The Hunt for the Red October (1990)

Screenplay Genre: Action / Adventure / Thriller

Movie Time: 134 minutes

1. INCITING INCIDENT

In 1984, during the high tensions of the Cold War, Capt. Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) takes the new Russian submarine The Red October out on her maiden voyage. In his private study, Ramius kills Political Officer Putin (Peter Firth), who wanted to broadcast the mission orders to the crew. Ramius burns the orders and replaces them with a set of his own. Then he reports Putin’s death as an accident.   (00:18:22)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

Dallas, a US Submarine, has picked up The Red October on sonar and is following behind unnoticed. Capt. Ramius engages the new silent propulsion drive and the Red October “disappears.” Sonar tech Jonesy (Courtney B. Vance) reports that he could hear singing right after he lost the signal. (00:28:38)                 

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

Admiral Pedorin has dispatched the entire Russian fleet to blow Ramius out of the water after he received a letter from Ramius stating his intention to defect. There’s no going back now. The Red October, running on normal propulsion after the new silent drive was sabotaged, narrowly escapes a Russian torpedo. (1:08:52)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Commander Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin), having figured out Ramius’ intentions, convinces Capt. Mancuso (Scott Glen) to give Ramius a chance despite orders to fire upon The Red October. Mancuso orders an “all-back full” which gives away Dallas’ position to Ramius. (01:34: 17)

5. THIRD ACT TWIST

After getting his crew off The Red October by faking a nuclear reactor leak, Ramius plans to fake the self-destruction of The Red October. This way he can give the sub up to the Americans, and successfully defect. But before he can do this, Capt. Tupolev (Stellan Skarsgard) arrives in his own sub and an intense underwater battle begins. (02:07:16)