"The Hunt for Red October" (1990) is the first movie made from a book featuring Jack Ryan. The movie was based on the popular Tom Clancy novel and the suspenseful movie tracks Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) as he abandons his orders and heads for the east coast of the United States. Equipped with innovative stealth technology, Ramius' submarine, 'Red October', is virtually invisible. However, when an American sub briefly detects the Russians' presence, CIA agent Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) sets out to determine Ramius' motives. Ryan has fear that the Russian sub may launch an attack on the USA.

"The Hunt for Red October" received mostly positive reviews from critics and was a real financial success, generating $122 million in North America and more than $200 million worldwide at the box office. Again, the film was the first in a series involving the fictional character Jack Ryan. This character has accordingly now been played by Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, Chris Pine, and John Krasinski.

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