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Characters / The Hunt for Red October

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Character page for the Tom Clancy novel The Hunt for Red October and its film adaptation.

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The Ryan Family

    Jack Ryan 

    Cathy Ryan 

    Sally Ryan 

U.S. Government

    Vice Admiral James Greer 

    Jeffrey Pelt 
Played by: Richard Jordan
Dubbed by: Claude Giraud (European French)

The National Security Advisor to the President of the United States.

  • Deadpan Snarker:
    Pelt: Andre, you've lost another submarine?
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He listens to Ryan's theory and gives him the courses to go out there and try to make contact with the submarine.
  • Self-Deprecation: Claims that, as a politician, he is either kissing babies or stealing their candy, to explain that he's willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Crew of the Red October

    Captain Marko Aleksandrovich Ramius
"Verify our range to target. One ping only."
Played by: Sean Connery

A Lithuanian Soviet Captain 1st Rank, and the Commanding Officer of the Red October. He intents to desert to the West with the submarine.

  • The Ace: Has been this to the Red Banner Fleet for decades. He has also trained most of their senior submarine officers, and has enough clout to hand-pick his subordinates for any assignment. This allows him to ensure that most of Red October's officers are men who will help him.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The movie implies that the real reason for Ramius defecting was less anger and revenge over his wife's avoidable death and more concern over the fact that the Red October's primary purpose would be to start a nuclear war due to its stealth. In that context, Ryan's comments about Ramius's wife mean that he no longer has any reason to go back home.
  • Benevolent Boss:
    • Even though he tricks his crew into abandoning ship, he still makes sure that they'll be rescued.
    • After revealing to his officers that he told Moscow about their plans to defect, he allows them to vent their shock at him (including Slavin accusing him of being an egotist) before calmly explaining that he has his reasons, just like everyone else.
  • Chest of Medals: Wears almost every medal the Red Fleet had, minus Hero of the Soviet Union.
  • Cultured Warrior: A Soviet Navy Captain with nearly half a century of experience; he also breaks a man’s neck with no hesitation. Besides his military and combat credentials, he is a cultured and well-read gentleman, especially when it comes to the history of naval warfare; he actually read a book that Ryan published.
  • Cunning Linguist: Fluent in English, evidently for the same reason that Jack Ryan had studied Russian.
  • Fake Russian: Lithuanian Marko Ramius is portrayed by very Scottish Sean Connery.
  • Father Neptune: Ramius is old enough in the game to have basically created the Soviet nuclear sub service single-handedly, and has the salty beard to match.
  • Married to the Job: Confides in Borodin that he regrets it, even saying of his wife that "I widowed her the day I married her."
  • Nerves of Steel: Quizzes Ryan about Ryan's books while a torpedo is homing in on their sub.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: A senior officer in the Soviet Navy with decades of experience. He is held in very high regard by just about everyone who knows him and for good reason. He is a perfect picture of what a seasoned military officer should be; calm under pressure, respectful of his men and an all around honorable warrior.
  • Old Master: His nickname is "Vilnius Nastavnik" (the Vilnius Schoolmaster). As he himself points out when discussing the Soviet Navy coming after them, "I know their tactics. I have the advantage."
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Decides to defect, in part, because he recognizes the Red October as a ship that can only serve one purpose: To start a nuclear war.
  • The Smart Guy: He shows how well-read he is by critiquing Ryan's book.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Tupolev. Subverted, in that Tupolev believes they were friends and holds Ramius in high regards, while Ramius appears rather disdainful of Tupolev.

    Captain Vasily Borodin
"Do you think they will let me live in Montana?"
Played by: Sam Neill

The Captain 2nd Rank and Executive Officer of the Red October.

