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.
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