Sean Connery’s High-Stakes Thriller Is Leaving Netflix, Watch While You Can

Sean Connery's The Hunt for Red October is set to leave Netflix at the end of January.

By Britta DeVore | Published

sean connery

Just a month ago, we brought you the news that one of Sean Connery’s greatest performances in The Hunt for Red October had arrived on Netflix for streaming, and now, we’re sad to report, that there’s a limited window of time remaining for you to tune in. The spy-thriller that would earn the legendary actor his second British Academy Film Award for Best Actor will be bowing out of the platform on February 1. Rated PG and situated on Rotten Tomatoes with an 88 percent critics rating, the wartime film is a winner for the whole family. 

The Hunt for Red October was Tom Clancy’s first major crossover, taking his no-nonsense CIA Analyst Jack Ryan off the pages of his books and onto the big screen. Alec Baldwin led as Jack Ryan with Sean Connery appearing as Marko Ramius, the commanding officer of the titular submarine. The film takes place during the Cold War and centers on Connery’s Soviet Naval Captain who wants to defect to the United States.

Upon discovering Ramius’ plans, Ryan needs to take his case to the U.S. Navy and bring the captain, his submarine, and the rest of the crew in before an almost inevitable explosion-filled confrontation takes place. Along with Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, the ensemble cast included the star-studded likes of James Earl Jones (Star Wars), Tim Curry (Clue), Courtney B. Vance (Law & Order), Tomas Arana (The Bodyguard), Sam Neil (Jurassic Park), Joss Ackland (White Mischief), Stellan Skarsgård (Thor), Gates McFadden (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Peter Firth (Spooks), and Scott Glenn (Training Day).

hunt for red october sean connery

The casting process for The Hunt for Red October was a complicated one, as not only was the production looking for the best actors around, but they also hoped to find performers who also had military experience. They would find hands-on real-world experience in Sean Connery, Scott Glenn, and James Earl Jones who served in the Royal Navy, the United States Marine Corps, and the United States Army, respectively. Although he never served in a branch of the military, Alec Baldwin had spent time on a submarine and was even trained to captain an attack submarine. 

While Baldwin’s credentials may have made him seem like the perfect fit for the first big-screen version of Jack Ryan, director John McTiernan (Predator, Die Hard) had initially asked Kevin Costner and, when he declined due to his involvement in Dances with Wolves, went on to Harrison Ford. Initially passing on the project, Ford would go on to step into the spy world of Jack Ryan in the film Patriot Games. Meanwhile, audiences almost missed out on Sean Connery’s performance of a lifetime as the actor first deemed the story as implausible after being passed a script that was missing its first page, which included some very important information. 

While Netflix has plenty of other star-studded spy-based features streaming right now, including The Gray Man and Triple Frontier, The Hunt for Red October is a true classic of yesteryear. And of course, there are plenty of other Jack Ryan-centered projects out there to binge, including Prime Video’s John Krasinski-led series, but there’s nothing like the first. Adding Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin’s notable performances to boot, you’re not going to want to miss your chance to catch it while it’s available.