1990s The Hunt For Red October (1990)

Published on December 14th, 2007 | by Chris


The Hunt For Red October (1990)

Reviewed by:
On December 14, 2007
Last modified:October 6, 2012


somewhere on the border between average and great.

The Hunt For Red October (1990)Ah, submarine movies. (Deep Breath).  If you've followed the site for any length of time you probably know I've developed a soft-spot for the sub-genre (no pun intended!) and 1990's adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel The Hunt For Red Octoberis no exception.

In case you *haven't* actually seen "Red October", or read it, the plot goes something like this:  A Soviet sub commander, Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) takes a brand-new, experimental submarine on a mission to defect to the US with some of his officers.  As you can imagine this doesn't sit well with the rest of the Soviet Navy, and causes a fair amount of confusion on the US side of things.

That's where the venerable character of CIA analyst Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) comes in.  The resident expert on Ramius, he's dispatched to the submarine USS Dallas to actually meet with Ramius, prove his intention to defect, and bring him and the submarine home safely.  Natch, right?

Not exactly.  Nothing's ever that simple, is it.  Without spoiling any of details (which make the film interesting) the Soviets send one of Ramius' former prodigies after him, and to boot they've got a KGB operative on board.  Which of course complicates things severely.

One thing I find interesting about submarine movies is the way that technology is portrayed and used over the years.  Red October doesn't disappoint, blending the best of old-world sonar technology with such crazy concepts as magnetic propulsion and of course the entire nuclear hot potato.

And what's a good submarine movie without your cold-war Soviet paranoia?  Back in Washington the ambassadors of both governments duke it out in a humorous series of exchanges that probably have more truth to them than fiction.

If I have any complaints about Red October it'd be these:  The subs just don't feel as cramped and claustrophobic as they could, as in Crimson Tide; nor does it carry the same tension as other gems like The Enemy Below.  And the F/X, while still good leaves quite a bit to the imagination, as in you're mainly looking at a big black blob in a foggy dark blue expanse.  But, eh, not the point.  The point is the intrigue and twists that go on at a more political level.

Baldwin and Connery are as always brilliant.  Although I can't decide who makes a better Ryan, Baldwin or Harrison Ford.  Both have their quirks and fit into the role nicely.  (Yeah, lets forget about that other guy!)  Also making an appearance as a carrier commander is Fred Thompson, yeah that Fred Thompson.  Of course James Earl Jones is present as Admiral Greer, and Sam Neill and Tim Curry make appearances as officers on Ramius' crew.

I won't go out on a limb and lavish The Hunt For Red October with a heaping amount of praise, as Cold War epics go, it is just on the high-side of average, despite my above statements.  But its somewhere on the border between average and great.

The Hunt For Red October is also available for viewing online through Amazon's Unbox! Bonus!

The Hunt for Red October The Hunt for Red October
List Price: $12.98
Sale Price: $6.68
You save: $6.30 (49%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days


Based on Tom Clancy's bestseller, directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard) and starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER sweats with high-tech anxiety and the tension of men who hold Doomsday in their hands...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Brand: Paramount Home Video
Manufacturer: Paramount
Original Release Date:
  • Sean Connery
  • Alec Baldwin
  • Scott Glenn
  • Sam Neill
  • James Earl Jones


  • Condition: New
  • Format: DVD
  • Anamorphic; Closed-captioned; Color; Dolby; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC


Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars The Hunt For Red October, June 7, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Hunt for Red October (DVD)
I choose this rating because the movie is good. What I like about the movie is that Based on Tom Clancy's bestseller and starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, The Hunt For Red October seethes with state-of-the-art excitement and sweats with the tension of men who hold Doomsday in their hands. A new, technologically superior Soviet nuclear sub, the Red October, is heading for the U.S. coast under the command of Captain Marko Ramius (Connery). The American government thinks Ramius is planning to attack, but a lone CIA analyst, Jack Ryan (Baldwin), has a different belief: Ramius is planning to defect. But Ryan has only a few precious hours to locate him and prove it because the entire Russian Naval and Air Commands are trying to find him, too. With international peace at stake and time running out... The Hunt is On! What I dislike about the movie is that I wanted to see more of it. I would recommend this movie to other people.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatly Enjoyed Viewing, A Movie Classic, Perfect Streaming On Fire TV, January 2, 2017
Stephanie Sullivan (Boston, MA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Hunt for Red October is first of the Jack Ryan movies with Ryan played by Alec Baldwin in his svelte younger days. It is based on Tom Clancy's first novel based during the cold war: what a beginning! And a great and now classic movie. I watch it again once in a while and still enjoy it after many viewings.

The short version of the plot is a Soviet sub captain (Sean Connery) decides to defect with their latest submarine. The Soviet wants to sink him and the US Navy isn't sure but both are searching desperately. I don't want to give it all way but I'm sure you get the idea.

Lots of other reviews have details and twists of the movie and I'll leave that to them except for one thing. I always find it humorous to hear Sean Connery speaking Russian (badly) with a obvious Scottish accent. While I chuckle it does not detract from the movie for me.

I streamed this with Amazon Prime on my original Fire TV and the HD quality was excellent. No hiccups or... Read more
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please., September 8, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Recently I bought a FireTV and this was the first movie I watched to try it out. Prior to that the last time I watched it was more than a decade ago, but this is a classic that gets better with age. I don't really watch many movies simply because I can't help myself from picking them apart, and that just takes the fun away, but for some movies I can suspend that tendency long enough to actually enjoy the movie. Thanks to all the James Bond movies I watched as a kid, I'm pretty sure that there is a part of my brain that says "Oh it's Sean Connery, go tell the logical side to shut up for an hour or two, and let the man act", the same is true of "Star Wars". "the Hunt for Red October" reminded me of what the 80's were like, with the cold war going strong, and the Ruskies acting the part. This movie seemed at the time, like a glimpse into the silent battles waged below the waves for a generation between the US and Soviets.

(SPOILER ALERT) One thing... Read more
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Share your thoughts with other customers:
 See all 2,499 customer reviews...

The Hunt For Red October (1990) Chris

Summary: somewhere on the border between average and great.


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)

About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.

Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑
  • Subscribe via E-mail!

    Get notifications, exclusive contests and offers, and more!
    * = required field
  • More War Movies

  • Large Association of Movie Blogs
  • Recent Comments

  • Facebook

  • Archives