Crimson Tide

Crimson Tide (1995)

21 corrected entries

(12 votes)

Corrected entry: Throughout the entire movie, Denzel Washington as XO says his rank is Lieutenant Commander. He is also spoken to as Lieutenant Commander by the Rear Admiral of the convening board. however his shoulder boards on his uniform at the final trial indicate he is a Commander, not a Lieutenant Commander.

Correction: The shoulder boards show 2 and 1/2 bars which is correct for LT. Commander. Commander is a full 3 bars.

Correction: That is true...the shoulder boards on his uniform at the final trail indicate he is a Commander, but when he puts his cap on outside and calls his Captain, the cap does not feature a single arc of oak leaves on both left and right side.

His shoulder boards are for an O-4, not an O-5.

Corrected entry: At both the beginning and the end of the film, when Hunter is shown in full uniform including his cover (hat), the brim has no braiding. Hunter is a Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) and would have a single row of braiding or Scrambled Eggs as they are referred to.


Correction: Not true. Navy LCDRs, unlike the USMC, US Army, and USAF, do NOT wear fretting/braiding/scrambled eggs on their cover-and they never have (i.e. Not a "new thing") Only Naval Officers CDR (O5) and above will have fretting on their covers. This is well known and easily confirmed via a basic search of Navy uniform regs.

Corrected entry: The cook who was killed is well beyond the Navy's weight standards. He should never have been on the boat to begin with.

Correction: Because he was a chief, he can get away with being over weight. I served with plenty of fat chiefs on the boat.


Corrected entry: In one scene Denzel Washington says that the last time American went to DEFCON three was during the Cuban Missile Crisis (which occurred in 1962). They apparently didn't look far enough forward in the history books. In October 1973 when Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a surprise attack on Israel, America upgraded to DEFCON three because of fears that the Soviets may also intervene.

Correction: Character mistake by Commander Hunter, one that was not caught (or at least, not corrected publically) by the Captain.


Corrected entry: In submarine movies the interior set is normally larger than life, to allow the movement of crew and equipment. But in Crimson Tide, the Alabama is WAY to big on the inside. In real life, the captain can stand by the periscope and tap the diving officer on the shoulder without moving his feet, whereas Gene Hackman had to walk a great distance to talk to George Dzundza.

Correction: On the Ohio class submarines the periscope platform is about 10 feet from the Diving Officers chair, so the Captian can not "tap the Diving Officer with out moving his feet". The movie is correct in that case.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Gene Hackman regains command of the Alabama, he tells his loyal officers to inform their men personally that he is again in command of the ship. As soon as they turn around to go back to their stations, Gene Hackman picks up the intercom and tells the entire ship that he is again in command. So why did he want his men to do it, if he was going to do it himself?

Correction: He makes an intercom announcement which he then wants his officers to *personally* communicate otherwise it may not be believed.

Joshua Skains

Corrected entry: When Gene Hackman does the drill right after the fire, his crew gets the codes out of a container marked "training" or "drill" or something of that nature. When the real EAM comes through and they get the codes out of the safe, they grab the training codes instead of the real ones.

Correction: They grab the "launch" authenticator during the real EAM. It's the one on the right. The "drill" authenticators are on the left. They definitely grab the right codes for each occasion.

Corrected entry: When the men are attempting to repair the radio, one of the men is talking on a Navy phone set which requires you to push in a button on the handset. He is pushing in the button in most scenes but in one particular scene he is holding handset between his shoulder and ear while working with both hands.

Correction: In the scene where he is holding the handset with his shoulder, he talks with Hunter who is downstairs somewhere. This is not the same radio he talks to the bridge with.

Corrected entry: At one point a character sneaks through the bowels of the ship from one end to the other. This would be hard to do since he would have to pass through the lower level reactor compartment. Even if you could do this (there is no such passage on any nuclear sub) it would not be very healthy.

Correction: Referring to Hunter and group going through a "crawlspace" to remove the Captain's key in conn, you would be correct to say there is no such crawlspace, but this all occurred forward of all engineering spaces anyway, so it was nowhere near the reactor.


Corrected entry: U.S. Submariners do not salute underway because military protocol stipulates that saluting does not occur indoors.

