The following blog has spoilers for the Tom Clancy flim The Hunt For Red October this your one and only warning.
Based on Tom Clancy’s bestseller directed by John McTiernan starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, The Hunt for Red October seethes with high tech excitement and sweats with the tension of the men who holds doomsday in their hands.
A new technologically superior Soviet nuclear sub the red october he’s heading for the US Coast under the command of Captain Marko Ramius, the American government thinks Ramius is planning to attack a long CIA analyst has a different idea he thinks Ramius is planning to defect, but he has only a few hours to find him and prove it because the entire Russian Navy and Air commands are trying to find him too the hunt is on !
Chapter Two – Caterpillar Drive – 0:18:51 – 0:32:06
We see Jack Ryan walk through a door, and on the screen is printed the words Gracing Dock US naval Shipyard Patuxent Maryland from over his sholder we are shown a submarine being worked on,following him across the working floor he thrown a hard hat which he puts on he heads over to a scaffolding rig where a man with a ginger beard he’s working guy turns around and asks who let him this is Skip Tyler above their head is the DUSV is craned around so they both can see it and Skip.points out that it is they are working on it’s so it will have universal docking clamp so it will make with pretty much anything the British and American navy have.
We are now in Skip’s office he has the photos on he desk and tells Ryan the doors are bigger the standard torpedo tubes and Ryan ask is it possible to launch a ICBM sideways, Ryan and asks could it be a sonar setup, but no to close to the screws then Skip says it could a caterpillar (Magneto hydro dynamic proportion) Ryan doesn’t understand so Skip explain jet engine for the water, water goes in the front and gets squirted out the back it has no moving parts so there is virtually no noise.
Ryan then asks how quiet skip explained that it would sound like whales or some kind of seismic anomaly anything but a submarine engine, they had been working on something like it a few years ago but couldn’t get it to work, Skip then ask they really built this is no mock up or something, Ryan tells him that it put to sea this morning.
Skip lifts his left leg on the open draw of his desk and tell the story of helping his father built a bomb shelters because some parked a few Missiles 90 miles off the coast he points out that this submarine could put a few hundred there and no one would know. The camera the shows a close up of Ryan face
Back on the Red October we watch as the political office is placed into a see through body bag and carried away out of Ramuis quarters, Dr Petrov (Tim Curry) ask Ramius if alright to which Ramius says yes, Petrov says he will fee better once they put back into base, Ramius questions this Petrov says they Cannot continue without a political officer Ramuis Points out that they do not cancel operations because of accidents, He calls over cooks assistant over to him witnessing removing the political offices missile key from around his neck and keeping it
Petrov what’s to report this red fleet command, but Captain Borodin tells him that the orders state that there must be strict radio silence. Petrov says that it’s most irregular and the reason for to missile keys is that no one man can launch the missile himself. Ramius tells him that he will understand when he addresses the crew and he try to forget Petrov’s comments when he writes his report.
The Dallas Jones is working at the sonar station, with Captain Mancuso (Scott Glenn) watching the monitor, Jones says its a Soviet typhoon class submarine a few seconds later the computer prints out the same thing, a new boat in the water Mancuso tells them start a new tape, and to stay in the baffles of the submarine so no one can hear or see them
The Red October Ramius puts the two keys in separate pockets and walks onto the bridge, which hive of activity when they spots in everybody stops and falls into silence, ramius then asks if the sauna is clear and the contacts above the water are clear to which the answer is there are no contacts and everything is clear, so he will then explain the orders.
He then tells them they will engage the Caterpillar drive and head to one of their major cities and listen to the rock and roll and when they are done they will have to Havana, at this the some of the crew wolf Whistle and when. Ramius stops talking a crew breaks into song the rest of the crew join in.
On the Dallas Jones loses contact. The Red October make contact and Ramius asks are they following to which the answer is no, Borodin is not sure if the singing will make the American follow but Ramius says let them carry on. Back on the Dallas they have Well and truly lost whatever typhoon class submarine they heard, And Jones thinks he heard singing.
We see a gentleman walk down a very on it wooden panel corridor in green on the screen the words read fleet political directive Moscow appear, The gentleman bursts through a set of double doors to be greeted by several people and then head through another set of doors into an office area, He enters the main office and second man Helps he remove his hat and coat. The man points out that there’s a letter from Ramius the first man is happy about it and opens it as he is served tea but he drops the glass as he gets half though the crash sound then becomes the sound of a ringing telephone.
The camera is quickly pulled across the frame rapidly settling into what appears to be a room of paperwork letters and archives Ryan picks it up,
Differences between the film and the book – Well the first thing is that the action is moved from Naval Academy to the shipyards, plus four days in time at this point in the book Ryan is only just getting the CIA Headquarters we areshows Skip as more of a technical man then a teacher. He seen being an older man, he’s not shown walking and in fact the lifting of his leg is the only time it noted,
We have the foreshadowing of the small rescue so which will be introduced later in the book by people on the dockside rather than skip Tyler, Also the story he tells Ryan is something that happens later in the book and with two other people. The whole thing unlike the book is not a formal meeting, here it shown as just two people talking speculating on an idea there is some technical information passed through but is put in such a way that no one is in doubt exactly what the Caterpillar Drive is.
Yet in the book the whole exchange takes place in a classroom with skip using more technical jargon and examples of what the Caterpillar Drive could be there is also the exchange of money at the end and the request to use an IBM machine to play out a few computerised scenarios and models.
As for the aftermath of the political officer being killed on the red october that is handled slightly differently, there is a big shift in tone towards the nuclear missile Amin keys being the main reason the political officer has been killed so that captain Marko ramius can get his hands on them,
And the shift in Doctor Petrov he seems to be more concerned about the political outcome and mindset of the crew rather than the medical,
Once again we are shown Jones’s ability to beat the computer by identifying the acoustical signature of the red october before she switches on the drive and in fact he knows that it is a new submarine even without checking through the record.
The orders Ramius gives to his crew are lot simpler that the ones in the book and in fact the word Cuba is not used. But they do have the same out however and it use as plot point when the Red October switches to the caterpillar drive.
Then we cut to the inside Russian Navy machine, highly decorated Carlos lots of people sitting about and the letter Ramius sent being the main point of the scene and not how the letter got there
What I think – these four scenes are all about contrast and foreshadowing the first being a very informative would skip Tyler which works quite well you get the information across quite quickly and you don’t really need to know all the backstory the obviously was alluded to when Ryan explained to James Greer who exactly skip Tyler was. It’s a neat little trick to change it for a classroom to the yard so you can put in the deep sea rescue submarine it will be later used in a story it saves you build another set and also less character exclamation.
Now the missile keys is a bit of misdirection in the book they are mentioned and in fact ramius gives one of them to Borodin, but throughout the book that is what is believed to be happening ramius will fire the nuclear missiles when he reaches the United States coastline. Here it is not because he doesn’t give the keys away he keeps them. And in fact the doctor thinks he is making a mistake but doesn’t take any further action under threat of being reported by Ramius.
Once again we are shown Jones ability to work out the Sonar System before the computer, and the informal nature of how, he interacts with this captain and the fellow members of the crew.
Yet contrast this with the Russian internal machine we are shown for a few minutes, with the reading of the Ramius letter, and how the men on the Red October stop working when he entered the room.
Well that’s your chapter from the Red October flim for is week, as always if you have done thanks for reading and I hope you can join me next week for chapter four called Ryan’s Briefing.