The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 thriller film based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It was directed by John McTiernan and stars Sean Connery as Captain Marko Ramius and Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan. The film received highly positive reviews from critics and was one of the top grossing films of the year, grossing $122 million in North America and $200 million worldwide. The film won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing in 1991.
In 1984, Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius (Connery) commands Red October, a new vessel featuring a caterpillar drive rendering it undetectable to sonar. Ramius leaves port on orders to conduct exercises with the submarine V.K. Konovalov, commanded by his former student Captain Tupolev (Skarsgård). Once at sea, Ramius kills political officer Ivan Putin (Firth), the only man aboard besides himself who knows the sub's orders. He then burns the orders, replaces them with counterfeit orders, and commands the crew to head toward America's east coast to conduct missile drills. The American submarine USS Dallas, on patrol in the North Atlantic, briefly detects Red October but loses contact once Ramius engages the silent drive.
The next morning, CIA analyst Jack Ryan (Baldwin) briefs government officials on the departure of Red October and the threat it poses. Officials in the briefing, learning that the Soviet Navy has been deployed to sink Red October, fear Ramius may plan an unauthorized strike against the United States. Ryan, however, hypothesizes that Ramius instead plans to defect, and leaves for the North Atlantic to prove his theory before the U.S. Navy is ordered to sink Red October.
Red October's caterpillar drive fails at sea and sabotage is suspected. No longer silent, the submarine comes under attack by Soviet forces and begins risky maneuvers through undersea canyons. Petty Officer Jones (Vance), a sonar technician aboard Dallas who has discovered a way to detect Red October, plots an intercept course. Ryan arranges a hazardous mid-ocean rendezvous to get aboard Dallas, where he attempts to persuade its captain, Commander Bart Mancuso (Glenn), to contact Ramius and determine his intentions.
The Soviet Ambassador, who earlier claimed that Red October was lost at sea and requested U.S. assistance in a rescue mission, at this point informs the U.S. that the sub is a renegade and asks for U.S. help to sink it. An order to do this is communicated to the U.S. Fleet, including Dallas. Mancuso is conflicted about whether he should follow his orders, but Ryan convinces him to make contact and offer to assist Ramius in his defection.
Ramius, stunned that the Americans correctly guessed his plan to defect, accepts their cooperation. He then stages a nuclear reactor emergency and orders the bulk of his crew to abandon ship, telling the doctor Petrov (Curry) that he and the other officers will scuttle the sub rather than let it be captured. Ramius submerges and Ryan, Mancuso, and Jones come aboard via a rescue sub, at which point Ramius requests asylum in the United States for himself and his officers.
Thinking their mission is complete, Red October's skeleton crew are surprised by a torpedo attack from Konovalov, which has followed them across the Atlantic. As the two Soviet subs maneuver, one of Red October's cooks, Loginov (Arana), an undercover GRU agent who has hidden himself on board, opens fire at the fire control, fatally wounding Ramius's first officer, Vasily Borodin (Neill) before retreating into the missile launch area, followed by Ramius and Ryan. Loginov shoots Ramius, wounding him, but Ryan shoots Loginov before he can detonate a missile and destroy the sub.
Meanwhile, with help from Dallas, Red October makes evasive maneuvers, causing Konovalov to be destroyed by one of its own torpedoes. The evacuated crew of Red October, about to be taken on board a U.S. Navy rescue ship, witness this explosion and, not knowing that there is a second Soviet sub, assume it was Red October that was sunk. Their subterfuge complete, Ryan and Ramius sail Red October to the Penobscot River in Maine.