Hunt for Red October (film)

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German title Hunt for Red October
Original title The Hunt for Red October
Hunt for red october film.svg
Country of production United States
original language English , Russian
Publishing year 1990
length 129 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director John McTiernan
script Larry Ferguson
Donald Stewart
production Mace Neufeld
Larry DeWaay
Jerry Sherlock
music Basil Poledouris
camera Jan de Bont
cut Dennis Virkler
John Wright

Successor  →
The hour of the patriots

Hunt for Red October (Original title: The Hunt for Red October ) is a literary film adaptation of the bestseller ofthe same name by Tom Clancy . It is about a Soviet nuclear submarine whose captain and his officerswant to defer to NATO . The successful film was shot in 1990 by John McTiernan and opened in German cinemas on August 9, 1990.


Shortly before the end of the Cold War is in the Russian Polyarny the nuclear submarine Red October a completed missile submarine of the class Project 941 . An American satellite locates the new submarine as it leaves for its maiden voyage to conduct tests in the North Atlantic . The captain is the Lithuanian Marko Ramius, a highly respected man in the Soviet Navy and in political circles. The CIA - Analyst Jack Ryan puts the submarine experts Skip Tyler footage from the construction of the ship before he from British intelligence received. This should clarify what the mysterious hatches on the Red October mean. Tyler is convinced that the submarine with a magneto-hydrodynamic drive , "Caterpillar" called, was equipped, the construction of which has not yet succeeded in the US and would enable a submarine, almost silently move around and from the sonar net of To remain undetected by NATO in the Atlantic.

Tyler's suspicion is confirmed when the American nuclear submarine USS Dallas ( Los Angeles class ), which is chasing the Red October , loses track when its silent drive is switched on. However, sonar expert Jones finds out that the underwater noises, which the sonar computer classifies as magma deposits , must have come from the Red October . Your course points to the entrance of an undersea mountain formation off the Icelandic coast. As a result of these events, the security advisor to the president and the general staff are briefed by the CIA in a meeting. Since the Red October is armed with ballistic nuclear missiles , the USA has classified it as a first-strike weapon and thus a serious threat. The sudden departure of the Soviet Northern Fleet formations as well as other naval units besides the Pacific Fleet immediately after the Red October indicate that an attack on the USA is being prepared. During the crisis meeting at which Dr. Jack Ryan is present as a speaker, however, a letter comes up that Ramius had sent to his superior, Admiral Yuri Ilyich Padorin, shortly before the departure. The contents of this letter are unknown to the Americans, but the Soviet Northern Fleet was ordered to track down and sink Red October . It is now believed that Ramius has gone mad and wants to attack the US single-handedly. Jack Ryan, who knows Ramius only briefly, the thought occurs that Ramius could possibly plan to defer to the USA: The Red October expired on the first anniversary of his wife's death, and he leaves no ties because he is childless. In addition, he has trained many senior naval officers on board, thereby building important relationships. Ryan receives from the President's Security Advisor , Dr. Jeffrey Pelt, three days to prove his theory and is brought by helicopter to the USS Enterprise in the relevant operational area.

In order to prevent one of his officers from backing down, Ramius informed Moscow of his intentions through the letter. He is convinced that he can take the risk of being hunted by the Soviet Northern Fleet, as he knows their tactics and has trained most of the hunting submarine commanders. His main problem is the Americans and their unpredictable reaction to contact. There is also a Soviet political officer on board , but he can eliminate him through a fake fatal accident. When the Red October reaches an underwater mountain formation that is difficult to traverse, the silent drive is disabled by a saboteur . It is the secret service man suspected to be on board and previously unrecognized, who knows the real marching orders and therefore became aware when Ramius announced deviating orders via the on-board communications. His suspicions were confirmed when he witnessed how Ramius took the missile keys of the political officer who had died in the accident, which had to be distributed among several people for security reasons. While the caterpillar drive was being repaired, Ramius allowed propeller drive to continue, which enabled a Soviet aircraft to locate the Red October and attack with a torpedo . Contrary to the concerns of his officers, Ramius carries out a daring steering maneuver in front of a rock face and can thus prevent the torpedo hit at the last second.

