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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

20 Facts You Didn't Know About Tom Clancy's Patriot Games


Tom Clancy's book The Patriot Games was the follow up to The Hunt For Red October, with Harrison Ford taking over the role as Jack Ryan in the political action thriller.

Here's 20 facts that you didn't know about the movie Patriot Games

The CIA scenes were filmed at the actual CIA headquarters; this was the first time the CIA had ever done such a thing.

Original author Tom Clancy disassociated himself from the production after reading the first draft of the script.

Alec Baldwin bowed out of this film when production was pushed back from '91 to '92. He had already committed to doing a revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire" on Broadway and told then Paramount President Brandon Tartikof to either work around him or find someone else to play Ryan. Ford was then approached to play Ryan in "Patriot Games" after having turned down the role in "The Hunt for Red October", because he felt the script was more focused on Captain Ramius than on Jack Ryan.

The line "There's never been a terrorist attack on American soil" was included in trailers for movie, but was left out of theatrical release because it sounded too much like an invitation or dare.

James Horner (who, like all composers, often re-uses his own material) borrows part of his score from Aliens (1986) in scoring this film. Specifically, the key elements of "Resolution and Hyperspace" from the "Aliens" soundtrack appears in this movie as the music that plays while Ryan and the others watch the SAS attack on the Libyan training camp.

The name of Paddy O'Neil, the IRA spokesman played by Richard Harris, is taken from the name used by the IRA organization to sign all statements originating from them, P. O'Neil.

Near the beginning of the film as Ryan and his wife are kissing in their hotel bed, she reminds him that he is supposed to be working on his speech for the Royal Military Academy. Ryan replies that he will "wing it". The next day at the Academy, there is a very brief shot of Ryan's notebook as he is making his speech. The page is blank, indicating that he is, in fact, winging it.

The country in North Africa in which the IRA train is never named, although a map of the camps is shown, and they are clearly in Libya.

The room number at the beginning of the film where Jack Ryan is staying is 713. Harrison Ford's birthday is 7/13.

The attack on members of the Royal Family at the very beginning of the film was inspired by a very similar true life attempt to kidnap Princess Anne on 20, Mar 1974.

The dual-beeping sound effect of Jack Ryan's EKG was also used in The Hunt for Red October (1990) as the sound of the USS Dallas' sonar tracking the Red October.

Although this film was a sequel to The Hunt for Red October (1990), the action of the original novels was in the opposite order: the novel "Patriot Games" was a prequel. Presumably the change was made because Harrison Ford is older than Alec Baldwin.

Paramount yanked all their advertising out of Variety when one of the magazine's film critics, Joseph McBride, called the film "fascistic, blatantly anti-Irish... a right-wing cartoon". Variety's editor Peter Bart privately sided with Paramount's boycott, calling McBride "unprofessional". Bart was subsequently embarrassed when his letter criticizing one of his reviewers and supporting studio censorship was leaked to the press. The Los Angeles Film Critics' Association and the National Society of Film Critics then publicly lambasted Bart for his "dismaying treatment" of one of his members of staff, saying "the question is not whether any responsible critic is right or wrong, but whether any responsible critic must be muted so as not to offend an advertiser or bruise a handful of tender egos".

So far, the only R-rated Jack Ryan/Tom Clancy film, since even The Hunt for Red October (1990) only received a PG, while all later films never went above PG-13.

Jack Ryan is a history professor and former CIA agent. Harrison Ford's other popular character, Indiana Jones, is a college professor and former OSS agent.


The novel had the Prince and Princess of Wales and their baby as the target of the attempted kidnapping.

The name of the bar where Ryan confronts the IRA leader is The Patriot, which is also the code name of the terrorism case Jack Ryan is working on at the CIA.

Though they were both in all three original Star Wars films, this is the first time Harrison Ford and James Earl Jones have worked together. Ford worked on set only with David Prowse, while Jones recorded all his lines in post-production.

The cadence being sung at the beginning of the Annapolis scenes may be a common Marine Corp cadence ("Mission Top Secret, Destination Unknown"), but this cadence is derived from a common Army Airborne cadence ("C-130"). The reference to parachuting gives this away. All US Military personnel with parachute training go to the US Army Airborne School.


6 Bonus Facts To Impress Your Friends

When the IRA are coming to kill Kevin O'Donnell, he is watching the music video for Clannad's "Theme From Harry's Game" on his TV. This song was made for the TV series Harry's Game (1982), which is also about the Troubles, and some of the footage in the music video is taken from the series.

In the film, the raid on the terrorist camp is carried out by the SAS, however in the book, it is carried out by French special forces.

This film depicts Jack Ryan as a history professor at the U.S. Naval Academy. In The Hunt for Red October (1990), Ryan says he wrote a book about Admiral William F. Halsey.

Tom Clancy objected to some of the changes made to his novel in the screenplay. In the novel, the noble that Ryan saves is in fact Prince Charles, and the tabloid reports of trouble in his marriage to Princess Diana is portrayed largely as the fabrication of a biased media. Subsequently, such reports would prove to be correct. The novel ends not with Miller's death, but with his capture by American authorities. He was captured originally in England, which has no death penalty, but finally captured in the United States, which does (and in Clancy's subsequent novel 'The Sum of All Fears', Miller and his fellow associates are executed by the State of Maryland for their crimes). Clancy felt that having him die in action robbed the story of this contrast.

The cut above Sean Miller's left eye in the climatic fight with Jack Ryan was the real thing.

The ship shown in the film after Sean Miller escapes from England to travel to the camp in the desert is the "Ergenstrasse" which is from the film The Sea Chase (1955) starring John Wayne.


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