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Crimson Tide (1995)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, Thriller  |  12 May 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 76,651 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 192 user | 81 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

On a US nuclear missile sub, a young first officer stages a mutiny to prevent his trigger happy captain from launching his missiles before confirming his orders to do so.



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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Officer of the Deck Mahoney (as Jaime P. Gomez)
Scott Burkholder ...
Lt. Paul Hellerman (as Rick Schroder)


When some Russian rebels takes control of some ICBM's, the Americans mobilize. Among the vessels sent is the nuclear sub, the Alabama. But before they leave they need a new X.O. and among the choices is Commander Hunter, who hasn't seen much action. But the ship's Captain, Ramsey OK's him. While on the way, there was an incident and Hunter disagreed with how Ramsey handled it, it's evident that Ramsey doesn't think much of Hunter because Hunter was college educated while Ramsey worked his way up. They're given orders to attack but when they were in the process of receiving another order, the ship's communications were damaged, so the entire message was not received. Ramsey decides to continue with their previous order while Hunter wants to reestablish contact first. That's when the two men butt heads that ends with Hunter relieving Ramsey. Later when some men die, some of the officers feel that Hunter is not up to the task so they team up to retake control. But Hunter has taken ... Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


On The Brink Of Nuclear War, Two Men Clash Over The Fate Of The World. See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 May 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marea roja  »

Box Office


$53,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,902,929 (UK) (17 November 1995)


£5,023,381 (UK) (15 December 1995)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


As Ramsey reviews Hunter's service record 11 November 1959 appears as the character's date of birth. Numerous other events have taken place on 11 November including: birth of General Patton in 1885, President Harding's dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1921, the beginning of construction of the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in 1909, the formation of the United States Marine Corps in 1775 and the date Washington became a state in 1889. USS Alabama is based in Washington. General Patton is mentioned in the movie. The actor is actually about 5 years older. See more »


Several times in the movie it is stated that the Russian separatists would have to fuel the ICBMs they gained control of before being able to launch them. Prior to the development of solid propellant, ICBMs had to be stored dry because the liquid fuel corroded the missiles' fuel tanks. The time period in which the movie is set is around the year 1995, at which time, all American and Russian ICBMs used solid propellant. Thus, the missiles were stored with fuel already in their tanks, making pre-flight fueling unnecessary. Therefore, if the Russian separatists gained control of the launch codes, the missiles could have been launched immediately. See more »


Zimmer: You don't put on a condom unless you're gonna fuck!
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Referenced in The Simpsons: Simpson Tide (1998) See more »


Written by Alfredo Catalani
Performed by Miriam Gauci, Brussels Philharmonic (as BRT Philharmonic, Brussels)
Conducted by Alexander Rahbari
Courtesy of Naxos of America
by arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Very well made military drama
28 May 2005 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

The suspense is relentless in this believable, tense and superbly acted war drama. One of the best modern war movies I have seen, Crimson Tide is a story about strained loyalty, respect, command, discipline, power, and military practice. Hackman and Washington are perfectly cast as an older battle-hardened nuclear submarine captain and his younger, less experienced but highly educated executive officer, caught in a crisis of potentially world-threatening proportions. Pursued by an enemy submarine, the USS Alabama has nuclear warheads aimed and ready to fire as a pre-emptive strike against a Russian rebel commanding his own nuclear arsenal. The Alabama is commanded to launch, and begins preparations, but the enemy sub attacks, knocking out all communications just as a second command is being received. The nature of that second command and what to do about then becomes the key problem that the Captain and XO have to deal with. Suffice to say, they do not agree on how to proceed, and the remainder of the film is a struggle between the two men and those who support each, in a crippled but still lethal sub, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

What's is amazing about Michael Schiffer's story is its plausibility. The basic scenario upon which the script is based could happen. The cast - all of them - are spectacular, and the directing is masterful. Although some of the behavior of the men aboard the Alabama seems improbable at times, given the military realities of chain of command and discipline, the sheer performance power of this film's cast and production team make it all seem very real and extremely compelling. the characters are HUGE, complex, and real. More than just a cautionary tale, this is a very human drama about who people become under extreme conditions, and how they work out problems to reach solutions, or fail to do so. If that final sentence sounds cryptic, then let it entice you to see the film so you can figure out what I mean for yourself.

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