Guest Blogger David Edelglass Discusses The Hunt For Red October
Below is the first of a three-part contribution from guest blogger David Edelglass to our continuing series in which I asked several of my close friends and colleagues to name their Favorite Movie of All Time.
What is my favorite movie of all time? That is a question which many people have asked me over the years, and every time I give a different answer. Truthfully, I don’t really have one favorite movie. Partly this is because my tastes have changed over the years. The movies I liked when I was twelve aren’t necessarily the movies that I’m still interested in.
But honestly, I think the question of what is my one most favorite movie ever is impossible to answer. There are too many variables: How old I am or what mood I’m in at any given moment, plus the many different genres of movies. I mean how can I compare a movie that I saw on home video when I was twelve and happy to one I saw in the theaters when I was 18 and pissed off at the world (not that I necessarily was at that age, but you get where I’m going with this). On the one hand you’ve got the incredible storytelling, acting and general film construction on display in The Godfather, and on the other hand, there is the incredible hilariousness and craziness of Blazing Saddles. It’s like comparing apples to oranges, and I for one just can’t do it. So to best answer the question of my favorite movies of all time, I’ve decided on a few important categories and tried to pick my favorite movie for each. So here goes nothing.
My Favorite Serious Movie: The Hunt for Red October
Even though I just got finished saying how I couldn’t pick my one favorite movie, if someone put a gun to my head and forced me to do so, this would definitely be in consideration. Riveting story: check. Intense cat and mouse submarine chases that will keep you on the edge of your seat: check. Great character actors chewing the scenery together: check (pretty much every single actor in this movie is someone you would recognize even if you don’t know their name, including James Earl Jones and former senator Fred Thompson). This movie has it all.
Set during the end of the cold war, Alec Baldwin plays Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst who gets in a bit over his head when he discovers that the USSR had just launched a new attack submarine capable of running almost completely silent. And who better to play the captain of said sub, the Red October, then Sean Connery, complete with awesome hair piece. Connery’s Marko Ramius and his officers (including Sam Neill) are trying to defect to the United States, and Ryan and the US government are racing to get to make contact with the Red October before the USSR does.
What follows is one of the most riveting movies I’ve ever seen. The action set pieces aren’t spectacular, but they don’t need to be. Director John McTiernan (whose preceding two movies were Die Hard and Predator; not a bad run, huh?) does a great job of building the tension, and the whole film is a slow burn leading up to the final battle between the Red October, the USS Dallas captained by Bart Mancuso (Scott Glenn), and the V.K. Knovalov commanded by Captain Tupolev (Stellan Skarsgard).
I can’t recommend this movie enough, and if you haven’t already seen it, go do so ASAP, because this one is not to be missed.
Check back tomorrow for more from David, in which he discusses his favorite action/adventure movie, as well as the one movie that most blew his mind when he first saw it in the theatre.
The series so far: