
ericstevenson14 January 2018
I am a little familiar with the novels by Tom Clancy. Then again, all I seem to really know is that they feature a guy named Jack Ryan. It was great to be introduced to this uh, franchise via this film. I admit that it was a little boring. It did have more action at the very end. What I really like is the cast in this movie. We get great actors like Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, James Earl Jones, and Tim Curry!

I knew that was Sam Neil. Everyone recognizes him from "Jurassic Park". I still think he looks like Christopher Hitchens. What's great is how these actors and characters play off each other so well and give such strong perfomances. Everything is portrayed in a very realistic manner. While I didn't find it a classic as many people do, it's still quite good. ***
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The Hunt for a good submarine movie is on. I think we found one.
ironhorse_iv10 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The Hunt for Red October is a very interesting movie. Based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It was directed by John McTiernan and about a Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) that command Red October (октябрь) a new vessel that features a device call the caterpillar drive. The caterpillar drive rendering it undetectable to sonar. Ramius leaves port on orders to conduct exercises with the captain of submarine V.K. Konovalov, former student Captain Tupolev (Stellan Skarsgård). Instead of doing that, Ramius commands the crew to head toward America's east coast to conduct missile drills. The United States government officials think the Red October pose a threat, and sent the captain of the USS Dallas, Commander Bart Mancuso (Scott Glenn), to meet the enemy. CIA analyst Jack Ryan (Alex Baldwin) thinks other side, thinking that Ramius instead plans to defect with the new weapon. It becomes a race of time to stop all-out war as the clock ticks down in this Cold War drama. The movie unlike all other Tom Clancy's novels turn movies is pretty tame, as action goes along. It's more made out to be a smart strategy action movie than a mindless shoot it up film. The action is limited due to it being a submarine movie, but the film use slow tense motions like what Ramius is going to do, and what the other submariners are thinking of his action to build up suspense. Nobody knows for sure, what is going to happen. The torpedoes scenes were pretty mind blowing. The film is a bit dated, and some of the talking can be a bit boring, but the dialogue works for the film. Still, I can see every actor playing their parts even if the Russian accents is a bit mediocre. It's weird to see a Scotsman (Connery), Australian (Sam Neill), and English (Tim Curry) playing Soviets. It is better that they didn't use the Russian accent when speaking English too much. Couldn't they find any good Eastern actors for these roles, still! They did their part, but it's hard to think of these actors as Russians. The way, the actors go out of Russian to English, to Russian to English is a bit confusing. The film starts out in Russian, then switches to English in an early scene as the political officer reads the passage from the Bible. The switch occurs on the word "Armageddon", which is the same in both languages. I like the symbolism of that. Sean Connery and Scott Glenn are both commanding in their roles, as both had some submarining training before this film. I wouldn't change that. In my opinion, I would rather have the Harrison Ford's Jack Ryan than Alec Baldwin's. His Jack Ryan seems too wimpy for me and found him weak. Jack Ryan would go on to be the central characters of many of Clancy's later novels. One thing about the movie that I like is, how the screenwriters (Larry Ferguson & Donald Stewart) did an excellent job making a complex plot simple to follow. Tom Clancy is a great author, but one thing about his novels is how compound it can be. Being the first novel by Clancy adapted to the screen, it also serves as the best Tom Clancy's adaptation. The different between the book and the movie are somewhat wide. The biggest different is that in the book there was also a separate story involving a US spy in the Kremlin which doesn't occur in the film. The film also act more action to the film like the October has to avoid a torpedo and Ryan getting on aboard the USS Dallas that wasn't in the book. Those things work somewhat to me. It made the film interesting during the slow parts. The movie did lost it tensed Cold War feel, when the movie came out. By February 1990, just before the film's theatrical release, the Soviet government announced that the Communist Party was no longer completely in charge, effectively ending the Cold War. To compensate for the change in Russia's political climate, an on-screen crawl appears at the beginning of the film stating that it takes place in 1984 during the Cold War than 1990. The music written by Basil Poledouris was great has a Cold War theme, and bear similarity to Russian Army band songs. So it was a bit epic and scary at the same time. The movie could have better if only if the film had a larger budget. The underwater scenes model of the submarine look too much like models for me. I know they could had done better, because 4 years later, Crimson Tide (1994) came out with better effects. They could had use better use of the technology at the time to make the submarines look real than spending 20,000 dollars on Sean Connery's hairpiece. The movie did get some heat, as it did reveal some classified submarine technology at the time with the use of gravimetry as a method of silent navigation in US submarines. There are a lot of factual errors, and anachronisms to nitpick, but it doesn't bother me from the film too much. Overall: the film was pretty good. Still, the main crime committed against this film was the horrendous film-to-DVD transfer it got. Frankly, this film suffer from sheer graininess that hasn't been solve in its newest released. if you like submarine movies you will like this, as this movie has some depth to it.
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Very few submarine movies could equal this masterpiece
Agent101 June 2002
The best among all of the Tom Clancy movies still stands up despite the fact the Cold War is long gone and Russia isn't a viable military threat. Virtually everyone who was casted in this movie was excellent, from the likes of Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Sam Neill, Tim Currie, Stellan Skarsgard, Joss Ackland and Scott Glenn. The pacing, the cinematography and the general suspense of this film made this a classic in my mind, setting itself apart from the typical action driven big budget film. Hopefully, a special edition DVD will come out for this film, simply because a great number of the stars in this film have had success after this film and are generally respected as solid actors. One of the best submarine movies ever.
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dave-69119 September 1999
I love Red October. Sean Connery does an excellent job as the captain of the sub, despite his accent. I can watch it all the time and it will never get boring. A truly great movie that is suspenseful, and casts stars before they were really big (Sam Neill in Jurassic Park, and Alec Baldwin).
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A Bit More Than Trivia
im_veritas_photo5 May 2006
"The Hunt For Red October" is a film which has aged quite well. It is one of the few DVD's I own. Those I retain I watch over and over; I consider that a good test for a movie; this movie meets it just fine, at least as far as I'm concerned.

