Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Flick Pick: The Hunt For Red October

The Hunt For Red October
(Paramount, 1990)

The only truly good movie version of a Tom Clancy novel ever made. As even Clancy agreed when he was alive to ask. (Sorry Harrison, but I'm sure the paychecks took the sting out of that truth.) If only Alec Baldwin didn't have an ego the size of Montana, and hadn't wanted to go do artsy pics, he could have owned the Jack Ryan franchise the way Sean Connery owned James Bond (and, arguably, still does) for the first movies in that series. His later loss was an actual cinematic tragedy, but in this movie, he flat-out is the Jack Ryan that Tom Clancy wrote, in the flesh, and the only one worth watching. The rest of the cast, obviously including Connery in the lead, but also the next fifteen actors after Baldwin, in every part down to one- or two-line throw-away bits, are superb as well. And the screenplay shortened hundreds of pages of novel into a tight and appropriate-length suspenseful action-thriller that set standards without gutting the book, something that wasn't done well on a big movie again until someone let Peter Jackson do Lord Of The Rings. Consequently, the movie was a blockbuster hit, scoring $200+M, and an Oscar for Best Sound Editing. So apropos of the title, you can't have an October without Red October.

1 comment:

Joe Kidd said...

Great quote from Christopher Columbus to end it too: “And the sea will grant each man new hope... his sleep brings dreams of home.”