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Saturday, May 23. 2009
Surely all agree that Hunt for Red October is the best movie of the past 20 years.
The poll is "Who is your favorite character in this movie?" (in which the casting is astonishingly good - Brit quality, and in which the detail and subtlety of the acting is endlessly interesting. Just the way the head of the Russian Navy drops his teacup, echoing the spilled tea when Ramius kills the KGB guy)
We aren't going to bother with that voting software. Just let us know whether you are able to decide.
Mrs. BD votes for Bart Mancuso, after agonizing over the cynically amusing pol Jeffrey Pelt, the Russian Ambassador, and, of course, Captain Ramius. I vote for Jonesie, but Alec Baldwin, one must admit, was fantastic as Jack Ryan. As was Fred Thompson as the Admiral, and James Earl Jones, and ... everybody else in this wonderfully engaging movie which holds up well after many, many viewings.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:36 | Comments (31) | Trackbacks (0)
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I'm all for nepotism, so I have to go for my namesake Sean Connery, Capt Ramius. But your right, great acting all around. Great story too.
Sean Connery as Ramius, but also his XO who never got to hug his fat American woman in Montana!
Great movie, but I have to mention "K-19 The Widowmaker" as a very close second in great submarine movies of recent years. Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson star as captains of an early Soviet nuclear missle sub. Also includes Peter Sarsgaard and Joss Ackland (the Russian amabassador in "Red October"), and a great cast all around.
Even with all the great performances in Red October, I have to go with Alec Baldwin.
Favorite character? The KGB 'spy' in cook's clothing who (almost) detonates Red October's missile fuel to prevent her from falling into the wrong hands.
Because man that is dedication to duty.
Read the book but did not see the movie. I will rent it tonight.
"Das Boot". Greatest ever. Have on hand a bottle of oxygen and a mask. You'll need it.
Connery as Ramius, definitely. Clark Gable as a close second, in Run Silent, Run Deep and Curt Jurgens in Enemy Below as close third.
...and don't forget Jonesy!
One of the many reasons I enjoy this film is that, almost without exception, the main characters are very bright, always thinking about how to solve their various problems...and I like the way that Ryan puts together various disparate bits of information to arrive at his conclusions - true inductive logic...
Boy, I have wrestled with this topic for years now--which one was the best--mmm lemme see now. Ok, I've got it! This is some kind of psychological examination question isn't it? Haha, almost got me!
For me it was the road to truth as Brian has stated above the minds at work in each character were a beautiful example of a quality of education our children no longer get in our universities!
Of course, the combined good looks and masculine qualities was pretty nice also!
Sad to say, I think Alec Baldwin's career peaked in this film. It's been all downhill since. The success of his portrayal, I think is that I have always pictured Baldwin as Ryan reading subsequent Clancy novels, and find Harrison Ford's portrayal a bit discordant.
Of course, friends, I think that Sean Connery was The Man in this film, embodying all of the good qualities of the mensch, the proto-male, the alpha male, whatever you want to call it.
I agree with you all, that this is one of the great movies about military conflict that have been made, and there were many good performances. The way I determine what makes a movie, or a TV show great, is mentally to remove each character temporarily, and see how the drama hangs together -- or not. Using that technique, if you remove Sean Connery from the movie, it immediately loses its gravitas, its validity, and becomes just another thriller.
When I do this with a TV drama, the technique also works We enjoy watching NCIS, which is both entertaining and well scripted. But if you remove Mark Harmon from his pivotal role as the eminence grise, the show becomes just another military show.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Connery is the man and so good in the role that you forget the Russky sub captain is speaking with a heavy Scottish accent!
Yes, the acting is superb all around.
For me, it comes down to Ramius and Jonesie followed by Ryan.
Jonesie was so brilliant by "hearing" what his training had taught him to ignore. Without him, the Red October would have never been found.
Likewise, Ramius saw the bigger picture and had thought out all of the details beforehand only to have to improvise. He was always one small step ahead.
In the end, Ramius wins by a nose.
In Red October Connery is the man. No story w/o that Captain.
For a movie I have to go with Das Boot. But ranking isn't important. Red October was filmed right for that story and that is enough.
