The Hunt for Red October

Corrected entry: As Ryan embarks to shoot it out with the KGB agent down amid Red October's ballistic missile tubes, Ramius warns Ryan to be careful what he shoots at, because the nukes don't "react well to bullets". Of course it's wise to be careful with guns, but you could unload an assault rifle on the tubes and the nukes inside wouldn't care. The tubes are tough enough to stand up to launching their rockets. A stray bullet would be nothing.

Correction: Ramius actually says: "Most things in here don't react well to bullets". He wasn't specifically referring to the missiles. There are many things on board a nuclear sub that could be damaged by gunfire.

Grumpy Scot

Correction: The rockets are not fired in the tubes. The missile is expelled from the tube by compressed gas. The rocket is only fired when it is safely clear of the submarine.

Corrected entry: In the scene where the US is going to drop a torpedo on the Red October, when the helicopter lifts off from the deck, the torpedo is mounted on the starboard side. After the drop order, it drops from the port side of the chopper.

Correction: It is possible that the helicopter held two torpedos, one on left and one on right. The right side of the chopper was not visible during its take-off and early flight scenes. Examining the screen shots of the chopper just before and during torpedo drop - even in slo-mo & stop-action, I could not determine with certainty whether or not the chopper carried a similar torpedo on its right side. but the possibility exists that it carried two torpedos, and dropped only its left one.

Corrected entry: As the rafts are casting off from the deck of Red October, during a close-up of one of the rafts, a crew member reaches out to the camera in an effort to steady himself.


Correction: The sailor reaches out for SOMETHING, but since we never see the camera we don't know what.

Corrected entry: Towards the end, after the cook shoots at Sean Connery and Sam Neill blocks it, they open his jacket to look at the wound. His jacket is perfectly intact and his shirt only has a red stain - there is no visible hole.

Correction: When the first officer is shot, there is a visible hole in the jacket. Unfortunately the shot of the wound is a black-on-black shot making the damage to the jacket very very hard to see.

Corrected entry: In the scene when Ryan first meets the captain on the aircraft carrier, he explains that the uniform was Greer's idea, and the captain answers, "You work for Jim Greer?" After Ryan leaves, they discuss Ryan's ring, and the captain says, "Greer told me." He seems surprised Ryan works for Greer, but was briefed about the mission by Greer.

Correction: The discussion about the ring takes place several hours later. The captain was briefed by Greer while Ryan was sleeping.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Ryan releases himself from the helicopter, the CO of the Dallas promptly sounds off, "Man overboard port side", then proceeds two levels down where he sees two personnel dragging in a very wet Ryan. Two levels down on a 688 class submarine is significantly below the waterline and there is no access overboard at that point.

Correction: True IF he'd gone down two decks of the hull, but he started out at the top of the conning tower, which is at least two decks tall. He's simply gone from the top of tower to the base of it. (And before we get into class-specific details of what is where on the real sub type it is stated to be, this is a fictional variant of such a sub in a Hollywood movie, not a replica in an historical re-enactment, and the film's makers are allowed artistic license in the design of their fake sub (short of having screen doors, of course).


Corrected entry: Jack dictates messages for the captain to send to Ramius. He writes down a message asking Ramius if he wants to defect and to meet them at...then searches for a map. He finds the name Laurentian Abyssal and rushes back to the captain - without writing it down - and the captain sends the written message. Laurentian Abyssal is not mentioned verbally and Ramius abruptly ends the dialogue.

Correction: As Ryan is running back to Captain Mancuso with his final message, you can see him jot down a few last letters or numbers on his notepad. This is most likely coordinates, as the name "Laurentian Abyssal" would not necessarily mean anything to the Russians. Coordinates would also take a lot shorter time to write down and send. Which also explains why Ramius "abruptly ends the dialogue" - he had gotten all the information he needed and no further communication was necessary. Ryan could have also written the letters L. A. The Russian's map did have Laurentian Abyssal in English. L. A. Could easily be used as locational shorthand considering the close proximity of both ships to that location.