  • Death by Adaptation: In the book, Borodin is among the surviving defectors.
  • Defector from Decadence: Seems just as silently fed up with the USSR as his captain. The book mentions that he's been denied promotions for filing an unflattering report against the son of the fleet's chief political officer.
  • Eagleland: Imagines the United States to be very much this.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Taking the Bullet for Ramius when the GRU mole opens fire
  • Humble Goal: Dreams of moving to Montana, raising rabbits and marrying a chubby American woman who can cook good rabbit stew.
  • Nice Guy: A warm and affable man. When he has doubts of his own about Ramius' decision to tell the Kremlin about their defection to keep them from turning back, he waits until everyone else is gone to voice them, stating that he wouldn't question Ramius in front of his crew.
  • Number Two: Second in command of The Red October and very involved in its runnings.
  • Retirony: "I would have liked to have seen Montana."
  • Sacrificial Lion: The most well-developed character out of all of Ramius's officers, and the only one fatally shot by the saboteur.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Ramius.

    Dr. Yevgeniy Petrov 
Played by: Tim Curry
Dubbed by: José Luccioni (European French)

The chief medical officer of the Red October.

  • Anti-Villain: A genuinely decent man, who is only an antagonist because he is a loyal Soviet citizen and Party member. This is why he was allowed to live, unlike Putin.
  • Butt-Monkey: Particularly the way he's more or less thrown out of the officer's mess during dinner so the conspirators can discuss their plans in private.
  • Chummy Commies: He's the only senior officer who's a staunch party loyalist, and thus he's the only one not in on Ramius' plan but he’s still quite affable. He is visibly unnerved when Ramius takes the political officer's missile key for himself, giving him sole authority to launch the missiles, which would have been a valid had Ramius actually planned on firing the missiles instead of defecting to the U.S.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: He and Putin are the only officers on Red October who are not in on the plot to defect to the US. Although unlike Putin, the officers don't actually seem to think poorly of him.
  • Nice Guy: He may be a party loyalist, but he's a friendly and good-natured guy who takes his job seriously and is genuinely concerned for the well-being of the crew. When the (fake) reactor meltdown happens, his first instinct is to convince Ramius to order an evacuation of the ship.
  • The Only Believer: Notably the only member of the Red October's officer staff who doesn't think Communism is a load of bull (it's made obvious that Putin is in it only for the power). Because of this, he's kept in the dark by the rest of the conspirators and, in a bit of heavy Irony, he tells Ramius that he will make sure Ramius gets the Order of Lenin for the faked Heroic Sacrifice the officers will do when Ramius says they will scuttle the Red October to "prevent it from falling to enemy hands".
  • Only Sane Man: Played straight that he is the only officer to make the (100% valid) point that one man (even the captain) taking control of both nuclear keys is a bad idea, and a clear violation of protocol. But also averted because of course, the other officers aren’t protesting because they know something he doesn't.

    Senior Lieutenant Alexander Melekhin 
Played by: Ronald Guttman

The chief engineer of the Red October.

  • Composite Character: In the book there are two other engineering officers, Surzopoi (who is another of the defectors) and Svyadov (a junior officer unaware of the plan, but too much of a novice with engines to realize that they're faking the radiation leak). The film has Melekhin as the sole engineer of note.
  • The Engineer: His role on the submarine.
  • Everybody Smokes: Melekhin is frequently shown smoking whenever he's not in the engine room.
  • Passed-Over Promotion: According to the novel, he's more than qualified to be captain of his own submarine but was denied the promotion because fleet headquarters found him to be too useful of an engineer.
  • Red Herring: The film subtly presents him to the audience as the possible identity of the saboteur through a few shots that make him look menacing, but he is in fact loyal to Ramius and his fellow defectors never suspect him.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: He's the only Russian officer who wears glasses, and he's the chief engineer of a nuclear submarine.
  • The Stoic: He is the only officer who doesn't share in the Heroic BSoD after Ramius says he announced their defection to Red Fleet Command. In fact, despite the extremely tense situation surrounding him the entire movie, the only event that gives him any visible distress is the sabotage to the caterpillar drive, as it was the first sign that they had a genuine saboteur on-board.

    Victor Slavin 
Played By: Boris Krutonog

One of Ramius' officers.

