The Hunt for Red October

  • PG
  • John McTiernan (1990)
  • US
  • 129 min
The Hunt for Red October
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Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

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.

Plot Summary

Cold War thriller starring Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin and Scott Glenn. The trial voyage of new Soviet submarine Red October does not go as expected. Equipped with an experimental new propulsion system that makes it virtually impossible to track and captained by the enigmatic Marko Ramius, the heavily armed vessel heads for America. Is Ramius about to launch an undetectable, pre-emptive nuclear strike?

Cast and crew


Captain Marko Ramius
Sean Connery
Jack Ryan
Alec Baldwin
Captain Bart Mancuso
Scott Glenn
Captain Vasily Borodin
Sam Neill
Admiral James Greer
James Earl Jones
Andrei Lysenko
Joss Ackland
Jeffrey Pelt
Richard Jordan
Ivan Putin
Peter Firth
Dr Petrov
Tim Curry
Seaman Jones
Courtney B Vance
Captain Tupolev
Stellan Skarsgård
Skip Tyler
Jeffrey Jones
Bill Steiner
Timothy Carhart
Chief of the Boat
Larry Ferguson
Admiral Painter
Fred Dalton Thompson
Captain Davenport
Daniel Davis
Tomas Arana
Seaman Beaumont
Ned Vaughn
Lieutenant Commander Thompson
Anthony Peck


John McTiernan

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
U.I.P. (UK)
Violence, edited for language.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate PG