Don't give all the credit to the actors. The best movies emerge from the film editing. This was more true of RO than of Das Boot. DB was a story of men. Red October was gee whiz excitement.
My personal favorite is The Bedford Incident despite two faults. They should have cut it by a few minutes and the reporter, played by Sidney Poitier, was artificial.
Poitier was clearly present because he was Poitier. Wrong role for a good actor. Made worse because the character was superfluous to the story. Imagine a newsman present on the bridge of the USS Caine.
Das Boot is among the best, but for gee-whiz fun you can't beat Red October. No one's mentioned one of my favorites, Sam Neill. I'll watch him in anything.
That cook-spy guy was Stellan Skarsgaard, right? Another actor I'll watch in anything.
I'm with Marianne on NCIS, too. Never knew I liked Mark Harmon all that much before, but he's indispensable there. I see there's a new spin-off starting, "NCIS Los Angeles," which will suffer from his absence. Maybe they can pick up William Peterson!
texan99 - Stellan Skarsgard was the commander of the other Russian sub. The cook/spy was Tomas Arana, who's been in everything, his other best known part was as the leader of the Praetorian guards in Gladiator.
Sticking to the movie, I think the Soviet XO, played by Sam Neill, added depth and humanity to the overall conspiracy. Too bad he didn't get his RV.
What, nobody likes Operation Petticoat? Seriously though, it's been a so long since I saw this movie that Alec Baldwin has gone from someone I found interesting to watch to someone who when he walks on the screen I just cannot separate from his personality and political views. He's like the male Jane Fonda to me. Sean Penn I still can respect perhaps because he is so damn good I almost don't recognize him. Baldwin has become Baldwin everywhere.
OK, so I've eliminated Baldwin (excuse the rant). While it's been a long time I still remember walking out of the theater discussing with my wife the same thing that Country Squire states, Connery was so good that his Scottish accent damn near seemed Russian. Now I'll have to program the Tivo to catch it. I almost never do this with a movie I've already seen.
KRW ... By some sort of eerie confluence of cosmic forces, The Hunt For Red October is on the ION TV station right now. We're watching it, even if it is polluted with commercial interruptions.
Thanks Ms. M, but missed your comment until too late. Don't think we get ION but our cable channels have changed a few times here and I've lost track of some of the new stuff. We had Elmer Gantry on the Tivo and watched that last night. A little different from the way I remember the book, but I think I like the movie better.
Marianne...just finished watching it on ION. Excellent film with strong performances by all (definitely Baldwin's peak), which makes it worth rewatching. Connery certainly took his role beyond expectations of my memories of the book.
I think the reason it is even a topic of conversation here is each performance excelled...not frequent these days.
Thanks, BD. A great suggestion for summertime viewing.
Ok--doesn't anyone remember "Kelly's Heroes"? Dang I love that movie!
With respect to Sir Sean, JONESY. A tad strange in his own way (aren't we all?), dedicated to his small piece of the puzzle, and as Mancuso shows us, relied on by seniors to produce under intense pressure. Tip o' the hat to all the Jonesy's; sonarmen, radiomen, cryppies, and too many others...
Best war movie, or best movie? Devil in a Blue Dress was best movie, and nobody saw it.
I am reminded here how great Curt Jurgens was in Enemy Below. And he did a great German accent. I was rooting for the Germans, and their Jewish First Mate Heinnie.
Maybe a good movie...and a better book, but over the last 20 years there's a lot of competition for title of "best", even in the genre of "nautical cat and mouse", and for my money "Master and Commander" is far superior as a movie as is its source material by Patrick O'Brian.
Hear hear. I simply don't understand why there aren't many more movies out of O'Brian's work. Perhaps Aubrey too much of a well rounded MAN for present day Hollywood.
Loved Sam Neill in this but then I pretty much love Sam Neill in anything. I thought the weakest link in RO was Tim Curry as the doctor. Not sure where he was going with that portrayal but he was hammy and his accent was pitiful.
Loved Sam Neill as the first officer on RO. His acting captured the character's understated wit and his death was truly one of the most moving moments of the film. Plus, he was showing the RV love! "Perhaps I will need two wives!"