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The Hunt for Red October

Title: The Hunt for Red October

Year: 1990

Genre: Action | Adventure| Thriller |

Runtime: 135 min

Director: John McTiernan

Starring: Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn


In November 1984, the Soviet Union’s best submarine captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the U.S. Is he trying to defect or to start a war?



Between the 70s, 80s and the 90s, we saw the best movies ever made. Stories that engage the audience modern films never could during the decades of modern filmmaking after the golden era in Hollywood.  The films were big and distributed in a smarter way, as these features made movies fun. There was a clear distance between the audience and the film plot, which is erased today. Everyone can make a film and make movies but few can tell a good story. Often the films from 30 years back, in the 90s good actors and directors to deploy.

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Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for the Red October, is a prime example of it. Even 30 years behind it, it stands out better than the trash we see in cinema today.  With an all-star cast, it has characters intertwined with the plot in an efficient way. When you have a cast including Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Scott Glenn, Stellan Skarsgård, Courtney B. Vance, James Earl Jones, and more directed by John McTiernan. McTiernan who raised Die Hard in the action-genre to a maximum profit.

Baldwin gives a charm and charismatic approach as the CIA-analytic Jack Ryan, which is the first film in the franchise. Tom Clancy wrote the book the film it’s based on a long time before and gave this Cold War thriller a nuanced insight of both sides. Sean Connery, with his toupee, gives an interesting and compelling performance as the soviet captain. Every actor has a part to play in this cat and mouse-hunt.  As you probably regard as it concerns the Cold War, the soviet is prolific as the antagonist of the story.

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It has entertainment value and is rather slow-paced with its 135 minutes. Both sides of the story with Ryan trying to direct the Americans in the correct direction plays out as forced at sometimes. They’re trying to prevent the soviets to fulfil their plans with Jack Ryan as the man on the top.  The dialogue helps to give the character a deeper meaning and some development. One example is Ryan’s fear of turbulence on an airplane, which he later on experience in the film. It has an anti-climatic ending where the build-up from the first act loses its confidence in the third one.

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The film launched a successful franchise of several films and TV- adaptions. Even after 30 years, it holds its quality, only to bad that the core ensemble of the cast doesn’t return in the sequels. It would have made this film better if it had some sort of consequence. Cause’ right now, it functionalizes as a stand-alone film in a series of adaptations.  Overall, the films are a solid debut for a fan of the Cold-war era. It proceeds expectations as these characters appear to be reliable and trustworthy – at least to some extent. It has strong performances, atmospheric music, and good editing.


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