The Hunt for Red October

The Hunt for Red October

John McTiernan (1990)

PG Certificate


Our Score
This submarine drama marks the first screen appearance of Jack Ryan, the US agent subsequently played by Harrison Ford in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, Ben Affleck in The Sum of All Fears, and Chris Pine in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Here, Ryan (Alec Baldwin) plays a distinct second fiddle to the Soviet commander (a charismatic Sean Connery) who sparks an international crisis when he starts heading his sub straight for the USA. As the superpowers engage in the usual round of accusations and denials, it's left to Ryan to figure out whether the Russian is defecting or preparing to attack. The talented supporting cast (Sam Neill, Tim Curry, Joss Ackland, James Earl Jones, Scott Glenn) gives a pleasing sheen to the material, while John McTiernan's no-frills direction ensures that the tension rarely slips below pressure-cooker level.


A Soviet submarine commander creates an international crisis by piloting his experimental nuclear vessel, which is invisible to sonar, toward the American coast. The US and Russian navies think he is planning to attack and set out to destroy the submarine, but a CIA analyst suspects he intends to defect to the West. Cold War thriller, based on Tom Clancy's novel, starring Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin and James Earl Jones.

Cast & Crew

Capt Marko Ramius Sean Connery
Jack Ryan Alec Baldwin
Admiral James Greer James Earl Jones
Capt Bart Mancuso Scott Glenn
Capt Vasily Borodin Sam Neill
Andrei Lysenko Joss Ackland
Dr Petrov Tim Curry
Ivan Putin Peter Firth
Jones Courtney B Vance
Director John McTiernan
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: U.I.P. (UK)Guidance: Violence, edited for language.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray