Soviet submarine captain disappears with his vessel from a training exercise. He tells the Soviets he is defecting. The Soviets tell the Americans he is going to launch missiles on the US. Both sides are trying to sink the Red October but a CIA analyst thinks otherwise, and tries to prove to the US forces that the Red October isn't a threat.
Factual error: When the USS Dallas submerges to attack the Red October, they rig for battle stations as well as rig for red. On a submarine, rig for red is only for periscope depth operations at night, to allow control room watchstanders eyes to adjust to the darkness topside. No other area on the boat rigs for red. Throughout the movie the lights darken along with battle stations. No naval ship would reduce visibility on purpose in a heightened state. (01:31:00)
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.
Trivia: Paramount Studios essentially rented a US submarine to be in the movie. The USS Houston (SSN 713) played the USS Dallas and the surface scenes were filmed off of Long Beach, CA and Port Angelas, WA. Two crewmembers off the Houston were actually given very small speaking parts in the movie.
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