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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 »
1,643 ( 168)
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?


For the purposes of filming the underwater model of the Red October, only the left side of the sub was detailed to appear as an authentic submarine. The effect of showing the right side of the boat was achieved by simply turning the frame and reversing the image. See more »


After the Red October is called a rogue sub, the question is asked when it will be able to fire its missiles on the U.S. (we're told in three days when it's off the coast of the U.S.). Given that Typhoon class SSBNs carry the R-39 Rif-M intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of over 8000 kilometers, the answer given is off by a factor of 10 (Typhoons could launch from dock in the former USSR). See more »


Jeffrey Pelt: It would be well for your government to consider that having your ships and ours, your aircraft and ours, in such proximity... is inherently DANGEROUS. Wars have begun that way, Mr. Ambassador.
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 »


References Die Hard (1988) 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

The captain of all submarine movies
22 January 2005 | by (Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA) – See all my reviews

Because of the intrigue this film offers, the circumstances involved tie up neatly in a very convincing way. Needing all of the variables to fall into place if his defection hopes to be successful, Soviet (although Lithuanian by birth) submarine Captain Ramius (Sean Connery) is a very worthy submarine captain. Never cracking under pressure and carrying out his duty professionally, Ramius is the perfect ally to the west in keeping the balance between the super powers in their military endeavours.

Alec Baldwin is good as Jack Ryan. I wish he had stayed on as this character in 'Patriot Games' and 'Clear and Present Danger', because although I like Harrison Ford better as a movie star/actor, Baldwin just seemed better for this role. Too bad he left.

Director John McTiernan uses a smooth pace and lets the screenplay speak louder than his role as the man in charge of it all and the film's photography is tense along with the editing and sound. An Oscar winner for sound effects editing, 'The Hunt for Red October' will put a submarine in your living room if you have the DVD 5.1. surround sound. It's positively realistic!

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