The Soviet ambassador to Washington, Andrei Lysenko, meanwhile informs Dr. Jeffrey Pelt that Ramius had suffered a nervous breakdown and is now planning to attack the United States after initially speaking of a search for a missing submarine. Then receives USS Dallas command Red October to sink. Ryan, who has meanwhile been brought aboard the USS Dallas by helicopter in stormy weather, is able to convince Captain Bart Mancuso at the last moment and with the help of a trick not to destroy the Red October , but to contact her. This is done via light-Morse signals and pings . As part of this exchange, Ramius confirms his intention to overflow, and he is thereupon instructed by Ryan to approach a certain position above a depth in the Laurentian Trench . Once there, the chief engineer of the Red October fakes a reactor accident so that Ramius has an excuse to evacuate the crew of the submarine. During the evacuation of the crew, the American frigate USS Reuben James runs towards the submarine and gives the order not to submerge. Ramius gives the uninitiated on-board doctor the order to cast off with the crew in the life rafts and pretends that he and the officers want to sink the Red October so that it does not fall into American hands. The frigate then carries out a mock attack on the Red October and then takes its crew from the lifeboats.

Under water, Ryan, together with the commander of the USS Dallas and other crew members, can be transferred unnoticed with a DSRV rescue submarine ( Mystic class ) to Red October . After the Soviets and Americans were initially suspicious of each other there, Ramius gave the Americans his submarine and asked for asylum in the United States of America. Suddenly a Soviet Project 705 fighter submarine , the WK Konovalov under Captain Tupolev, intervenes, and the secret service agent , who is still on board the Red October , strikes a second time. He shoots officer Vasili Borodin, chief officer and good friend of Ramius, and injures Ramius. While the commander of the USS Dallas takes command on the Red October and fends off the Soviet fighter submarine, Ramius and Ryan follow the secret service agent to the missile silos. There Ryan shoots the agent before he can blow up the propellant for one of the nuclear missiles.

By skillful maneuvering of the Red October and the USS Dallas , the Soviet fighter submarine is finally destroyed by its own torpedo. The Red October crew is watching the underwater explosion aboard the USS Reuben James and is convinced that it is the Red October that was sunk. Jeffrey Pelt gives an official statement to the Soviet ambassador about the events. The ambassador has to accept this and, to Pelt's astonishment, reports another submarine missing, the WK Konovalov captain Viktor Tupolews. The Red October is hidden at dawn on the Penobscot River in Maine , far from the nearest military base , so no one would search for the submarine here. Ramius explains to Dr. Ryan explains the motives for his actions: preventing a Soviet first strike with a submarine that was built especially for it. He hopes for a revolution in Moscow and a peaceful retirement for himself in the USA.


The $ 30 million film grossed over $ 200 million worldwide. In Germany, more than 1.35 million people saw the Hunt for Red October in the cinema.


"Technically complex and impressively staged film whose Cold War story appears to be quite antiquated in view of a more differentiated political landscape."

"Effective underwater espionage thriller."

“McTiernan leads his actors with the precision of a clockwork, systematically building up tension that multiplies according to the snowball principle. He can rely on a great ensemble, from which Sean Connery ('The Russia House') and Alec Baldwin ('Miami Blues') stand out. Despite simple good-bad clichés, this is the most perfect edition of McTiernan's archaic action cinema to date, which will soon be on the hunt for the top of the charts. "


Tom Clancy's novel is based on the 1975 mutiny on the Soviet frigate Storoshevoy .

Kevin Costner was originally slated to play Jack Ryan . However, this said because of the simultaneously produced The Dances with Wolves from. The role was then played by Alec Baldwin . In two other films in the series ( The Hour of the Patriots and The Cartel ) Jack Ryan is played by Harrison Ford , in another one each by Ben Affleck ( The Attack ) and Chris Pine ( Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit ). In the Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series produced by Amazon , John Krasinski slips into the role of the CIA officer.

Klaus Maria Brandauer was actually intended for the role of Marko Ramius , but he had to cancel because of time constraints as he was still involved in another film project. Eventually, Sean Connery was awarded the contract.

Jack Ryan's wife, Caroline Ryan , is featured in a brief appearance by Gates McFadden in The Hunt for Red October . Anne Archer plays Cathy Ryan in The Hour of the Patriots and The Cartel . In The Attack , Caroline 'Cathy' Muller , girlfriend of Jack Ryan , is played by Bridget Moynahan . In the three films below, the character is a doctor. She is portrayed in the Amazon series by Abbie Cornish .

The saying quoted by the political officer Ivan Putin “I have become death. The destroyer of the worlds. ”Is an excerpt from the Bhagavad Gita and refers to Robert Oppenheimer , the father of the atomic bomb.

The USS Dallas was portrayed by the USS Houston (SSN-713) , which also carried out the emergency maneuver shown in the film. During filming, she sank a tugboat, drowning a sailor. The frigate approaching shortly after the Red October surfaced is the USS Gary , an Oliver Hazard Perry class ship . In the film, however, this was carried as the sister ship Reuben James . Your crew also took part in some scenes.