Corrected entry: Wire guided torpedoes you can steer and provide input to as long as the wire doesn't break. Air dropped, ship fired, and ASROC's don't give you the option.

Correction: That's interesting, but this entry doesn't tell us which of the multiple torpedoes fired in the film was wire guided, and what the mistake is.


Corrected entry: When the DSRV disengages from the Dallas, the pilot floods the skirt and then reports that they have a 'soft seal', meaning they are still lined up with the Dallas's hatch but it's not watertight. When they dock with the Red October, he again reports a 'soft seal', and then the other guy goes to immediately open the hatch. Shouldn't they do a 'hard seal' or whatever they call it to seat the DSRV firmly against the Red October first and keep the water from rushing in when the hatch opens?

Correction: Hard seal refers to having interconnecting docking ports together. Soft seal means that one ship has made the connection witout a corresponding lock from the other vessel. Since the DSRV has a universal port that just goes around hatches it only ever has a soft seal on the Red October's hatch.

Corrected entry: When Jack Ryan is dropped to the Dallas there is no DSRV on it. Then it is there at the climax of the film. Given the time constraints it should not have been possible to get the DSRV to the Dallas.

Correction: The DSRV is located in Patuxent, Maryland when first seen. It is stated it can be anywhere in the world within 24 hours.meaning they can move it over 12,000 miles in 24 hours. Getting it from Maryland to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland (less than 1500 miles) would take less than 3 hours. The time between Ryan telling Ramius where to go via morse code and the arrival of Dallas at the same location was over 20 hours- plenty of time to get the DSRV to the Dallas.


Corrected entry: It is stated early in the movie that the Caterpillar drive, a magneto-hydrodynamic propulsion system, has no moving parts and simply uses magnets to squirt water out the back silently. Yet when Jonesy is investigating the disappearance of the Red October he plays a recording of the caterpillar drive at 10X speed and we hear banging of metal parts and pistons. The movement of these parts causes him to say "now that's gotta be manmade." (00:52:45)

Correction: Actually, Jonesy never says that he suspects it due to the nature of the sound; it only sounded like banging pistons because the speed of the sound had been increased so much in the playback (anything, natural or artificial, would sound like that if played back at sufficiently high speed). When played back at that high speed, he could easily tell that the slow sound was perfectly rhythmic, repeating at precise intervals. There is probably nothing natural in the ocean that could make a sound at that perfect frequency. This is made more clear in the book, but it was the perfect repetitiveness that tipped Jonesy off to its artificial nature.

Corrected entry: When we first see Sean Connery and Sam Neill, they're standing at the top of the Red October, looking out over the bleak Polijarnyj inlet, supposedly full of apprehension about the dangerous mission they're about to attempt. However, as Sam Neill says, "Pora tovarishch kapitan" ("It's time, Comrade Captain"), he's starting to smirk, and as the camera zooms back to focus on Connery's face, Neill cracks up completely and has to turn away. He partially regains control of himself after Sean Connery has said, "Nu, pora," and turns back to face the camera. What was he laughing about? Did they both feel funny about trying to speak Russian?

Correction: How is this a movie mistake? I make stupid jokes all the time to my boss to relieve tension, and we often have situations where we are trying (sometimes not very successfully) to control our mirth. Why should Russian sailors be any different?

Corrected entry: The Dallas submarine chasing Red October uses a very sophisticated sound analysis to localize the Russian sub because of its silent drive system. Red October does not notice the Dallas with its conventional propeller drive at all, until it deliberately reverses the propeller at full throttle at close distance. The Red October is not (deliberately) deaf however: the aircraft dropping a torpedo is signaled from great distance, but not the Dallas surfacing and picking up Jack Ryan from a helicopter. Furthermore, "crazy Ivan" turns are made to be sure no sub is following them, yet the encounter with the Dallas comes as a surprise.

Correction: The American sub has much better sonar, and the Dallas is in fact extremely quiet, even if it doesn't have the caterpillar drive. Torpedoes splashing into the water from a plane would be easy to detect.

