Crimson Tide is a 1995 American submarine film directed by Tony Scott, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. It takes place during a period of political turmoil in the Russian Federation, in which ultranationalists threaten to launch nuclear missiles at the United States and Japan. It focuses on a clash of wills between the new executive officer (Denzel Washington) and the seasoned commanding officer (Gene Hackman) of a nuclear missile submarine, arising from conflicting interpretations of an order to launch their missiles. The title is derived from a play on words, invoking a former communist maritime threat, and the nickname of the University of Alabama is the Crimson Tide, the submarine in the film is named the USS Alabama.
The film was scored by Hans Zimmer, who won a Grammy Award for the main theme, which makes heavy use of synthIn post-Soviet Russia, civil war erupts as a result of armed conflict in Chechnya. Military units, loyal to Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Radchenko, have taken control of a nuclear missile installation and are threatening nuclear war if either the American or Russian governments attempt to confront him.
A U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine, the USS Alabama, is assigned to a patrol mission to be available to launch its nuclear missiles in a pre-emptive strike if Radchenko attempts to fuel his missiles. Captain Frank Ramsey (Hackman) is the sub's commanding officer, one of few active commanders left in the U.S. Navy with combat experience. He chooses as his new executive officer Lieutenant Commander Ron Hunter (Washington), who has an extensive education in military history and tactics, but no combat experience.
During their initial days at sea, tension between Ramsey and Hunter becomes apparent due to a clash of personalities: Hunter is more analytical and cautious, while Ramsey is more intuitive and impulsive. This becomes evident when Ramsey orders a mock missile launch drill while Hunter is tending to an...