When Russian rebels gain control of nuclear weapons in the USSR, the United States retaliates by deploying the USS Alabama, a nuclear submarine commanded by Captain Frank Ramsey (Gene Hackman). Veteran soldier and Naval legend Ramsey selects Lt. Commander Ron Hunter (Denzel Washington)--a Harvard graduate who prefers using brains over weapons--as his Executive Officer. While submerged, the Alabama is attacked by a Russian sub and loses radio contact just as an order is being transmitted from headquarters. Old Navy dog Ramsey firmly believes that the interrupted transmission ends with an order to fire their nuclear missiles at the Russian rebels. Hunter, desperate to avoid starting World War III, is determined to re-establish radio contact and act only after complete orders are received. Without the second-in-command's agreement, the missiles cannot be launched, and soon Ramsey and Hunter are engaged in a tense battle of wills, forcing the crew to choose sides. In the tradition of TOP GUN and TRUE ROMANCE, director Tony Scott keeps the tension running high in this fast-paced military thriller. Hackman scores as the tradition-bound Ramsey, and Washington is superb as the thoughtful young officer who feels compelled to take a stand against his superior.
Main Cast & Crew:
Tony Scott - Director
Lillo Brancato Jr.
- Format: DVD
- Run Time: 116
- Color Format: Color
- UPC: 717951000149
- Genre: Suspense
- Rating: R (MPAA)
- Release Date: January 1998
The nuclear submarine Alabama, on a mission near Russian waters, gets an incomplete order that may or may not be the signal to launch nuclear weapons. Captain Ramsey (Gene Hackman) wants to launch missiles, but must have the agreement of his second-in-command, Hunter (Denzel Washington). A tense battle of wills ensue, as the crew must choose sides in this tense military thriller.
Theatrical release: May 12, 1995. Ryan Phillippe made his feature film debut with his brief appearance as Seaman Grattam. Jason Robards makes an uncredited appearance as the Admiral. Uncredited screenplay assistance came from Quentin Tarantino. The film earned $91.4 million at the box office in 1995.
"...[A] propulsively pulse-pounding undersea thriller....[A] supersonic race against the clock..." -- 3 1/2 out of 4 stars - 05/12/1995 USA Today, p.1D
Ranked #8 in Entertainment Weekly's "10 Best Movies of 1995" -- "...Riveting....The two actors keep working to top each other's fury..." - 12/29/1995 Entertainment Weekly, p.115
"...Skillfully crafted to maximize visual excitement and dramatic fireworks....An exciting, efficient, straight-ahead thriller..." - 05/08/1995 Variety
"...A cracking good piece of popular entertainment....Capped by taut performances by stars Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman and a brisk job of direction by Tony Scott..." - 05/12/1995 Los Angeles Times, p.F1
"...It's clever....It's also daring....This is the rare kind of war movie that not only thrills people while they're watching it, but invites them to leave the theater actually discussing the issues..." - 05/12/1995 Chicago Sun-Times, p.35
4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his tense, well-handled pot-boiler brings out the very best in its two leads." - 07/01/2006 Ultimate DVD, p.101
4 stars out of 5 -- "CRIMSON TIDE is a brooding and claustrophobic thriller..." - 05/01/2008 Ultimate DVD, p.75