Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) perhaps the Soviet Union's most decorated Submariner is on the Red October, a Typhoon Class Submarine. He along with Captain Vasili Borodin (Sam Neill) are about to do something unheard of, defect. Not only are they going to defect they are going to try and give the Red October over as collateral.
In London, Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) a low level writer who is part of the CIA has written a book on Ramius and is very much in awe of the man. Ryan is packing because he was asked to come to Washington by Admiral Greer (James Earl Jones).
Ryan doesn't really know why he headed to Washington until he gets off the plane and is met by two CIA escorts. He meets up with Greer and is told that the Red October has been spotted leaving port and is now missing. There have been reports of the possibility of Ramius defecting. Nothing has been confirmed. Greer informs Ryan that they have a meeting with Jeffrey Pelt (Richard Jordan) and that he will be giving the briefing.
As the two men enter the room they notice that the briefing has already been started. The others talking think that it an imminent attack that will happen on the United States. All of a sudden Ryan realizes what date it is and that it is the anniversary of Ramius' wife passing. He knows that Ramius is defecting not attacking.
He is able to talk Pelt into his idea and is taking a ship out in the Atlantic. From here he will be taken to a submarine Captained by Mart Mancuso (Scott Glenn).
Now as all this is happening back in Washington, the Russian Ambassador Andrei Lysenko (Joss Ackland) is trying to get Pelt to shoot the Red October out of the water saying that Ramius has lost his mind and could be up to anything.
The question here is can Ryan find out what Ramius' intentions are and can he get the Admiral to defect? This is up to you to find out what actually is going on. This has got to be one of the better films on espionage and action to come out in the last 30 years.
Director John McTiernan does a beautiful job with the cast and crew. He works the script very well to our story. This is one of the best of the cold war films to be ever made. So go get this movie and sit back and enjoy.