Crimson Tide - In deepest danger

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German title Crimson Tide - In deepest danger
Original title Crimson Tide
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1995
length 111 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Tony Scott
script Michael Schiffer
Quentin Tarantino (unnamed collaboration)
production Jerry Bruckheimer
Don Simpson
music Hans Zimmer
camera Dariusz Wolski
cut Chris Lebenzon

Crimson Tide (Original title: Crimson Tide ) is an American feature film from 1995 . It plays on a submarine with ballistic missiles and deals with the danger of nuclear war. Directed by Tony Scott , the screenplay was written by Michael Schiffer based on a story shared with Richard P. Herrick. The main roles were played by Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman .


Captain Frank Ramsey is the captain of the Ohio-class nuclear-powered submarine USS Alabama , armed with nuclear ICBMs , Corvette Captain Ron Hunter is his first officer , who is replacing the first officer who was prevented from doing so due to illness. Ramsey and Hunter have different views on possible nuclear war . Ramsey is a hardliner and supporter of Carl von Clausewitz , while Hunter wants to avoid war if possible. Hunter told Ramsey, "In my humble opinion, the real enemy in the nuclear age is war itself."

When Russian nationalists occupy a nuclear missile base in Kamchatka , prepare nuclear ICBMs for launch and threaten to launch them if their demands are not met, nuclear war is imminent. The experienced Ramsey is with the USS Alabama in the North Pacific and is ordered to destroy the enemy base with a pre-emptive strike after an hour has elapsed. During the preparations for the launch of the on board the nuclear submarine ballistic Trident missiles it is by a Russian fighter submarine the Akula-class attack whose leadership has gone over to the nationalists. It was possible to repel the attack, but the communication facilities were damaged, so that another important radio message - Emergency Action Message - from the National Military Command Center from the Pentagon could only be partially received. Hunter then refuses to give the consent he needs to launch his own rockets, as he suspects the incomplete radio message will revoke the launch order, and urges a question as soon as the radios are repaired. Ramsey plans to fire the missiles despite Hunter's concerns. Hunter relieved Ramsey of command because he wanted to fire the missiles , contrary to the four-eyes principle provided for in the naval regulations , even without Hunter's consent, and urged the radio systems to be repaired as quickly as possible.

Under the command of First Officer Hunter, they manage to repel another attack by the Russian hunting submarine and ultimately destroy it. The USS Alabama, for its part, suffers considerable damage from a torpedo explosion near the boat and sinks to a depth of over 560 meters without propulsion. After repairing the damage to the drive, the submarine climbs again. With the help of some armed officers, Ramsey succeeds a short time later in regaining command and initiating the start phase for launching the rockets. Hunter prevents the shooting at the last moment.

The radio systems are repaired and another radio message can be received. It turns out that the Russian government forces defeated the nationalists and brought the launch base back under their control. The USS Alabama is ordered to revoke the missile launch. After a hearing before a US Navy investigative committee, Captain Ramsey declares his retirement from active duty and gives Ron Hunter a recommendation for his career.

In the end credits of the film, the viewer learns that since 1996 the command over the launching of submarine-based nuclear missiles has been reserved solely for the President of the United States and that a launch is only technically possible with his authorization.


The conflict between the officers depicted in the film is similar to a historical incident: the Soviet naval officer Vasily Alexandrovich Archipov was stationed on a Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine equipped with nuclear weapons during the Cuban Missile Crisis . On October 27, 1962, this submarine came under fire from US destroyers. The approval of three officers was required for the launch of torpedoes. In addition to Archipov, these were the submarine commander Valentin Savitzky and the political officer Ivan Maslennikow. Archipov was the only one of them who initially refused to use nuclear weapons and was finally able to convince his captain Savitzky to let the submarine appear to await further orders from Moscow.

In the report, which serves as the introduction to the film, various troops in action are shown. However, under the images of the fighting by the Russian military and rebels, there are many film clips showing US troops. According to the report and the rest of the film, however, these are not involved in these fighting. In addition, these film excerpts are not set in the same period, so images from the Vietnam War are shown next to images from the Gulf War .

The Pentagon was asked by the production company for logistical support, but refused, similar to Apocalypse Now or Platoon , due to the content of the film. Skip Beard, former Commanding Officer of the USS Alabama , was a technical advisor on the production of the film and can be seen in a cameo at the end of the film at the hearing in Pearl Harbor alongside Jason Robards . Robards served in the US Navy during World War II , but despite honorable services he did not receive the Navy Cross , as is often reported. The lead role, starring Gene Hackman, was originally offered to Al Pacino and Tommy Lee Jones . An unspecified role was turned down by Val Kilmer . According to an interview with Don Simpson , Andy García , Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise were also in discussion for the role that Denzel Washington finally played . Ryan Phillippe made his feature film debut with the film. The name of Lt. Zimmer was chosen as an homage to Hans Zimmer , who was responsible for the soundtrack. The film set used for the bridge of the USS Alabama was later featured in the film Independence Day for the shooting of the USS Georgia. The USS Barbel was also used for the recordings in which the crew of the submarine line up at the dock to address the commander. At that time, the Barbel no longer had a tower, so a wooden Ohio-class tower had to be built. The recordings in which the submarine goes underwater for the first time show the real USS Alabama . A few short exterior shots also show a Los Angeles-class Flight 1 boat . Tony Scott followed the submarine in a helicopter and made film recordings until the ship's commander gave the order to submerge after the film crew gave instructions for setting up did not follow the recordings. The few recordings that were recorded outside the submarine were taken at Chapman University in Orange, California , among others .