  • Ambiguously Jewish: Given his surname.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    Was it ego, Captain?
  • Ascended Extra: Probably the third or fourth most prominent defector in the movie, while in the book the man who has his job is an unnamed character with no characterization (although Ramius mentions that one of his men is defecting due to antisemitic persecution from the communist hierarchy).
  • Commander Contrarian: Frequently debates with Ramius and shows concern with the danger he's putting them in.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Agrees that Putin needed to die, but feels that Ramius should have discussed it with his fellow defectors first.

    Gregoriy Kamarov 
Played by: Michael Welden

The navigator of the Red October.

  • Badass Boast:
    Give me a stopwatch and a map, and I'll fly the Alps in a plane with no windows.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the book, he's Killed Offscreen by Loginov and promptly forgotten about after Jack and Ramius find his dead body.
  • Like a Son to Me: His relationship of Ramius has shades of this is the novel, which states that Kamarov was the first officer Ramius recruited to the plot.
  • Nerves of Steel: Aside from his outburst during the meeting. He's controlled, confident and professional whenever they're under attack.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the book, he's killed by Loginov, but he survives here.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He is fairly loyal to Ramius but is bothered by his decision to alert the rest of the fleet about what they're doing.
    Kamarov: You have signed our death warrants.

Played by: Peter Firth

The political officer onboard Red October.

  • Adaptational Villainy: In the book he's a loyal party member, but not overly unpleasant, and has known and liked Ramius for some years (although that feeling isn't really mutual), with his death being regarded as an unfortunate necessity by the defectors. In the film... well take a look at the trope below.
  • Asshole Victim: In the film he is a Smug Snake who is nosing around in Ramius' cabin, and is suspicious of a book Ramius keeps (a Bible, a big no-no in atheist Communism — he also mentions that it's odd that the book has highlighted parts of the Book of Revelation) until he's told that it belonged to Ramius' late wife (at which point Putin does become apologetic). The other officers are shocked when Ramius revealed he murdered him, but they're not very upset over it.
    Slavin: The man was a pig.
  • Death by Falling Over: Ramius covers up Putin's death by claiming he slipped in a spilled cup of tea and hit his head on the table on the way down. Not that his officers and co-conspirators really believe that story but they accept it (see "Asshole Victim" above).
  • Pet the Dog: He offers sincere condolences to Ramius and lets go of his suspicion about the Bible when Ramius mentions that the book belonged to his late wife. It does not saves him.
  • The Political Officer: He's tasked with ensuring that Ramius stays in line with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Ramius' murder of Putin allows him and his officers to carry out their plan of defecting.

Played by: Tomas Arana

A cook and the saboteur aboard the Red October.