Carl Fink

Corrected entry: When Ryan is being lowered to the Dallas from the helicopter, and until he releases the line to drop into the water, the Dallas is moving forward leaving a wake. Yet when the camera shot changes to show Ryan floating in the water amid ship the Dallas, the Dallas is completly stopped. The Dallas could not have stopped instantly when Ryan hit the water, even if the captain could have ordered it that quickly.

Correction: The camera never shows the full submarine, thus we cannot see if the sub is moving or not. There is still wake coming off the sides, so it is entirely possible that the boat was still moving, but the viewer cannot tell because of the way the camera was positioned.

Peter Vanicelli

Corrected entry: How in the world did Captain Tupolev, the commander of the soviet attack sub, know where to locate the Red October and the Dallas? In the vast Atlantic Ocean, only a few people know the location of where the crew exchange would take place. If Tupolev knows where to find them, how come the rest of the Soviet Navy does not?

Correction: Because the Soviet Navy had sent submarines to all the major ports to stop the Red October. It was just luck that Tupolev was guarding Norfolk (the destination of the Red October) Also, as Tupolev had been trained by Ramius he knew how Ramius thought.

Corrected entry: When Jack Ryan briefs the National Security Advisor and the rest at the White House, he relays to them what he learned from Greer's report: that the Dallas had been following the Red October before it "up and disappeared." Yet later on, when Ryan is onboard the aircraft carrier, Ryan and his defection theory appear out of luck until he notices a solitary sub on the monitor, the Dallas. He asks the officer about the boat as if he'd never heard its name before, and is told that the Dallas had been reporting a magma displacement. Ryan then seems to put two and two together, and realizes the Dallas found the Red October. None of this makes any sense. Ryan already KNEW the Dallas had found the Red October. Greer told him. And the Dallas didn't report a magma displacement; the sonarman on the Dallas, Jones, had already identified it as a a Typhoon-class sub before it disappeared, at which point the computer identified it as a magma displacement. When Jones listened to the "magma displacement" at high speed, he heard the sound of doors opening, and deduces it must be a sub with a new silent propulsion system. Basically, Ryan knew enough to have gone straight out to the Dallas as soon as he left Washington.

Correction: In the elevator on the way down to the White House briefing, Greer tells Ryan "... the Captain of the sub we had following [the Red October] radioed in... thing up and disappeared in front of him...". Greer never actually refers to the sub or the sub Captain by name. Greer goes on to say "... and that's only the half of it.. read." at which point Greer hands Ryan the report. We know that the report refers to Soviet sub and surface ship deployments into the North Atlantic, because Ryan says ".. my God, the Kierov, the Minsk... the whole bloody fleet's after [the Red October]". It's unlikely that any reference to the USS Dallas would have been in that report, since the scope of the report appeared to be limited to Soviet naval activity. In any event, there is never any overt reference made to the USS Dallas at the White House briefing (which makes sense, since this would be an unecessary detail), or at any time thereafter in Ryan's presence, UNTIL Ryan is on the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier. On the carrier, Ryan notices on a video display that one US sub appears to be on it's own, away from the rest of the US fleet. Ryan is told by the fleet admiral (Fred Dalton Thompson's character) that the sub captain is following a "magma displacement", and has positioned his sub at the end of "Red Route One" in order to wait for the "magma displacement". Remember that on the USS Dallas, Seaman Jones had presented a theory to Captain Mancuso that the "magma displacement" is actually the Red October, but at that point, it was still just a theory. Fred Dalton Thompson's character didn't think much of the theory, he was in the middle of calling it "crazy", when Ryan interrupted with "... excuse me sir, could that "magma displacement" be mistaken for a seismic anomaly?" Remember that when Ryan was at the Patuxent Graving Docks talking with the Skip Tyler character, Ryan asked Tyler if the Red October's caterpillar drive would be detectable by sonar. Tyler replied that the caterpillar would be mistaken for whales humping, or "some other seismic anomaly". This is almost certainly what led Ryan to put "two and two together" on the aircraft carrier, and deduce that the "magma displacement" that the USS Dallas was waiting for at the end of Red Route One could actually be the Red October.

