Crimson Tide (1995)
August 8, 2023 8:33 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] After the Cold War, a breakaway Russian republic with nuclear warheads becomes a possible worldwide threat. U.S. submarine Capt. Frank Ramsey (Gene Hackman) signs on a relatively green but highly recommended Lt. Cmdr. Ron Hunter (Denzel Washington) to the USS Alabama, which may be the only ship able to stop a possible Armageddon. When Ramsay insists that the Alabama must act aggressively, Hunter, fearing they will start rather than stop a disaster, leads a potential mutiny to stop him.

Also starring Matt Craven, George Dzundza, Viggo Mortensen, James Gandolfini, Rocky Carroll, Jaime Gomez, Michael Milhoan, Scott Burkholder, Danny Nucci, Lillo Brancato, Eric Bruskotter, Ricky Schroder, Steve Zahn.

Directed by Tony Scott (Top Gun, True Romance). Screenplay credited to Michael Schiffer, Richard P. Henrick, but with dialogue rewrites by Quentin Tarantino and it's pretty clear which scenes those are. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson. Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski. Music by Hans Zimmer.

89% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.


kaibutsu was kind enough to support MeFi with a donation. Their request was for six films about submarines. I'll be using the tag #SubCinema

Donate $25 or more to MeFi and you can MeMail me a request for a themed day of your own. I'll fill up the sidebar on FF with six movies that fit your theme.
posted by DirtyOldTown (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I love submarine movies, but this was the movie playing on my first date, and I don't remember a goddamn thing about it. Something about horses?
posted by infinitewindow at 11:30 AM on August 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

I'm assuming that means you got to make out wicked hard, which hey, good for you.

The horses monologue Hackman has is a) excellent and b) nakedly obviously a Tarantino jam.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:35 AM on August 8, 2023 [4 favorites]

This movie rules. It ruled when I was 15 and it continues to rule.
posted by kbanas at 2:59 PM on August 8, 2023 [2 favorites]

My favorite obvious bit of Tarantino punch-up was that bit about whose Silver Surfer was superior.
posted by whuppy at 3:03 PM on August 8, 2023 [2 favorites]

Crimson Tide doesn't work for me anymore. The officers who side with Ramsey are just too much "the bad guys" during the action (James Gandolfini oozes menace, for instance). And then it's alls well that ends well. Ramsey retires. But there is no penalty for his trigger-happy psychos.

Oh, and could they have made Weps any more a weakling?
posted by Stuka at 4:27 PM on August 8, 2023

"Because it takes the torpedoes 1,000 yards to arm jesus who'd you fuck to get on this ship!?" is definitely may favourite piece of exposition in a movie.
posted by dry white toast at 5:30 PM on August 8, 2023 [2 favorites]

I have not seen this in ages and might have to give it a watch soon. Great casting, but I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about it now - I recall alot of hypermasculine posturing, and this movie is on the 90s Dad Thriller list, which carries with it (for me at least) the fact that the movie will end with a comforting return to the status quo; things got hairy for a bit there, and maybe some people died, but in no way will any serious questions about how our institutions conduct business be raised or left uncomfortably unanswered. Sometimes watching these movies is a comfort, sometimes frustrating for me now.
posted by nubs at 7:50 PM on August 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

I have an aunt who is now retired from the Navy JAG Corps and she considers this movie a comedy with its many egregious violations of basic naval law. She's also no fun to watch NCIS with.
posted by Molesome at 8:30 AM on August 9, 2023 [4 favorites]

I love most of this movie. The scene where the Captain actually snaps and yells and drops the F bomb is fascinating.
posted by davidmsc at 7:31 AM on August 10, 2023

This was a fun movie (how have I not seen this before?!), and I actually appreciate it a lot more after reading some further background.

* The plot is loosely based on an actual incident which occurred on the Soviet side during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

* The US Navy was not involved in (most of) the film production, as they didn't want to support the depiction of a mutiny on a US nuclear submarine. Thus, the CNN reporter on the French aircraft carrier. The footage of the submerging submarine was obtained surreptitiously!

Notes for Future Star Trek Writers:
Usually, the Evil Admiral is the ancient bloodless technocrat with no idea of the realities of running a ship on the edge of the unknown. This movie gives a lovely template for a spin on this conflict: Denzel plays the young upstart bloodless technocrat, but is also the underdog good guy. Imagine the upstart officer coming out of Star Fleet Academy, schooling Picard (or equivalent) on the proper application of the Prime Directive... and being right.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:55 PM on September 4, 2023 [1 favorite]

Rewatched this recently for the first time in ~15 years and basically all the positives and negatives described above feel right-on to me.

If somebody wanted a recommendation for a painfully taut thriller where the two leads are at loggerheads throughout, this would be my first thought. Their performances are cinema-history good.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:54 AM on March 13

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