Even if the Red October itself never existed, the project 941 , to which the Red October belongs in the film, is a real family of six well-known Russian submarines from 1981 to 1989. The models of the red boat hull used in the film October show some similarities to the real boats of the project. According to the film, the Red October is the seventh boat in the class. A seventh boat of this class was commissioned by the USSR and the shell construction started in 1986 (internal designation: TK 210), but construction was stopped in 1990 and the unit was then scrapped. The film takes place in November 1984; By this time, however, only three Typhoon-class boats had been built and released. The closest boat in the class from the release date is the TK-12 "Simbirsk" or "Typhoon 3", which has not been in service since 2000. No boat in the project had the status of the first-strike weapon characterized in the film. All boats were explicitly intended to ensure the ability to strike a second hit and were therefore designed to be more defensive than offensive.

The magnetohydrodynamic drive "caterpillar" mentioned in the film was installed in a functioning prototype watercraft, but is still not anywhere near economical to use. There are no known use cases or attempts in a submarine.

The maneuver Mad Ivan , mentioned and driven several times in the film , was carried out every 90 minutes in order to be able to listen with the sonar in the deaf sector behind the boat. However, this is unnecessary for boats of the Project 941, since all ships of this class have a tow sonar integrated into the tail fin, which serves to cover the deaf sector. The streamlined container in which the tow sonar is housed can be seen in some scenes at the fictional Red October .

In contrast to the book, the plot in the film is strongly condensed and partially changed; the simulated sinking of the Red October by the US Navy is covered in the book with the sinking of its own obsolete submarine, in the film it is the destruction of the Alfa boat WK Konovalov under Captain Tupolev. The role of the assistant cook, who as a GRU officer is supposed to ensure compliance with the marching orders alongside the political officer, is also not so clearly emphasized. The ominous death of Ramius' wife Natalia - she died in the novel as a result of the incompetence of a drunk doctor with the highest connections during a routine procedure and the unavailability of Western medicines - is not discussed in the film. This incident, given the impossibility of obtaining justice in Soviet society, was a powerful argument for Ramius' change of sides.


The German dubbing was done by Berliner Synchron . Lutz Riedel , who also wrote the dialogue book, was the dubbing director .

role actor Voice actor
Sea captain Marko Aleksandrovich Ramius Sean Connery Gert Günther Hoffmann
Dr. Jack Ryan Alec Baldwin Hans-Jürgen Dittberner
Commander Bart Mancuso (Kdt.) Scott Glenn Jürgen Thormann
Frigate Captain Vasili Borodin Sam Neill Lutz Riedel
Admiral James Greer (CIA) James Earl Jones Edgar Ott
Ambassador Andrei Lysenko Joss Ackland Joachim Cadenbach
First Lieutenant for the Sea Dr. Yevgeny Petrov (doctor) Tim Curry Raimund Krone
First Lieutenant Ivan Jurjewitsch Putin (Political Officer) Peter Firth Uwe Paulsen
Captain Oliver Wendell 'Skip' Tyler Jeffrey Jones Joachim Kerzel
Dr. Jeffrey Pelt Richard Jordan Volker Brandt
Petty Officer 2nd Class Ronald "Jonesey" Jones Courtney B. Vance Joachim Tennstedt
Frigate Captain Viktor Tupolev Stellan Skarsgård Ulli Kinalzik
Admiral Joshua Painter Fred Dalton Thompson Klaus Sunshine
Lieutenant Grigory Kamarov Michael Welden Martin Keßler
Caroline Ryan Gates McFadden Traudel Haas
Chief of the Boat Watson Larry Ferguson Harald Dietl
Captain Charlie Davenport Daniel Davis Christian Rode
Phil Thompson Anthony Peck Eberhard Prüter
Assistant cook Igor Loginov Tomas Arana Peter Flechtner
Seaman Beaumont Ned Vaughn Frank Schröder
Oberleutnant zur See Melekhin, Flight Engineer Red October Ronald Guttman Rüdiger Joswig


The film was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1991 in technical categories: Best Editing , Best Sound and Best Sound Editing . Ultimately, Cecelia Hall and George Watters II received the Oscar for best sound editing.

Sean Connery was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. In addition, Basil Poledouris received a BMI Film & TV Award .

The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating “particularly valuable”.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Box office at Box Office Mojo
  2. Hunt for Red October. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. a b Hunt for Red October ( Memento from August 10, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) in the Dirk Jasper FilmLexikon
  4. Michael Feeney Callan: Sean Connery. His films - his life . 2nd Edition. Heyne, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-453-86076-4 .
  7. Frequently asked questions about the film
  8. Hunt for Red October. In: German synchronous file , accessed on October 14, 2008 .
  9. Nominations and Awards in the Internet Movie Database
  10. ^ German film and media rating