It is 1984 and the Cold War is heating up.
The USSR has unveiled their newest, greatest, and most advanced submarine, the Red October. It is equipped with a revolutionary stealth drive that makes her undetectable to normal sonar and is commanded by notorious Communist patriot, hardliner, and legendary captain, Marko Ramius who practically trained their entire submarine corps. Armed with nuclear missiles, Red October is the ultimate deterrent. Or the ultimate first strike weapons platform.
On its maiden voyage to participate in a series of war games however, the Red October inexplicably disobeys its orders and heads west. Towards America before vanishing.
Shortly afterwards, the USSR responds by launching every single naval vessel, submarine, and airplane to try and find the Red October ... and sink her at all costs! The discovery frightens the United States and they fear the worst: that Ramius has gone rogue and is planning to launch an apocalyptic surprise attack, heralding in World War III!
One man believes differently.
CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is convinced that Ramius intends to defect. But no one believes him. And he must prove his convictions because both the USSR and the United States is hunting the Red October. To find her. And destroy her. Racing against time and the best of the US and USSR has to offer; the inexperienced and typically desk bound Ryan must somehow find Ramius first to warn him. The hunt is on!
- Sean Connery as Captain Marko Aleksandrovich Ramius
- Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan
- Scott Glenn as Commander Bart Mancuso
- Sam Neill as Captain Vasily Borodin
- James Earl Jones as Vice Admiral James Greer
- Joss Ackland as Ambassador Andrei Lysenko
- Richard Jordan as Dr. Jeffrey Pelt
- Peter Firth as Senior Lieutenant Ivan Putin
- Tim Curry as Lieutenant Yevgeniy Petrov
- Ronald Guttman as Lieutenant Melekhin
- Michael Welden as Lieutenant Gregoriy Kamarov
- Boris Lee Krutonog as Lieutenant Victor Slavin
- Courtney Vance as Ronald "Jonesy" Jones
- Stellan Skarsgard as Captain Viktor Tupolev
- Jeffrey Jones as Dr. Skip Tyler
- Timothy Carhart as Lieutenant Commander Bill Steiner
- Anthony Peck as Lieutenant Commander Tommy Thompson
- Larry Ferguson as Master Chief Watson
- Fred Dalton Thompson as Rear Admiral Joshua Painter
- Daniel Davis as Captain Charlie Davenport
- Sven-Ole Thorsen as Chief of the Boat of Red October
- Gates McFadden as Dr. Caroline Ryan
- Tomas Arana as Igor Loginov
- Ned Vaughn as Seaman Beaumont
- Peter Zinner as Admiral Yuri Ilyich Padorin
- Peter Jason as Commander of USS Reuben James
The Hunt for Red October was based on the best selling novel of the same name written by Tom Clancy which was released in 1984. Despite its proven financial success, many felt that the complex politically driven plot was simply too complicated for a film. Despite this, producer Mace Neufield believed that it could be done and optioned Clancy's novel and sought to convince several movie studios to back his project for over a year and a half.