  • Adaptational Sympathy: In the book, Loginov is a kid scared about what's going on; in the film, Loginov is older and appears to be a hardened agent, making him easier to root against.
  • Anti-Villain: He's just a patriot trying to serve his country and stop an enemy from getting a powerful weapon from a bunch of traitors. He's even more sympathetic in the book, where he's just a kid completely terrified of the situation, but perfectly willing to lay down his life for his country.
  • Beneath Notice: While Ramius concludes through process of elimination that the saboteur must be a member of the crew, he notices nothing suspicious about Loginov when he first meets him, and Dr. Petrov misses counting him while evacuating the ship. Ryan himself is stunned when he finally sees the saboteur who's been shooting at him.
    Ryan: It's the goddamned cook!
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He's introduced as a lowly member of the crew doing nothing particularly important, and other than a brief moment showing him reacting to Ramius' opening speech, he's not seen for most of the movie. He ends up being one of the main threats of the story and kills Borodin at the climax.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Knowing that he's outnumbered aboard the ship, Loginov relies on ambushes and hit-and-run tactics to whittle down his opposition. Ultimately, the only reason Ryan gets the drop on him was because he was distracted with something else.
  • Defiant to the End: When Ryan tells Loginov at gunpoint to back down, Loginov silently and deliberately refuses.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The dreaded saboteur that has frightened the whole crew... is a lowly cook.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The ship engineer Melekhin indirectly compliments Loginov's mechanical skill when he says the saboteur knew how to cripple the caterpillar drive in a way that's difficult to find. Loginov also knows how to detonate a nuke manually, and may or may not have deliberately shot the ship's controls to prevent the traitors from shooting back at the Konovalov.
  • Hero Killer: Kills Borodin, who pushes Ramius out of the way.
  • Indy Ploy: Working alone on a sub with an unknown number of traitor conspirators and knowing no specifics of their plans, Loginov nevertheless comes up with multiple schemes on the fly to try and stop Ramius' defection. He sabotages the silent drive, correctly guesses the "reactor accident" is a scam and hides so he can try to kill Ramius directly with a gun, and later attempts to detonate a nuke.
  • Nerves of Steel: Loginov is no coward. He sabotages the Red October's caterpillar drive, knowing he will die as well if his country successfully finds and kills the traitors, and later attempts to incinerate the ship. Notably, when Ryan catches him off-guard and gives him a chance to surrender, in the face of getting shot, Loginov merely gives Ryan a steely look and tries to go through with it anyway.
  • Older Than They Look: The book mentions that Loginov was chosen for the mission specifically because he looks young enough to pass for a 19-year-old conscript, in spite of actually being in his late twenties.
  • Taking You with Me: Tries to detonate one of the nukes aboard the Red October to destroy it and prevent Ramius from defecting.
  • The Voiceless: He gets just one line of dialogue the whole film, introducing himself to Ramius. Other than that, he's silent for every scene he's in, meaning we never see him speak when he's not "in-character."

Crew of the USS Dallas

    Commander Bart Mancuso
"My morse is so rusty, I could be sending him dimensions on Playmate of the Month."
Played by: Scott Glenn
Dubbed by: Jean Barney (European French)

The Commanding Officer of the USS Dallas that spots the Red October and chases it in order to decypher its crew's intents.

  • Age Lift: In the novel, Mancuso is said to be in his mid-thirties, young for a command of this level. Scott Glenn was 48 at the time the movie was made.
  • The Captain: Of USS '"Dallas''.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue:
    The hard part about playing chicken is knowing when to flinch.
  • Deadpan Snarker: With a touch of Self-Deprecating Humor, as his above quote demonstrates.
  • Mirror Character: To Ramius as a seasoned submarine commander with a maverick streak. He even repeats Ramius' 'give the order to turn at the last possible moment while his crew are freaking out' moment during the battle against the Konovalov.
  • Nerves of Steel: See Casual Danger Dialogue. He does get pretty agitated when Konovalov launches a torpedo at Red October soon after the Americans board her. For the most part, he seems to treat the engagement like one might a game of chess.
    • He even one-ups Ramius in this regard. Both captains each have a moment where they wait until the last possible moment to give the order to turn away from an approaching torpedo (Ramius during the trench run, Mancuso during the fight with the Konovalov). However, while Ramius shouts his order, Mancuso doesn't even raise his voice.
  • Properly Paranoid: Insists on each member of his boarding party taking a sidearm just in case things turn hostile on Red October, despite Ryan's confidence that Ramius intends to defect peacefully. Ryan hadn't accounted for a GRU saboteur on the sub, and ends up using the gun to prevent Red October's destruction. Mancuso even hands over his own sidearm to Ramias when he and Ryan leave the bridge to pursue the saboteur.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Zigzagged. On the one hand, he is immediately accepting of Jonesy's ideas to track the Red October, despite the somewhat dubious nature of his evidence. On the other hand, he is far less accepting of Ryan's claims that Ramius is trying to defect. Justified, given that the former is a long-time and trusted member of his crew, and the other is a guy he just met who's telling him something that doesn't jibe with the orders that he's just received to destroy Red October, and who also just hassled him and his crew in a risky boarding-from-air during a nasty storm (which injured his first officer) where they had to break off tracking the Red October.
  • The Stoic: A rather calm and soft-spoken officer, not entirely unlike Captain Ramius.

