The Hunt for Red October (film)

1990 film directed by John McTiernan

The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 film about one of the USSR's most senior submarine captains in their newest sub who violates orders and heads for the USA. The Americans and Soviets try to find him and try to figure out if the sub has gone rogue.

Comrades, our own fleet doesn't know our full potential. They will do everything possible to test us; but they will only test their own embarassment.
Directed by John McTiernan. Written by Larry Ferguson, based on Tom Clancy's 1984 novel.
Now, understand, Commander: The torpedo did not self-destruct. You heard it hit the hull. And I... was never here.
You arrogant ass! You've killed us!

Admiral James Greer

  • Now, understand, Commander: The torpedo did not self-destruct. You heard it hit the hull. And I... was never here.


[Captain Ramius has entered his personal quarters to see the zampolit, Ivan Putin, reading his Bible]
Ivan Putin: [reading, in Russian] "Behold, I am coming as a thief... and he gathered them all together in a place called Armageddon... [English] and the Seventh Angel poured forth his bowl into the air, and a voice cried out from Heaven, saying, "It is done!" A man of your responsibilities reading about the end of the world? And what's this? "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
Ramius: It is an ancient Hindu text, quoted by an American.
Putin: An American?
Ramius: Mmm. He invented the atomic bomb. He was later accused of being a communist.

[speaking to Dr. Petrov and Cook's Assistant Loginov after Putin's death]
Captain Marko Ramius: I want you and the doctor to witness this. I'm removing the political officer's missile key, and I'm keeping it myself.
Dr. Petrov: Captain, I think we should report this to Red Fleet Command.
Ramius: I'm afraid that's impossible, doctor. Our orders are for strict radio silence.
Petrov: This is most unnerving, captain. The reason for having two missile keys is so that no one man may...
Ramius: May what?
Petrov: ...may arm the missiles.
Ramius: Thank you. That will be all, doctor.

[Captain Ramius addresses the crew]
Captain Marko Ramius: Comrades, this is your captain. It is an honor to speak to you today, and I am honored to be sailing with you on the maiden voyage of our Motherland's most recent achievement. Once more, we play our dangerous game, a game of chess against our old adversary — the American Navy. For 40 years, your fathers before you and your older brothers played this game and played it well. But today, the game is different. We have the advantage and it reminds me of the heady days of Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin, when the world trembled at the sound of our rockets. Well, they will tremble again — at the sound of our silence. The order is: [looks at Vasily Borodin] engage for silent drive.
Captain 2nd Rank Vasily Borodin: Aye, sir. Ballast control, open outer doors.
Crewman: Yes, open outer doors.
Borodin: [to dive officer] Diving command. Engage caterpillar and secure main engines. [confirms caterpillar drive doors opening] Doors opening, Captain.
Ramius: Comrades, our own fleet doesn't know our full potential. They will do everything possible to test us; but they will only test their own embarrassment. We will leave our fleet behind, we will pass through the American patrols, past their sonar nets, and lay off their largest city, and listen to their rock and roll... while we conduct missile drills. Then, and when we are finished, the only sound they will hear is our laughter, while we sail to Havana, where the sun is warm, and so is the comradeship.
Borodin: Cryogenic plant coming online, Captain.
Ramius: A great day, comrades. We sail into history. [chief of the boat starts signing the Soviet national anthem]

[at the officer's wardroom, a simple question about the circumstances of political officer Putin's death leads to bickering among the other officers, but when one suggests going back to the USSR...]
Marko Ramius: [cuts in; everybody quiets] There will be no going back. [as he eats] Before we sailed, I dispatched a letter to Admiral Padorin, in which I announced our intention... to defect.
Lt Viktor Slavin: In the name of God, why?
Ramius: When he reached the New World, Cortés burned his ships. As a result, his men were well-motivated.
Officer No 1: You have signed our death warrants.
Officer No 2: Padorin will send the entire fleet.
Lt Yuri Stadnyuk: Jesus, they'll find us. They'll find us and -
Captain 2nd Rank Vasily Borodin: No one's going to find us. That's enough, Yuri!
Slavin: You had to do it, huh? You couldn't just turn the submarine over to the Americans. You had to make a political statement. Or was it something deeper, Captain... something that made you unable to slip away? Was it ego, Captain?
Ramius: We each have our reasons, Viktor. My own began the day I was handed the blueprints for this ship... a ship which had but one use. And as for the rest, well, those are things that I alone must carry the burden for. Anatoli, you're afraid of our fleet. Well, you should be. Personally, I give us one chance in three. [offers tea pot] More tea, anyone? No? Then you may report back to your posts.
Borodin: [stands up] You heard the Captain. Dismissed.
Slavin: [nods to Ramius] Captain... [the other officers leave and Borodin closes the door]
Borodin: Captain, I would never disagree with you in front of the men, you know that. But in this case, Viktor is right. It would've been better if you had not informed Moscow.
Ramius: Oh, Vasily. Moscow is not the worry, nor the whole Soviet Navy. I know their tactics. I have the advantage. No. The worry is the Americans. If we meet the right sort, this will work. We get some... buckaroo?