Correction: When not on the weather deck (which unless the submarine is on the surface and the parties are on the bridge), the only time salutes are exchanged on US Warships is when there is an official conduct that requires it (e.g. a ceremony such as Captain's Mast). Its not about being above deck or below are not outside and salutes are not required. This is not just for submarines, its for all vessels. Since by the very nature of being under the water, its impossible to render a salute outside the vessel, salutes are not exchanged inside the vessel. It would be retarded to expect that to happen, because then the only time the Navy protocols for not rendering salutes would only happen on shore stations, which obviously the Navy has fewer of than it does ships. It is neither practice nor necessary to render salutes when not on the weather deck.

Corrected entry: SSBN's (boomers) are too valuable to go out on patrol alone. They are ALWAYS accompanied by an attack sub whose job it is to "sanitize" the boomer's area of operation of unfriendly subs.

Correction: A ballistic missile boat does not operate in a "bastion" with another submarine. The principle of a ballistic missile boat in the modern world is one of extreme stealth. The Trident platform in itself is such that it is not even necessary for the submarine to deploy at sea to hit many of its intended (Cold War era) targets. It finds nowhere in the ocean to sit (and those are designated areas only identified to the crew and command authorities) and wait. It is not protected any more so than B2 bombers are when they're tasked to fly. The US Navy is too small to send a "protector" SSN out with every ballistic missile boat, even when this movie was made. And as an FWIW, when SSNs did "escort" SSBNs, that escort area was when the missile range was so short that it was in the Soviet operating areas, the submarines were louder, the enemy was more numerous, the probability of detection was higher. Even with those conditions, the "in-area" escort had thousands of square miles of ocean to "sanitize", a practical impossibility. That's why there are no "medium" or "short-range" ballistic missile submarines - you don't park your ordinance where someone can find it.

Corrected entry: No XO of any submarine would EVER don fire fighting gear and go fight a galley fire as portrayed. This can't be explained away as a 'character decision'. It is simply inconceivable that an experienced XO like Hunter would personally tackle a galley fire. On board a sub there is a dedicated fire fighting team made up of members of the boat's crew. The XO's place is on the bridge or emergency control centre as it is his job to co-ordinate the fire fighting effort. This is partly due to the fact that as the XO he may be required to attend to other situations that could arise (which is EXACTLY what happens in the movie). Hunter was actually in serious breach of protocol/ regulations by risking his life fighting the fire himself. Though it may seem bizarre to civilians, Hunter would in reality face much graver consequences for doing this than he would for anything else he does in the movie.

Correction: On my boat (USS New Hampshire SSN-778), the XO is the man in charge at the scene of the casualty, and the Officer of the Deck retains the deck and the conn. If need be, the CO is also in control to deal with any other issues that may arise.

Corrected entry: After the first torpedo attack, it is explained to the XO that the last EAM was cut off when the radio buoy's cable was severed in the attack. An outside shot shows the rear of the sub traveling forward away from camera, with the frayed cable trailing from the top of the sub's hull at a slightly upward angle, and running beyond the rudder. In fact, what should really happen in the shot, is the cable will follow the surface of the hull because the flow of water around the sub would force it to. That would put the cable right into the propeller and cause all sorts of mayhem. This mistake could have been easily avoided by simply having had the cable cut shorter in the attack. (00:55:05)


Correction: The cables for the towed arrays, including buoys on a Ohio-class submarine, are buoyant, and will not tangle with the prop, it is designed for this purpose.

Corrected entry: I have been in some stressful situations on board, but I don't believe I ever heard "holy shit sir" on the 21 MC like the sonar sup does here.


Correction: In times of extreme stress, people can and do say things that are not appropriate or required, even without realizing they said it. That you've never heard it personally doesn't mean it could never happen.


I personally observed a newly qualified Engineering Officer of the watch grab the 1MC (mikes had been swapped by his predecessor) after all watch standers hit alarm test and fiddled with their panels, he announces to the whole boat over the 1MC "What the F***k just happened?" We all sat down with our panels normal and nobody forward even called.

Corrected entry: In one scene, Captain Ramsey threatens to shoot Weaps if he doesn't open the safe that contains the tactical firing trigger. Then he says it does him no good to kill Weaps, as he's the only one who knows the combination to the safe. It is unlikely that only one person knows the combination: what if that person had died in the galley fire or drowned in the bilge bay? The crew is left with a safe that can't be opened.

