22 January 2011

The Hunt For Red October (1990)

What's he going to do, sail into New York, pop the hatch, and say "Here I am"? 

The Hunt for Red October.  One of the greatest movies ever.  I had not watched this movie in quite some time due to having it on VHS, and no VCR to play it on.  But, I recently acquired it on DVD and threw it on this morning.

Having been so long since watching it, I was fairly squealing with glee as I watched the opening credits.  I forgot most of the cast!  And what a tour de force the cast is.  Lets discuss..

Sean Connery - Capitan 1st Rank Marko Ramius
Alec Baldwin - Jack Ryan
Scott Glenn - Capitan Bart Mancuso, USS Dallas
Tim Curry - Senior Lt./Dr. Yevgeniy Petrov, Red October
Sam Neill - Captain 2nd rank Vasily Borodin, XO Red October

Now, those first few are the ones I always remember about the movie.  But lets review what other notables are in this movie:

James Earl Jones - Vice Admiral Jim Greer, CIA.  The voice of Vader!!

Joss Ackland - Ambassador Andrei Lysenko 'Diplomatic Immunity!' (Please see Lethal Weapon 2)

Richard Jordan - Dr. Jeffrey Pelt, National Security Advisor.  General Lewis 'Lo' Armistead.  He also played Dirk Pitt in 'Raise the Titanic', but we don't talk about that in polite company.

Courtney Vance - Jonesy, the badass sonar tech.  Ya, he doesn't believe a $40 million computer, and is able to track the Red October.  You know him from Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  But he's added a B to his name.

Gates McFadden - Caroline Ryan.  You might know her from this little show called Star Trek: The Next Generation.

There are a couple of other well known character actors, but that is about the bulk of the awesome casting in this movie.

I'll discuss casting in more detail in a future post.  I will be comparing this to the book of the same name.

The story is quite simple.  Connery plays a British Lithuanian commander of Soviet Russia's newest sub, the Typhoon class Red October.  And its a big son of a bitch.  The Russians fitted it with this neat little gadget called the caterpillar drive, which allows it to run silent.  Or sound like a whale at its loudest.  Ramius decides that its too bad ass for the Russians and wants to deliver it to the Americans.  General PG-rated badassery ensues.

Again, I don't want to get into too much detail here, but suffice to say this movie is great.  I do have some issues with it in relation to the book, but that's a discussion for another time.  I've always enjoyed this movie, and will watch it at the drop of a hat.  If you like taught, well executed Cold War action, then this movie is for you.  If you like Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery, then this movie is for you.  If you have never seen this movie then...well, really the movie is 21 years old.  You really have no excuse for not having seen it before.

1 comment:

  1. I thought this was a beautiful distillation of the book into a film. Yeah, the Jack Ryan in the book didn't know anything about subs, and it was as much about him getting educated about them as it was about the main story, but that would have made for a rather dull film. This tops my list as the best conversion of book to film I've ever seen.