Lieutenant Engineer Melekhin: I found out what happened to the caterpillar drive. The buffer circuit has been torn out. It was only a matter of time before an overload shut down the whole caterpillar.
Captain Marko Ramius: What are you saying?
Melekhin: Whoever did this knew how to cripple the caterpillar in a way not easy to find.
Captain 2nd Rank Vasily Borodin: Captain, we have a saboteur onboard.
Ramius: It can't be any of the officers. They had all the time in the world before we put to sea. Must be a member of the crew. [turns to Vasily] Go below, to Putin's cabin. Check his files for information on the crew. We may have to put them off before we planned.

[Captains Ramius and Borodin talk about their plans to live in the US]
Captain 2nd Rank Vasily Borodin: I will live in Montana. And I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck... maybe even a "recreational vehicle." And drive from state to state. Do they let you do that?
Captain Marko Ramius: Oh, yes.
Borodin: No papers?
Ramius: No papers, state to state.
Borodin: Well then, in winter I will live in... Arizona. Actually, I think I will need two wives.
Ramius: Oh, at least.

Seaman Jones: Conn, sonar! Crazy Ivan!
Capt. Bart Mancuso: All stop! Quick quiet!
Man #1: All stop, aye.
Man #2: Engine's all stopped.
[the ship's engines are shut down completely]
Beaumont: What's going on, Jonesy?
Jones: Russian captains sometimes turn suddenly to see if anyone's behind them. We call it "Crazy Ivan." The only thing you can do is go dead, shut everything down, and make like a hole in the water.
Beaumont: So what's the catch?
Jones: The catch is, a boat this big doesn't exactly stop on a dime... and if we're too close, we'll drift right into the back of him.

[Aboard the USS Enterprise, Jack Ryan, wearing the dress blues of a U.S. Navy commander (O-5), exits after meeting Admiral Painter and Captain Davenport; Davenport is not impressed]
Admiral Josh Painter: You think he's crazy?
Captain Davenport: Certifiable. And no matter what his credentials, I don't care for him wearing the uniform.
Painter: You see that ring on his finger? The Academy, Class of '72. A Marine.
Davenport: You're kidding! How did you...
Painter: Greer told me. Summer of his third year, he and his squad went down in a chopper accident in the Med. Bad - pilot, crew killed. That kid spent ten months in traction, another year learning to walk again. Did his fourth year from the hospital. Now it's up to you, Charlie, but you might consider cuttin' the kid a little slack. Ah, Russians are gonna find that sub before we get near it, anyhow.

[The USS Dallas and the Red October have gone to periscope depth and have been signalling each other, and when the message is confirmed]
Capt. Bart Mancuso: All back full.
Lt. Cmdr. Thompson: Say again?
Mancuso: I said, all back full!
Thompson: Back full, aye sir. Engines back full.
[the Dallas reverses, churning the water]
Seaman Jones: Captain, we're cavitating, he can hear us!
Mancuso: Conn, aye! All stop!
Crewmember: All stop, aye.
Mancuso: Alright, Ryan, we just unzipped our fly. Mr. Thompson! Open the outer doors, firing point procedures. Now if that bastard so much as twitches, I'm going to blow him right to Mars.

[Ryan has just steered the Red October into the VK Konovalov's inbound torpedo upon Ramius' stern order]
Captain Second Rank Vasili Borodin: Torpedo impact, 7, 6, 5 seconds, 4, 3, 2, torpedo impact... now.
[the torpedo slams into the bow of Red October and breaks up on impact]
Commander Bart Mancuso: I'll be damned!
Jack Ryan: What happened?
Mancuso: Combat tactics, Mr. Ryan. By turning into the path of the torpedo, the Captain closed the distance before it could arm itself.
Ryan: So that's it?
Captain Ramius: Not quite. Right now Tupolev is removing the safety features on all his weapons. He won't make the same mistake twice.

[Ryan and Ramius go to the missile room to shut down a rocket that's being primed to ignite its motor inside the sub]
Captain Ramius: Hey, Ryan, be careful what you shoot at. Some things in here don't react too well to bullets.
Jack Ryan: [mutters] Yeah, like me. I don't react too well to bullets.
[Moves closer to enemy, who fires several shots at him]
Jack Ryan: I have to be careful what I shoot at?

[The VK Konovalov's torpedo has reacquired the Red October after being shaken off by the USS Dallas, and the Red October is heading right into the Konovalov]
Commander Bart Mancuso: Right full rudder, 30-degree down angle.
Helmsman: Aye sir.
Seaman Jones: [removes headphones] This one's gonna be close!
[The Red October turns hard to starboard and the torpedo locks on to the Konovalov]
Konovalov Crewman: Torpedo, dead ahead!
Andrei Bonovia: [to Captain Tupolev] You arrogant ass! You've killed us!
[Captain Tupolev has a moment to think before the torpedo destroys his sub]

Soviet Ambassador Andrei Lysenko: There is another matter... one I'm reluctant to...
Dr. Jeffrey Pelt: Please.
Lysenko: One of our submarines, an Alfa, was last reported in the area of the Grand Banks. We have not heard from her for some time.
Pelt: Andrei... [removes glasses] you've lost another submarine?

[The Red October comes to an inlet outside Penobscot, Maine]
Captain Ramius: "... and the sea will grant each man new hope, as sleep brings dreams of home." Christopher Columbus.
Jack Ryan: Welcome to the New World, Captain.


  • Invisible. Silent. Stolen.
  • The hunt is on.