Sean Connery Completely Flipped The Script On One Hunt For Red October Scene

Sean Connery had a knack for drastically improving scenes. Not only did he improvise one of the funniest lines in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," but the actor also came up with 007's now-classic "Bond, James Bond" line while filming "Dr. No," the first of Eon's Bond adaptations. For that alone, the franchise owes Connery a lot (though he didn't come up with Bond's other catchphrase, "Shaken not stirred" — credit for that line goes to Ian Fleming, the author of the Bond novels).

Connery wasn't afraid to let his lived experiences influence his on-screen work, either. Before he started acting, the future Bond star served for three years in the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. According to Forces, the actor trained to be an anti-aircraft gunner, then served on the HMS Formidable, an aircraft carrier ship. Connery's experiences afforded him a unique perspective when he later took on a string of military-related movie roles. His Nay background also helped the actor to make informed suggestions on the set of 1990's "The Hunt for Red October," a Cold War-era nuclear submarine thriller adapted from Tom Clancy's 1984 debut novel by the same name.

Connery was in his comfort zone

Tom Clancy's novels are renowned for accurately depicting the U.S. military despite the insurance salesman-turned-novelist's lack of army experience. Still, it was inevitable that a stray inaccuracy would slip through the cracks every now and again. Such was the case when it came to the ending of "The Hunt for Red October," in which a tense shootout breaks out upon the titular submarine, even as another vessel fires missiles at it.

In the original version of the scene, the Soviet Captain Ramius (Sean Connery) was supposed to give up his post, only to take the lead again when the going got tough. Given the excitement associated with Connery's Bond films, it's no surprise that then-rising director John McTiernan wanted to incorporate some nostalgic glory into "The Hunt for Red October." In a 2020 interview with "The Rich Eisen Show," however, "Red October" co-star Scott Glenn said Connery was quick to point out that, in the military, someone who had given up their station would not be able to reclaim it. Instead, he advocated that Glenn's character, the U.S. Commander Mancuso, should take over.

The end result is glorious, with Mancuso setting off one of the most poetic moments in the entire film. It's a bit surprising to see a relatively less important character arguably cause the movie's climax (especially when you've got the face of James Bond standing in his shadow), but at the same time, there's something fitting about Raimus being relegated to the sidelines as he quietly sabotages a first-strike nuclear weapon. History might not remember the Russian captain's name, but if Raimus would've otherwise been remembered for warming up the Cold War, that's probably for the best.