Tom Clancy - on the Screen
Tom Clancy is a best-selling author best known for his techno-thrillers, military dramas and action adventure tales set after the Cold War, he was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1947.
He wrote his first novel The Hunt for Red October in 1984, President Reagan was a fan of the book and it shot straight into the New York Times Best Sellers list. Ten of his books have hit the number one spot on the best sellers chart. His novel Clear and Present Danger was published in 1989 and sold nearly 2 million copies, it was the best-selling novel of the 1980’s.
The main hero of Clancy’s novels is Jack Ryan, who starts off as a CIA analyst, eventually becomes vice-president and than in Debt of Honor, when a crazed Japanese seeking revenge flies his 747 Jumbo Jet into the Capitol Building killing the President and everyone in there, Jack Ryan becomes President of the United States.
John Clark an Ex-Navy SEAL and CIA operative is Clancy’s other hero. Only three Tom Clancy novels do not feature Jack Ryan or John Clark, they are – Red Storm Rising, SSN and Against All Enemies.
In 1995 Tom Clancy along with Steve Pieczenik created the Op-Center series of novels, the books were written by Jeff Rovin and concern an agency called ‘The National Crisis Management Center’. In 1998 Clancy and Pieczenik created the Net Force series of novels, the books were written by Steve Perry.
Tom Clancy died on 1st October, 2013, he was 66.
1984 – The Hunt for Red October
1986 – Red Storm Rising
1987 – Patriot Games
1988 – The Cardinal of the Kremlin
1989 – Clear and Present Danger
1991 – The Sum of All Fears
1993 – Without Remorse
1994 – Debt of Honor
1996 – Executive Orders
1996 – SSN
1998 – Rainbow Six
2000 – The Bear and the Dragon
2002 – Red Rabbit
2003 – Teeth of the Tiger
2010 – Dead or Alive (with Grant Blackwood)
2011 – Against All Enemies (with Peter Telep)
2011 – Locked On (with Mark Greaney)
2012 – Search and Destroy (with Peter Telep)
The Hunt for Red October (1990) directed by John McTiernan, starring Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, James Earl Jones, Joss Ackland, Richard Jordan, Peter Firth, Tim Curry, Stellan Skarsgard and Jeffrey Jones. 134mins.
Russian Captain Marko Ramius (Connery) defects to the West, taking with him the Soviet Union's most advanced submarine, the Red October.
Alec Baldwin plays Jack Ryan in the first movie based on a Tom Clancy novel, first published in 1984. Kevin Costner and Harrison Ford were considered for Ryan and Klaus Maria Brandeur for Ramius.
Oscar nominated for Best Film Editing and Best Sound, winning for Best Sound Effects Editing.
The Hunt for Red October cost $30m and has grossed $200m worldwide.
IMDB rating 7.6
Patriot Games (1992) directed by Phillip Noyce, starring Harrison Ford, Anne Archer. Thora Birch, Sean Bean, Patrick Bergin, James Fox, Samuel L. Jackson, Polly Walker, James Earl Jones and Richard Harris. 117mins.
Harrison Ford took over the role of Jack Ryan when Alec Baldwin was unavailable to reprise the role.
When Ryan thwarts an attack in London by an IRA splinter group he and his family are targeted in revenge. Based on Tom Clancy's 1987 novel of the same name.The novel was actually a prequel to the events in Hunt for Red October.
Patriot Games cost $45m and has grossed $178m worldwide.
IMDB rating 6.9
Clear and Present Danger (1994) directed by Phillip Noyce, starring Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer, Thora Birch, Joaquim de Almeida, Miguel Sandoval, Henry Czerny, Harris Yulin, Donald Moffat and Benjamin Bratt. 141mins.
Based on Clancy's 1989 novel. The US President plans covert action against a Colombian drug cartel which killed his friend. Ryan discovers there is dirty work afoot, a conspiracy which leads all the way to the White House.
Nominated for two Oscars - Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing.
Clear and Present Danger cost $62m and has grossed $215m worldwide.
IMDB rating 6.8
OP Center (1995) directed by Lewis Teague, starring Harry Hamlin, Patrick Bauchau, Kabir Bedi, John Savage, Bo Hokins, Rod Steiger, Kim Cattrall and Wilford Brimley. 170mins.
TV movie based on the OP Center series of novels created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik.
Nuclear missiles are stolen from the Soviet Union by terrorists, the OP center team must find out who did it and where the missiles are heading.
Won an Emmy Award for Sound Editing.
IMDB rating 5.5
Net Force (1999) directed by Robert Lieberman, starring Scott Bakula, Joanna Going, Xander Berkeley, Brian Dennehy, Kris Kristofferson, CCH Pounder and Judge Reinhold. 200mins.
TV movie based on the Net Force series of novels created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik.
The Net Force police the internet, they hunt down a hacker who can access any computer in the world and plans to gain control of the internet.
Emmy nominated for Sound Editing.
IMDB rating 5.1
The Sum of All Fears (2002) Directed by Phil Alden Robinson, starring Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Bridget Moynahan, James Cromwell, Liev Schreiber, Bruce McGill, Ciaran Hinds, Ron Rifkin and Alan Bates. 124mins.
Based on Clancy's 1991 novel of the same name. Affleck is playing a younger version of Jack Ryan but set in 2002 when going by his age should have been set in the early 1980s.
A terrorist faction plan to explode a Russian nuclear missile, which went missing in 1973, on a US city thus provoking a war between the US and Russia. CIA analyst Jack Ryan tries to avert a catastrophe.
In the novel the villains were Muslim extremists, this was changed to Neo-Nazi terrorists in the film. On the commentary track the director said this had nothing to do with 9/11 and thought it would be more realistic if European terrorists were the villains.
The Sum of All Fears cost $68m and has grossed $194m worldwide.
IMDB rating 6.3
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) Directed by Kenneth Branagh, starring Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh, Lenn Kudrjawizki and Colm Feore. 105mins.
So far there have been 5 Jack Ryan movies and 4 different actors playing the role! Chris Pine (1980-) is the latest actor to play Jack Ryan on film. Pine has starred in two successful Star Trek movies as young Jim Kirk.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit uses characters from Tom Clancy's novels but is not based on any of his books. It serves as a prequel to the Jack Ryan novels. Tom Clancy died in October 2013, before the filming had been completed.
Kevin Costner had been offered the role of Jack Ryan way back in 1989 for The Hunt for Red October, but turned it down to make Dances With Wolves.
Chris Pine had co-starred with the previous actor to play Jack Ryan, Ben Affleck, in Smokin' Aces (2006).
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit cost $60m to produce and opened with $18m at the US box office.
IMDB rating 6.5
Highest Grossing Tom Clancy Films
More by this Author
A visual history of London's Big Ben as depicted in the movies.
A visual tour of the Eiffel Tower as seen in the movies.
A Chronology of Posters for Animated Movies 1970-1989.