Correction: Saying something is unlikely does not constitute a mistake, besides your mistake is more opinion than fact. Whether or not someone in the crew should know the combination or not doesn't seem too important. At the time Ramsey was intent on firing the missile and this might have been the quickest and only route that was available to him. Besides, it was the firing trigger, not the oxygen supplies. I think if something happened to him they would at least be able to go on.


Correction: Not really trivia. More of a character mistake.

Mister Ed

Which is a weird mistake for the character to make. He describes Clark Cable and then offers Cary Grant. It's a much easier mistake to make about Burt Lancaster, the other star of "Run Silent, Run Deep." Could it have been an editing error? They talk about TWO stars in the first film they discuss. Perhaps they edited around this cut dialogue? "Clark Gable and? Cary Grant."

I would say you are correct about the Burt Lancaster part being edited out and nobody catching it.

Corrected entry: Hunter gives the order to fire torpedoes 2 and 4. The external shot shows the torpedoes firing from opposite sides of the sub. On all US submarines, tubes 2 and 4 are on the same side.


Correction: The Alabama does launch from tubes on the same side. It is the enemy Akula that launches from opposite sides in that sequence.

Just watched that scene on YouTube (which may or may not have been a thing when this correction was originally posted). Alabama fires from opposite sides, like the Akula. It just shows both bays on the starboard side open.

Corrected entry: There is no way a dog would ever be allowed on a US nuclear sub and would definitely not be allowed to relieve itself in one of the main areas. I know quite a few men in the Navy who are not very fond of that.

Correction: This was addressed early in the movie. We are told that Gene Hackman's character is one of the few contemporary sub captains with combat experience. For that reason, the Navy "looked the other way" when it came to the dog.

Corrected entry: Using 10 nukes (at least) to destroy a base seems a tremendous overkill. A couple of standard missiles or bombs would do the job perfectly.

Correction: It would take a lot more then a couple of "standard" missiles or bombs to destroy an entire nuclear missile base. This would require a intense air raid against the base, and given that the Russian renegades were already fueling the missiles, there would not have been time for such a raid. Also, the side launching the attack must assume that one or more of their missiles could be intercepted.

Corrected entry: The Alabama is shown diving underwater with a long cable attached in two scenes, long before the scene of the launch of radio beacon happens (when winch cable gets cut and cable remains dangling...)

Correction: That would be the towed array sonar cable.

Grumpy Scot

Crimson Tide mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the incomplete second EAM is shown in the movie for the first time, its subject line states "nuclear missile launc..." However, when this same message is finally received at the end of the movie the subject line states: "terminate launch all missiles". If the first one had been consistent with the second this would have made quite a difference. (00:55:45 - 01:45:25)

Paul Reinders

More mistakes in Crimson Tide

Hunter: Chief of the Boat.
Chief of the Boat: Sir?
Hunter: Thank you, COB.
Chief of the Boat: Thank you? Fuck you! Get it straight Mr Hunter, I'm not on your side. Now you could be wrong! But wrong or right, the Captain can't just replace you at will. That was completely improper! And that's why I did what I did. By the book.
Hunter: I thank you anyway.

More quotes from Crimson Tide

Trivia: In the beginning of the movie, where it shows a rather scenic footage of the sub about to dive, the exact shot was also used in G.I. Jane. Note that Crimson Tide was directed by Tony Scott and GI Jane by brother Ridley. A bit of sibling teamwork?

More trivia for Crimson Tide

Question: The disagreement between Hunter and Ramsey centers on the interpretation of the message that got cut off - Hunter says it might be a recall order so it has to be verified before they launch missiles; Ramsey says it is meaningless because it got cut off, so they should proceed with their original orders. I do understand that the captain was working within a scary time limit (one hour till the Russians could fire their missiles), but I don't understand how anyone could justify not spending part of that hour trying to confirm the cut-off message. Naval command would hardly have radioed them again to say "Yes, we really want you to fire your missiles, we're just telling you again for emphasis," so that means it was not just possible but extremely likely that the cut-off message was a recall order. Given that, how could anyone in their right mind want to cause a nuclear holocaust without first trying to find out what the cut-off message really said?

Answer: In a war situation, the Captain is absolutely NOT allowed to try and contact anyone, lest it gives their position away, which is why he was unable to question or confirm the order.


More questions & answers from Crimson Tide

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