James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Red October Standard: Thank You, Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy has passed at 66.

He had quite a run in the early 1990's, seeing his novels turned into generally good and very popular movies. I'm not sure when it began; in my mind it was The Hunt For Red October.    

I saw it while in college with my brother. We then sat on the steps to my dorm and talked about it. We created the Red October Standard, which is simply this: you won't be disappointed in seeing this movie at full price in a theater.

Which is not to say The Hunt For Red October is a great movie. It just means it's very good and you won't be disappointed. The Red October standard is that a movie is theater-worthy. In a four-star rating system, it gets a solid three, whereas the 2.5 stars or lower is more "wait for video" (as we said it in those days) or cable television.

I don't think either of us have changed our minds, although I haven't seen the movie for probably over 15 years. The concept remains: "Is this movie as good as The Hunt for Red October?" If so, it's worth the trip and cost to see it in the theater. If not, probably not.

So even though I didn't read Clancy's novels, I appreciate his stories and imagination, and especially his inspiring a standard for judging movie quality. Rest in peace.

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