Corrected entry: In the opening sequence, the name of the movie fades in with a seemingly expensive (by 80's standards) computer generated effect, first in Russian, then fades into English. Considering the money involved in making the movie and this shot, you'd think that they could have spelled 'Red October' right in Russian, rather than what translates as 'Octaver'.

Correction: The word 'Red' is all right (spelling, letters), the word 'October' is spelled right (Octiabr), only that it's written in Latin letters instead of Cyrillic.

Corrected entry: In the scene where the Captain of the Dallas takes over combat maneuvering of the Red October from Ramius, he asks about the location of the counter measures. At this point in the battle no counter measures have been launched.

Correction: He's not asking where they are in the water, he's asking where the controls to launch the counter-measures are.

Corrected entry: When Jack is on the plane and when he is walking through the airport with two FBI-looking men, he is wearing a white turtleneck sweater under his trench coat. As he enters Admiral Greer's office and takes off his coat, he is suddenly dressed in a crisp white dress shirt and tie with a suit jacket. (00:06:55 - 00:08:15)

Annie Hanson

Correction: The two events are separated by a significant amount of time and it is reasonable that Jack changed before meeting the boss.


Corrected entry: In the scene after the silent drive was first engaged and Red October changes course to south-west, a seaman is shown plotting the new course. The map shows the track of the submarine as if it had left from Nordkapp, which is in Norway, a NATO country. The Red October had left from the harbor of Polyarni, which is located next to Murmansk, some 300-400 kilometres to the east.

Correction: This is not an actual error. Soviet boats would put out from the north coast (Murmansk) and go around Norway. The only other option is to go east through dangerous waters and that would put the Red October into the Pacific. Red October's location is completely consistent with her reported course from Murmansk.

Factual error: When Jack Ryan is chasing the Cook's Assistant Igor Loginov through the missile compartment, the compartment shown does not exist. Russian Typhoon submarines (of which the Red October is a variant, just with a new propulsion system) have a pair of cylindrical pressure hulls - each containing a missile compartment - on either side of the missile tubes. The location where the fight takes place in the movie would be inside a free-flood area in a real Typhoon. (02:01:20 - 02:05:00)

More mistakes in The Hunt for Red October

Jeffrey Pelt: Mr. Ryan, I'm a politician. Which means I'm a cheat and a liar and when I'm not kissing babies I'm stealing their lollipops.

More quotes from The Hunt for Red October

Trivia: The Alfa-class submarine Konovalov commanded by Captain Tupolev is named after Soviet Rear Admiral Vladimir Konovalov. In March 1945, he sunk the German luxury liner Goya in the Baltic Sea on its way to Kiel, killing 6220 East Prussian refugees out of 6385.

More trivia for The Hunt for Red October

Question: During the ending sequence (with the Alpha) the Red October is running on the screws instead of the caterpillar. Now, we know the "reactor leak" was fake...and we know that the caterpillar was working normally (right after Ramius says "let us turn South" you see the Red October dive over a canyon wall with the screws not moving hence the caterpillar running). Wouldn't it have been wiser to run on the caterpillar during the ending?

Michael Westpy

Answer: The caterpillar drive was inoperable. The reactor leak was staged by the defecting officers, but the sabotage to the caterpillar (by the undercover KGB agent posing as the cook) was real.

Chosen answer: No, (mentioned in the book, not the film), the caterpillar can only drive Red October at a little over 1/2 her top speed. Speed is far more important than silence at this point.

Grumpy Scot

Answer: The caterpillar was repaired but later after the crew exited screws were on and caterpillar was operation. The Russian fleet was still on there tail you still should be on silent drive. Movie shows them running on normal propulsion. Possible movie boo boo. Makes no sense.

The Caterpillar is not silent, it just does not sound like a sub. This is how the Dallas was able to track Red October even when it was running on the caterpillar. The Dallas just need to know what it sounded like. Presumably The Alpha knows what to listen for so speed would be important.

More questions & answers from The Hunt for Red October

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