In the Simpsons episode Homer Goes to the Navy (season 9, episode 19) there are several references to Crimson Tide . On the one hand, the English original title is "Simpson Tide", on the other hand, the captain's address to the crew was copied with great attention to detail. The context of the inquiry committee hearing against Homer Simpson is also reminiscent of the final hearing of the original.

When Hunter speaks to the technician Vossler and asks him to repair the radio as soon as possible, he mentions the third Star Trek movie In Search of Mr. Spock , in which a Klingon ship attacks the Enterprise and Captain Kirk's chief engineer Scotty is asked to repair the warp drive as soon as possible. A little later in the film, Hunter quotes Captain Kirk again.

The origin of the Lipizzaner horses discussed in the film is neither Spain nor Portugal, but Lipica in today's Slovenia. When the stud was founded, Lipica was in the Austrian part of the Habsburg Empire .

The title name Crimson Tide is an allusion to the sports teams of the University of Alabama playing under this name , since the submarine is named USS Alabama . Otherwise it means crimson tide .

Production costs were estimated at 53 million US dollars . The film grossed around $ 91.4 million in US theaters and around $ 66 million in the rest of the world. On May 12, 1995 the film celebrated its world premiere in the USA. In Germany, it was released in theaters on July 13, 1995. On January 20, 2004, the film was released in Germany by Touchstone Pictures with an FSK-12 rating. The soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer , consisting of five music tracks, was released on July 10, 1995 by Polydor .


The German-language dubbing of the film was made from the magma synchronous GmbH from Berlin after a dialogue book and under the dialogue director of Joachim Kunz village .

actor speaker role
Denzel Washington Leon Boden Corvette Captain Ron Hunter
Gene Hackman Hartmut Neugebauer Captain Frank Ramsey
Matt Craven Udo Schenk Lt. Roy's room
George Dzundza Roland Hemmo Chief of the Boat
Viggo Mortensen Tom Vogt Lt. Peter "Weps" Ince
James Gandolfini Michael Walke Lt. Bobby Dougherty
Rocky Carroll Torsten Münchow Lt. Darik Westergard
Jamie P. Gomez Uwe Büschken Mahoney
Michael Milhoan Bernd Schramm Hunsicker
Scott Burkholder Michael Narloch TSO Billy Linkletter
Danny Nucci Dietmar miracle Danny Rivetti
Lillo Brancato Albert Obitz Russell Vossler
Eric Bruskotter Gerald Paradise Bennefield
Rick Schroder David Nathan Lt. Paul Hellerman
Steve Zahn Joachim Kaps Will Barnes
Jason Robards Joachim Nottke Rear Admiral Anderson
Richard Valeriani Norbert Gescher CNN reporter Richard Valeriani
Daniel von Bargen Uwe Karpa Vladimir Radchenko
Michael Milhoan Peter Reinhardt Hunsicker (Extended Version)
Jason Robards Peter Kirchberger Rear Admiral Anderson (Extended Version)
James Gandolfini Lutz Schnell Lt. Bobby Dougherty (Extended Version)


“A mutiny story shifted into the atomic age that relies less on material battles than on two fundamentally different characters. The exciting staging and good actors let the questionable plot fade into the background. "

“What is so unique about Crimson Tide is that it doesn't offer straightforward choices between good and bad. [...] This is the rare kind of war film that not only stimulates people during the showing, but also invites them to really discuss the content when they go out. "

“'Crimson Tide' is extremely exciting entertainment cinema, which of course cannot compete with the genre leader Das Boot and also falls a little behind Hunt for Red October , but moves in the spheres of K-19: Showdown in the depths and thus still leaves a lot of submarine films behind. "

- Carsten Baumgardt: film starts


Chris Lebenzon was for Best Editing for the film award Academy Award nominated. There were other Oscar nominations for the best sound and for the best sound effects . Hans Zimmer was nominated for the Saturn Award for his film music and won the Grammy Award . Denzel Washington was nominated for the MTV Movie Award for his role and won the Image Award .

The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating "valuable".

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release Certificate for Crimson Tide - In Deepest Danger . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , December 2006 (PDF; Extended Cut).
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k Internet Movie Database : Background information
  3. ^ Sterner C. Douglas: Index Recipients of the Navy Cross, All wars, All Branches, All Periodes . Ed .: Pueblo CO. 2006.
  4. Internet Movie Database : Filming Locations
  5. a b Internet Movie Database : Budget and Box Office Results
  6. a b Internet Movie Database : Start Dates
  7. a b Crimson Tide - In deepest danger. In: German synchronous index , accessed on December 16, 2011 .
  8. Crimson Tide - In Deepest Peril. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  9. ^ Roger Ebert: Crimson Tide. Retrieved September 27, 2008 . , What's unique about 'Crimson Tide' is that it doesn't offer clear-cut choices between good and evil. […] This is the rare kind of war movie that not only thrills people while they're watching it, but invites them to leave the theater actually discussing the issues.
  10. Filmstarts : Filmkritik , Carsten Baumgardt, accessed on September 26, 2011.
  11. a b c d Internet Movie Database : Nominations and Awards
  12. Crimson Tide - In deepest danger