    Ronald "Jonesy" Jones
"Conn, sonar! Crazy Ivan!"

The Sonar Technician 2nd Class of the USS Dallas.

  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He is able to derive all sorts of details from the sounds he picks up on Dallas's sonar, up to and including telling American and Soviet torpedoes apart by the pitch of the sound they make.
  • Black and Nerdy: Knows the BQQ-5 sonar system better than the computers that run it.
  • Cultured Badass: He loves his classical music, especially Pavarotti.note  In the book, he also listens to whale songs.
  • The Engineer: Specialising in sonar and sound detection, he is the one who manages to invent a way to track the Red October's revolutionary stealth propulsion drive in only a few days at most.
  • Hyper-Awareness: A necessary trait for a sonarman. A good portion of his Awesomeness by Analysis skills are due to how much attention he pays to details in sound.
  • Mr. Exposition: He explains all sorts of basics of sonar and sub tactics to Beaumont, some of which anyone on board a sub ought to already know.
  • Veteran Instructor: Much of his exposition is in the form of teaching Seaman Beaumont the tools of the trade.

Crew of the V.K. Konovalov

    Captain Viktor Tupolev
"We're going to kill Ramius."

A Soviet Captain 2nd Rank, Commanding Officer of the V.K. Konovalov submarine. He's tasked with destroying the Red October before it reaches the West.

  • The Captain: Of the V.K. Konovalov
  • Category Traitor: Implied when Putin mentions that Tupolev is descended from aristocracy.
  • Hero of Another Story: A young, ambitious but loyal submarine captain, ordered to hunt down his mentor, who has gone rogue with a hypermodern submarine and enough nukes to turn a small country to glass, and intends to either sell them to their contry's arch-enemy or start World War 3? If Red October had been an American sub, Tupolev would have been The Hero.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He is outmaneuvered by Dallas and Red October into being hit by his own torpedo.
  • Smug Snake: Seems utterly confident he can beat Ramius and brushes off his crew's warnings about chances he's taking.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: Tupolev may be an arrogant asshole, but he is still at worst a patriotic Soviet citizen trying to prevent a wealth of knowledge about the Soviet navy, a state-of-the-art submarine and a non-trivial portion of the Soviet nuclear arsenal ending up in the hands of his country's arch-enemy. At best, he genuinely believes Ramius has gone rogue, and is doing what he thinks is necessary to prevent World War Three.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Subverted with Ramius, see above.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Ramius.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Believes he has the advantage over Ramius when he goes for the kill by firing a torpedo with no safeties on. Unbeknownst to him, Ramius had already anticipated this move, and had given command of the Red October to Mancuso, which Tupolev would have not been able to anticipate. The Dallas playing decoy also wasn’t something that Tupolev would have anticipated.
    • Tupolev may also be this in the novel. There, Ramius decides to ram the Konovalov. The narrator notes that Tupolev should have changed depths. Instead, he tried to use his submarine’s speed and maneuverability, but forgot that Ramius knew exactly how fast and maneuverable an Alfa class sub was! The end result was that his boat was pretty much destroyed and he and at least most of his crew drowned.

Crew of the USS Enterprise

    Admiral Joshua Painter 
Played by: Fred Thompson

  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Flag officer in charge of the USS Enterprise Battle Group, he is in charge of the front-line operations for the U.S. involvement in the Red October incident. He's willing to listen to Ryan's crazy-sounding theory that Ramius wants to defect, and his questions and comments on the matter help Ryan figure out what Ramius' plan is and how the U.S. can help.

    Captain Charles Davenport 
Played by: Daniel Davis
  • The Captain: Commanding officer of the USS Enterprise (CNV-65). As with all carrier COs, he wears the wings of a Naval Aviator.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Again with Ryan, after learning of Ryan's experience at the Naval Academy.
  • Stolen Valor: Initially hostile to Ryan due to Ryan's disguise as a Naval Commander.

Alternative Title(s): Hunt For Red October