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The Hunt for Red October (1990)

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In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the USA. Is he trying to defect or to start a war?



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1,475 ( 57)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Steiner
Larry Ferguson ...
Chief of the Boat


Soviets create a new nuclear submarine that runs silent due to a revolutionary propulsion system. Russian sub captain defects, goal of taking it to the U.S.A. to prevent the Russians from using the sub to wreak nuclear (missile) war against the U.S. Lots of plot turns and twists in this high-tech thriller. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Invisible. Silent. Stolen. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jagd auf 'Roter Oktober'  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)


$122,012,643 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Several employees that designed and built submarines from the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company (now known as Northrop/Grumman Newport News) were set design advisors for the submarine interiors on the Dallas and Red October. Some of the interiors actually contain real submarine items - mostly things like hatches, lights, etc, to add realism. See more »


The crew of the Konovalov is shown to include petty officers and seamen, but a real Alfa class submarine is crewed entirely by officers. (This may not have been known in the West at the time of filming.) See more »


Jack Ryan: [in the shower]
[imitating the Admiral]
Jack Ryan: "The average Ruskie, son, don't take a dump without a plan." Wait a minute. We don't have to figure out how to get the crew off the sub. He's already done that, he would have had to. All we gotta do is figure out what he's gonna do. So how's he gonna get the crew off the sub.
[later, shaving]
Jack Ryan: They have to want to get off. How do you get a crew to want to get off a submarine? How do you get a crew to want to get off a nuclear sub...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Stanley (Sally Ryan's stuffed bear) is credited as "Himself" See more »


Spoofed in The Cunt for Red October (2011) See more »


The Anthem of the Soviet Union
Music by Aleksandr Aleksandrov (as A.V. Aleksandrov)
Text by Gabriel Ureklyan (as G.A. El-Reghistan) & Sergey Mikhalkov (as S.V. Mikhalkov)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A submarine classic
28 August 2000 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

'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.

85 of 95 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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