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The Hunt For Red October (1990)

NOTE: This commentary track is only on the "Special Collector's Edition" DVD; the original DVD release had no commentaries.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director John McTiernan Rating:5.9/10 (8 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Pete on June 17th, 2004:Find all reviews by Pete
Boring, dry, and really boring. It is the average McTiernan track.
Reviewed by The Cubist on March 3rd, 2006:Find all reviews by The Cubist
The good news is that Paramount has found a cure for insomnia. The bad news is it's this audio commentary. While McTiernan does offer some interesting tidbits of information (the film's opening scrawl feeds into the myth that what Clancy wrote was based on true stories from sub-captains), the director spends too much time watching the film and not commenting on it. It doesn't help he has a monotone voice that is too dry and sounds like he's ready to fall asleep at any moment.
Reviewed by Londo Mollari on February 22nd, 2008:Find all reviews by Londo Mollari
As always, McTiernan is about as exciting to listen to as Al Gore but at least he gives some really interesting info about the cast and how the majority of the crew on the Red October consisted of authentic ethnic Russians from the Russian Los Angeles community. He also gives quite a lot of info on how the underwater scenes were shot.
Reviewed by Uniblab on August 26th, 2009:Find all reviews by Uniblab
McTiernan may not speak in a very pleasant or stimulating tone of voice and may not be as at ease and articulate here as he was on the commentary for "Die Hard", and makes a factual mistake by mentioning Fred Zinneman as the director of "Judgment at Nuremberg" when it was actually Stanley Kramer, but he gives a very candid, relaxed and free of pedantry account of various aspects of the making of the movie, and speaks from the point of view of the audience, which is quite a refreshing and uncommon perspective when it comes to director's commentaries.
Reviewed by sedna on September 20th, 2012:Find all reviews by sedna
Ok, yeah I hear what the sentiment is about. McT's tone of voice isn't really a problem for me, I think what bothers you guys is the combination of his voice and how sparse his comments are throughout. What separates this commentary from, say Die Hard - which was top notch, is the EDITING. This is all McT live, while Die Hard was edited, so it virtually has no 'dead air'. This commentary isn't incredibly informative, and it's obvious he didn't have much to say because he hasn't seen the film in ages. He even mentions that as the commentary is recorded that it's been a while since he saw the film. There are very few technical insights into how he shot certain scenes, and how certain visual geographies were established. You get some insights into location shooting, but honestly this isn't a commentary that comes to mind when you think "great". This may have truly benefited from another person w/ him, or even a way of Die Hard, where a production designer or a DP or anyone else having something of value to say was edited into this to keep it snappy. Otherwise, yes, it's a pretty drawn out commentary and by far a drop from DH, where McT spoke a lot about his filmmaking process and philosophy which is what I loved about it as it was so insightful for a guy like me who's a student of film. If you aren't the kind of person that must soak in every bit of information - then maybe this commentary is best left skipped.