The Hunt for Red October movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was The Hunt for Red October filmed?


City Locations

Anchorage, Alaska, Los Angeles, San Diego, California, Port Angeles, Washington State, Lake James, North Carolina, Liverpool, England

Location Types

American, NatureScapes, Ship Docks, Studios

Location Styles

Anywhere Americana, Airstream, Federal Building, Helicopter, Plane, Shipping Yard/ Dock

About The Hunt for Red October

The submarine spy thriller, The Hunt for Red October, is an American film released in 1990, produced by Mace Neufeld and directed by John McTiernan. The Hunt for Red October is a movie adaptation of Tom Clancy's novel by the same name. Tom Clancy is responsible for creating the blockbuster character CIA Analyst Jack Ryan (portrayed by Alec Baldwin). Protagonist Jack Ryan features in The Hunt for Red October for the first time, with the character following suit in several books and movies.

The film is set in the Cold War era when several Russian army personnel defected to the United States and the United Kingdom. The Hunt for Red October also follows a similar plotline with Captain Marko Ramius (Sir Sean Connery), a Soviet Naval Captain who wants to defect to the United States with his crew of trusted navy men and the Red October, Russia's most advanced and newest ballistic missile submarine. The Red October is creating shockwaves across the United States military for its caterpillar drive – magneto-hydrodynamic propulsion. This advanced navigation system allows a sub to go undetected in the presence of SONAR equipment.

Captain Marko Ramius and his men hijack the Soviet Red October submarine and kill the political officer on board. They tell the existing crew that Captain Ramius has received orders to carry out missile drills off the eastern American coastline. When the Soviet Union realizes Captain Ramius is defecting, they order all naval warships to blast the Red October and sink it immediately.

Watching Captain Ramius' manoeuvers, CIA Analyst Jack Ryan correctly infers that there is a possibility that the Russian submarine and crew may want to defect to the US with the Red October. Jack Ryan manages to get onto the USS Dallas and convinces the Captain of the USS Dallas to get in touch with the Red October to determine the real motives.

A classic spy movie ensues with espionage, multiple agents, action, torpedoes, and naval warfare.

The Hunt for Red October Locations

Fans that want to visit The Hunt for Red October location in Anchorage, Alaska, Los Angeles, San Diego, California, Port Angeles, Washington State, Lake James, North Carolina, or Liverpool, England, should consider making an itinerary with a full complement of stay and travel options.

Considering the diverse regions and locations used in the film, it stands to reason that most filming is done in the water. However, while fans will not be allowed to visit any real submarines, you can see each of these locations and click some spectacular pictures.

Most scenes within the submarines were filmed on set and on sound stages to avoid the constant movement of being in the water. This wave-like effect was added with the help of mechanics. Doing this also saved the team plenty of money in the pre and post-production. Since filming on naval submarines was not allowed for extended durations, the sets at Paramount Studios came in quite handy.

Teaser: Fans should extend their trip by planning Anchorage and Alaska since it is also the site for many other films and television shows like Star Trek, The Amazing Race, Into The Wild, The Frozen Ground, Big Miracle, and many more.

Fun fact:

Sir Sean Connery rejected the original script for The Hunt for Red October because he felt it was too far removed from the Cold War era. The producers spoke to him and told him that it was a historical movie set earlier. After listening to this, he instantly accepted the role of the Soviet Captain.

The Red October gets escorted out of port scene in The Hunt for Red October

Port Valdez, Anchorage, Alaska

Commanding Officer and Captain 1st Rank, Marko Ramius (Sir Sean Connery), is standing and looking out at the icy cold waters in Murmansk. Captain Borodin (Sam Neill) is next to Ramius, looking out at the water and surrounding areas through a pair of binoculars. Captain Borodin says to Captain Ramius in Russian, "Cold this morning, Captain." Ramius, still looking around, responds, "Hmm. Cold. And hard."

Ships are escorting the Red October submarine out of port. Looking around, Captain Borodin tells Ramius, "It's time, Captain." Ramius nods and replies, "It is time. Time, indeed," as he turns around to look at the escorts from the top of the submarine.

Considering the various The Hunt for Red October action scenes, this one, the Polijarny Inlet near Murmansk, is filmed east of Anchorage, at Port Valdez in Alaska. This scene could have been the start of the action sequences, but instead is filmed to show the depth of the film and the intelligence of the naval officers.

Port Valdez is a large marina with stunning views of the water, ice, and snow-capped mountains. It is used several times for filming and tourism. Port Valdez is accessible via AK-1 and AK-4 N to Blueberry Hill.

CIA Analyst Jack Ryan catches flight to the US scene in The Hunt for Red October

LA International Airport, Los Angeles

CIA Analyst Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) is leaving for the US from London Heathrow. As he is packing, his daughter, Sally Ryan (Louise Borras), comes up to him holding her stuffed teddy bear, Stanley. Jack sees her standing there and comes to her, saying, "Hey, what are you doing? You're supposed to be upstairs sleeping." Sally looks down at her teddy and replies, "Stanley keeps waking me up." Jack realizes she doesn't want to go to bed and picks her up. He tells Sally, "Oh, I get it. Boy, are you getting heavy!"

As he's looking at his daughter, his wife, Caroline Ryan (Gates McFadden), walks in and tells him he's going to miss the plane. Jack kisses Sally goodbye and promises to get Stanley a younger brother stuffed animal if Sally goes to bed. Saying this, he leaves for Heathrow Airport with his wife. At the airport, he kisses Caroline goodbye and leaves for the US.

