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The Hunt for Red October (1990)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Thriller  |  2 March 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 136,022 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 241 user | 102 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

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



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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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?


Navy recruiters set up booths in some theater lobbies for people to sign up to join the service, or to at least look into it. See more »


When the Russian crew is singing their national anthem, Seaman Jones states that "he thought he heard singing". This would be impossible as only .1% of airborne noise radiates outside the submarine. See more »


[to himself, just before being lowered off a helicopter]
Jack Ryan: Next time, Jack, write a goddamn memo.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Up Late with Alec Baldwin: Episode #1.4 (2013) See more »


By Basil Poledouris
Courtesy of Orion Pictures Corp.
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.

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