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Fridge Brilliance

  • At one point the Soviet ambassador (played by Joss Ackland) is speaking to NSA Jeffery Pelt. Sweating profusely in a state of agitation, the ambassador tells Pelt that Captain Ramius has suffered a mental breakdown and will try to fire his missiles at the United States. This is a lie, of course, since Ramius is trying to defect and the Soviets want America to help them sink him before he can do that. When called on the fact that he hadn't mentioned this development before, the ambassador lamely blames Moscow for not telling him. Despite his nervousness, the ambassador lies well enough to get the Americans to go along with it . . . except that maybe the ambassador didn't actually lie. If you want someone to tell a lie well, it's helpful if they believe the lie themselves. Given the USSR's reputation for dishonesty, it's not hard to imagine that they decieved the ambassador himself so he would make a more compelling case to the Americans. And that's why the ambassador is sweating so hard. He believes that Ramius really has gone nuts and is about to nuke them, with the most likely target being right where he is sitting.
    • I've always thought that was what's going on. To make sure the ruse was complete, they just lied to their ambassador (and unseen, probably told at least the ambassadors to the UK and and France and Canada the same lie), and possibly told their naval captains the same story as well. Maybe only a dozen people actually Ramius' intentions.
  • Ramius encouraged his men singing the Russian National Anthem - why? Because he knew they would give the sub away. Fore Shadowed by Jones' Pavarotti story earlier in the film. Sure enough, Jones hears them singing.
  • In the novel, there is a scene where one of the many attack subs, the ES Politovski, undergoes a critical reactor failure that destroys the sub. In a rather obtuse way, this was foreshadowed earlier in the book, during the section describing Ramius' life. It stated that he had been baptized as a Roman Catholic but it could never be revealed, even to him, as 'Marxism-Leninism is a jealous god that allows no others'. The scene involving the Politovski has the zampolit overriding the chief engineer's request to back down on the dangerously overloaded reactor for repairs. The engineer protested in his mind about 'the Party thinking that physical laws could be overturned by the whim of an apparatchik'. In a round about way, Marxism-Leninism (as a godhood proxy as Ramius described it earlier) was being stealthily paralleled to a theocracy, where the fiat of the priests of the faith (or in this case, the Zampolitni of the Party) trumped everything, even nature itself. An irony there, considering the religious suppression in the Soviet era.
  • In the film, there is the opening disclaimer that says that "nothing of what you're about to see ever happened". But in the end credits, there's the standard disclaimer that "any similarity to real persons is purely coincidental.", which just makes you wonder even more if it really happened.
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