Watch The Hunt for Red October
- 2 hr 14 min
In the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, directed by John McTiernan, a chilling Soviet submarine captain named Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) decides to defect from the Soviet Union. He takes command of the Red October, a new, high-tech submarine capable of running silent and deep, and sets a course for the United States. Although Ramius is known by his enemies to be a clever and resourceful commander, what the Americans know about him is less certain. While the CIA and the Pentagon are aware that a Soviet submarine is heading for the East Coast, they believe it is with hostile intent, and are ready to strike back with force.
The Americans' only hope is a young CIA analyst, Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin), who has done extensive research on Ramius and his methods. Ryan is convinced that Ramius is not a dangerous militant, but a seasoned strategist who has grown disillusioned with Soviet politics after decades of service. Ryan's theory is not shared initially by his superiors, who are inclined to view any Soviet move as a threat. However, Ryan persuades Admiral James Greer (James Earl Jones) to put him in touch with the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet, Admiral Painter (Fred Dalton Thompson).
Ryan travels to the USS Dallas, an American submarine sent to intercept the Red October, to help them identify the Soviet submarine and its intentions. With his intimate knowledge of Ramius' career and tactics, Ryan realizes that the Red October is commanded by a highly skilled captain who is not interested in attacking the United States, but instead wants to defect. Ryan's theory is supported by the fact that the Red October's propulsion system makes it highly elusive and difficult to track. As a result, the American navy sends planes and ships on a frantic search for the rogue submarine, while Ryan devises a plan to contact Ramius and convince him that he wants to help him.
As both submarine crews jockey for position in order to locate or avoid each other, a tense game of cat-and-mouse plays out beneath the ocean's surface. The Americans scramble to track down the Red October while the Soviet navy sends its own submarine, the Konovalov, to hunt Ramius down and destroy the Red October. Ryan and the American navy must work quickly to convince Ramius to come aboard the Dallas and surrender the Red October, before the Konovalov can blow it out of the water.
The Hunt for Red October is a classic Cold War thriller, with a stellar cast and expert direction. Sean Connery brings a quiet dignity to the role of Marko Ramius, the Soviet submarine captain who has finally had enough of his country's policies. Alec Baldwin gives an earnest performance as Jack Ryan, the CIA analyst who realizes he is in way over his head. Scott Glenn, as the commander of the USS Dallas, brings a gruff confidence to his role as a seasoned submarine officer. The supporting cast includes memorable performances by James Earl Jones, Sam Neill, and Tim Curry, among others.
The film's tense underwater scenes are expertly crafted, with seamless special effects that create a sense of claustrophobia and danger. The characters are well-drawn and complex, with backstories that inform their actions and decisions. There are also undertones of political intrigue and allegiances shifting, as both the Americans and the Soviets grapple with their own interests while trying to outmaneuver each other.
While The Hunt for Red October may feel dated in some respects - the technology on display is certainly outdated - it has aged well as a classic spy thriller. The Cold War may be over, but the film's themes of espionage, subterfuge, and the high stakes of international relations remain timeless. The Hunt for Red October is a notable film in the careers of all involved and is a must-see for fans of spy thrillers, submarine movies, or military dramas.
The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 14 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 58.