Sunday, October 3, 2010
Movie of the Week
THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (1989)
Starring- Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, James Earl Jones
To start off the month of October, here's a review of a movie with 'October' in the title. I'm so clever.
The first big screen appearance of author Tom Clancy's CIA analyst Jack Ryan is a classic Cold War thriller. Ryan has been featured in three subsequent films where he has been played by Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, but the best movie about him was this one where he was played by Alec Baldwin. Baldwin turns in an impressive performance, and is helped along by a very strong supporting cast led by the great Sean Connery as the Soviet submarine captain, Marko Ramius.
Ramius is the senior commander of Russia's newest and most advanced sub, the Red October, which boasts a Caterpillar propulsion system that renders it almost completely silent to enemy submarines. It is a weapon that could threaten the delicate balance between the U.S. and the Soviets at the hight of the Cold War, and because of this Ramius plans to defect. It is up to Jack Ryan to make sure that Ramius and the Red October get a chance to fulfill their mission, but circumstances are complicated by the U.S. Navy who think the submarine is rogue, and the Russians who plan to sink Ramius so that the submarine cannot fall into the Americans' hands.
Thanks to the work of the U.S.S. Dallas, commanded by Captain Mancuso (Scott Glenn), the Red October is easy to find once Ryan figures out Ramius' plan. Once on board the Red October, Ryan and Mancuso accept Ramius' defection, but not before another Russian sub goes on the attack. The suspense ratchets up and up until the climax which I will not spoil here. In addition to the ever present Cold War tension, there is a good deal of humor mixed in- most of it coming when Connery and Baldwin finally share scenes together.
The Hunt for Red October is a great film that showcases some quintessential moments in the genre. There are scenes and lines that have become iconic, including the performances of Baldwin and Connery. The only better submarine movie is Das Boot, and it has subtitles.
Things to watch for-
Tim Curry as the Russian doctor
Stanley and his little brother
Alec Baldwin's Sean Connery impression
"I'm not an agent, I just write books for the CIA."