The Hunt for Red October (1990)


“Listen, I’m a politician which means I’m a cheat and a liar, and when I’m not kissing babies I’m stealing their lollipops. But it also means I keep my options open.” – Jeffrey Pelt

Number of Times Seen – Between 5-10 times (Theater in ’90, video, cable, 2 Aug 2017)

Brief Synopsis – During the Cold War, a CIA analyst named Jack Ryan discovers that the Russians have launched a new kind of submarine helmed by their most senior Submarine Captain.  With this sub on its way to the US shores, Ryan must try and find out the Soviet Captain’s true intentions.

My Take on it – I remember clearly the fan fare and hype this film got when it debuted in 1990.

Tom Clancy was known as a Bestselling author and this was the first of his novels to be adapted for the screen.

Having Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery as the leads in this helped it cause even more because they were both quite popular at the time.

I never really was able to enjoy any of Clancy’s novels that much because I couldn’t ever connect to his style of writing. I found it too descriptive even to the point of it getting to be boring.

The stories he has always told us though have been amazing and I’ve always admired the way that when adapting his novels, they took care to get rid of the descriptive stuff and keep the thrilling and fun stories for us to enjoy.

IMHO this is the best Clancy adaptation to the screen and they do a wonderful job keeping it so thrilling the entire time.

Baldwin is the best choice for Jack Ryan and despite being a huge fan of Harrison Ford, I think that Baldwin gets the tone of the character much better and seems more believable in the role; it’s really a shame that they weren’t able to continue with him in the part.

Connery and Baldwin are perfect as the cat and mouse adversaries in this film, and the added supporting cast helps make this such a great and realistic feeling story.

Sam Niell, Richard Jordan, Scott Glenn, Courtney B. Vance, Stellan Skarsgard, James Earl Jones, Jeffrey Jones, Anthony Peck, Fred Dalton Thompson and Tim Curry are all amazing here. Vance and Glenn both stand out tho because of their cool and professional meaner throughout.

Such an amazing film!

Bottom Line – Such a great Jack Ryan story that could possibly be the best one ever made. The fact that this was the first chapter in his cinematic story helps make this film still seem fresh and innovative even after 27 years. Baldwin and Connery are both superb here as they play cat and mouse across the deep waters on the Atlantic Ocean.  The entire supporting cast is amazingly chosen but Glenn and Vance stand out among all the rest.  Clancy does an amazing job keeping this thrilling the whole way through.  Not sure if the book is better than the film because I’ve never been a fan of Clancy’s style of writing but this is amazingly written and presented to us.  It’s too bad Baldwin didn’t continue playing this role.  Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – During filming, several of the actors portraying U.S.S. Dallas crewmen, took a cruise on a real submarine. To train for his role as the Dallas’ commander, Scott Glenn was installed as a “co-commander” of the real sub. The real Commander ordered his crew to first give report to him, then give the same report to Glenn. Glenn was so impressed with the Commander, he basically played that man in the film. Always giving orders in a calm quiet voice, even in tense situations. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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2 thoughts on “The Hunt for Red October (1990)

  1. They weren’t able to continue with Baldwin in the part, because he asked for too much money the 2nd go round. He overplayed his hand. He WAS very good and would’ve liked to see him continue with the role – but I love Ford in the part (I even liked Ben Affleck for his one chance as a young Jack Ryan. And for me – the best of the series was Clear and Present Danger. Loved that one. As for Connery – always a favorite – but seriously – a Russian sub commander with a Scottish burr. How the hell do you explain that away?

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  2. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | Acting School 101 – August 2017 – Sean Connery

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