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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


The hunt is on. 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?


Factual errors: The Typhoon is a NATO designated name so the Russians are unlikely to use it. The Russian name for the class is "Akula class". This is not to be confused with name "Akula class" that the NATO used to designate the Russian Project 971 Shchuka-B class attack submarine. See more »


Sonarman Jones is identified in the film's credits as "Seaman Jones". Jones's insignia indicates he is a second-class petty officer (E-5). As such, he should be addressed and identified as "Petty Officer" Jones. Sailors who rank below third-class petty officer (E-4) are addressed as "Seaman". These include seaman recruit (E-1), seaman apprentice (E-2), and seaman (E-3). Petty officers include third-class petty officer, second-class petty officer, and first-class petty officer (E-6). See more »


Jack Ryan: Is there a way you could get me on board the Dallas?
Admiral Josh Painter: What the hell for?
Jack Ryan: I think that Captain Mancuso has found the Red October.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The words "Red October" are first spelled in Russian, with the Cyrillic alphabet, before being replaced with the English words. See more »


Spoofed in Cool Head: Episode #1.3 (1991) See more »


By Basil Poledouris
Courtesy of Orion Pictures Corp.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A great submarine movie
9 February 2003 | by (Tucson, Arizona) – See all my reviews

Fortuneately, this movie is not entirely true to Tom Clancy's vision and book. Tom Clancy is an American superpatriot and nationalist. He loves to gush about the superiority of the American military establishment and its high technology. This movie puts a more sympathetic face on the Russians and the commoner's point of view. Sean Connery plays a very likable Russian Submarine Commander. Of course, Sean Connery is always going to steal the show in any movie. He's kind of like the John Wayne of the last twenty five years. But the supporting actors are also engaging as well. Scott Glenn, Fred Thompson, and James Earl Jones all do very well at commanding our attention. These actors always give strong, interesting, and dynamic performances. With all the high technology and military hardware in this movie it is interesting to note how a simple seaman(an enlisted man at that!) solves the great technical puzzle in this movie. All the officers, admirals, computers, aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and what have you are clearly stumped. But, Jonesy, with simple reasoning and a keen intuition, solves the riddle that is the Red October. Yes, he uses a computer to help him, but most importantly, he uses his mind! The strength of this movie is that with all the gadgetry and high technology, the human element is not lost but is always on top. Plus, it does not degrade into pro-American propaganda. Because of this, I think that people who know nothing about the military or who don't even like war movies will find this movie enjoyable.

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