Of all The Hunt for Red October locations, this individual scene of Jack, once he gets to the airport, was shot at the LA International Airport. While the film claims it is Heathrow Airport, the team decided it's best to film on-site in LA. LA International is easily accessible via bus number 3 to LAX New Transit Ctr Bay 13.

Ryan seeks Skip Tyler's expertise in submarines scene in The Hunt for Red October

Naval Sub Base, Point Loma, San Diego

Jack Ryan seeks permission from Admiral Greer (James Earl Jones) to speak to Sub Driver Skip Tyler (Jeffrey Jones), who is now teaching at the Navy Academy. Jack seeks Skip Tyler's expertise on submarines and their types. As Jack shows Skip the new photos of the Russian submarine Red October, Skip comments, "Bigger than a regular Typhoon. What are these doors?"

Jack responds, "You don't miss much, do you? Those are too big to be torpedo tubes. Would you launch an ICBM horizontally?" Skip considers the question and replies, "Sure. Why would you want to? They're symmetrical. Right down the long axis of the sub." However, Skip realizes the submarine could be a caterpillar drive – magneto-hydrodynamic propulsion, which allows the submarine to go so silent in water that sonar equipment will not sense it.

This scene with the dry dock at the US Naval Shipyards at Patuxent, Maryland, is the Sub Base located at Point Loma in San Diego. The nuclear submarine used in the filming is real, with all the necessary details hidden from audiences. To get to The Hunt for Red October filming location, catch bus number 84 to Cabrillo Memorial Hwy & Ft Rosecrans Cemetery Gate. The walk to the Naval Base is approximately 20-30 minutes from this stop.

Admiral Padorin receives letter from Ramius scene in The Hunt for Red October

County Sessions House, Liverpool, England

At the Russian Red Fleet Political Directorate in Moscow, Admiral Padorin (Peter Zinner) is informed by his Orderly (Tony Veneto) that the Admiral has received a letter from Captain Marko Ramius. Admiral Padorin is quite happy to receive the letter and slits the envelope open to read the contents.

As he reads the letter's contents, the Admiral's face changes to one of grave concern and shock. He drops his hot beverage and immediately demands a meeting with Premier Chernenko. A few minutes after that meeting, the US Naval forces realize that the Soviet fleet sailed (en masse) to find the Red October and sink her immediately.

This whole instance was quite shocking for everyone (including audiences) because they feel Ramius could be a villain or a madman trying to start a war with the US.

All The Hunt for Red October film scenes featuring the Red Fleet Political Directorate, Moscow, were shot at the County Sessions House in Liverpool, England. The County Sessions House has an old-world feel and has been used as a filming location for other movies. Catch bus 53Q to Kempston Street and walk for a few minutes to reach the County Sessions House.

Ryan shifts from helicopter to submarine scene in The Hunt for Red October

Juan de Fuca Strait and Puget Sound at Port Angeles, Washington State

Jack Ryan is in the helicopter on his way to the submarine to make contact with the USS Dallas. The helicopter has been trying to get the message to the USS Dallas, but the Pilot (Don Oscar Smith) says, "Commander, we are approaching no return. Dallas apparently hasn't gotten the message. We have to turn back for the carrier." Finally, they see the USS Dallas and the helicopter crew hook Jack up to the rope landing equipment.

The Pilot tells Jack, "I'll be lowering you down to the submarine now. Give you eight on the clock." The submarine surfaces amid plenty of rain and a storm. Jack rallies himself and follows all instructions from the helicopter crew. Seeing there may be a chance the helicopter might take Jack back to the carrier, Jack unclips himself from the safety harness and falls straight into the ocean.

This daring filming location of The Hunt for Red October is in the middle of the Juan de Fuca Strait and Puget Sound, north of Port Angeles, in Washington State. However, most people cannot just enter the water, so it's best to get to Port Angeles and click some fabulous photos of the surrounding areas and the water. Port Angeles is easily accessible by catching WA-104 W.

Ryan and Ramius pilot the Red October to hideaway at Penobscot River scene in The Hunt for Red October

Lake James, North Carolina

Ryan and Ramius are taking the Red October to Penobscot River in Maine to hide it from Soviet eyes. Ramius looks around and remarks, "All this way to hide a submarine in a river." Jack Ryan replies, "We're 100 miles from the nearest naval base, the last place satellites will ever look. I grew up around here. My grandfather taught me to fish off that island over there."

Marko Ramius smiles and tells Ryan, "There is one question you haven't asked me yet. Why?" Ramius explains to Ryan that the Red October was built to attack the United States first and end it in one shot. Ramius recites, "The sea will grant each man new hope as sleep brings dreams of hope. Christopher Columbus."

For this scene with the (fake) poem by Columbus, The Hunt for Red October production team chose the picturesque Lake James in North Carolina as the filming location. This lake is part of the Lake James State Park and is regulated by the forest authorities. Getting here is quick if you follow the US-70 E and NC-126 E till you reach the lakeshore. When here, it is best to follow all rules and regulations.


The Hunt for Red October caused a sensation among the submarine and other naval technology advancements. While most people were aware of the importance of SONAR tracking systems, no one had ever predicted that there would be technology available to outsmart SONAR.

It was a great film, with an incredible screenplay, strong acting, and stunning filming locations. Some of the best scenes in The Hunt for Red October were the naval and water scenes that were shot with considerable skill, and the actors, stunt doubles, and other crew members did a great job bringing it to such a flawless finish on the big screen. Audiences were enthralled by the espionage, the technology, realism, and historical instances quoted in the film.

The Hunt for Red October showed a human aspect missing from many earlier espionage and spy movies. The end of the film, where Ryan and Ramius speak while directing the submarine, has one of the loveliest scenes in the movie.