I don't care about the so-called trivia pointed out by others concerning this film. To me, they make no difference whatsoever to the enjoyment of this movie.

But there is one slip-up I do "kind of" mind. The Captain of the Soviet Alfa-Class Attack sub (which belatedly hurries off to intercept The Red October) orders a depth of 900 meters. I think this is way too deep for the mission he was initiating. Alfa subs had a "usual cruise depth" of 350 m, a "test depth" of 800 m. Test depth was probably 2/3 of "crush depth," making that absolute limit 1200 m. Any Alfa sub Captain ordering a prolonged submersion at 900 m while making heavy speed was just asking for trouble for no good reason. If nothing else, this depth would impede a sub's progress in a hurry to intercept Ramius.

By the way, an Alfa's submerged speed was unique in the history of submarines until that time, as far as I can ascertain. Speed (submerged): 20-25 knots tactical speed, 44.7 knots (80 km/h) burst speed. "Burst" implies a speed attainable for only a short time. No other submarine could touch that performance at the time the Alfas were operating.

For interest, according to an article on Alfa's in Wikipedea: "... (Alfas) were never actually used in combat, and didn't perform any important tasks except power demonstration, but the Soviet government made use of (its) high characteristics, exaggerating the planned vessels' number. The US replied to Alfa (not until) 12 years later, by SSN-21 Seawolf, which still was less capable in an underwater dogfight, but was a little quieter at its cruise speed. Some parity was reached with ADCAP torpedoes were introduced, which are faster than Alfa-class submarines. However, Seawolf class submarines are three times heavier, don't have the Alfa's characteristic automation, and cost over 2 billion dollars each, therefore being a very costly response to an initiative that didn't actually go beyond experiments. Their construction was halted when the last 705K submarines were decommissioned."

Anyway, "The Hunt For Red October" is a fine, sea-worthy movie.
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Totally implausible
Tony-21628 September 1999
I can't believe that there is only one negative comment for this film. Anyone with a deeper knowledge of the subject will point out to you that the movie is greatly flawed, and at times hilarious at its portrayal of Russians. For example, singing the soviet national anthem on a sub is pure Hollywood. The political officer is not the second in command. The crew would not be so quick to cooperate with the captain. Plus if you knew some real history you'd know that something like this happened in 1975 only with a ship, and the captain wound up being shot by a firing squad. The guy wishing to live in Montana is simply ridiculous. Next we get the numerous technical problems, like there is no way a sub could do a turn in several seconds. Have you any idea how big these things are? It would take several seconds just to start its propellers rolling. I won't even get into the "caterpillar" drive's ridiculousness. Lets just say that even if it did exist it would not be any quieter then a propeller. Finally for a movie that seems to aim for accuracy, the Russian pronunciations in it are simply horrible. I know it might not matter much to most of you, but they should have at least tried to make it believable. This could go on forever, but I'll spare you. If you want a good believable sub movie, watch Das Boot.
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