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Patriot Games (film)

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Title: Patriot Games (film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Jack Ryan (character), Phillip Noyce, Thora Birch, Harrison Ford, Sean Bean
Collection: 1990S Action Thriller Films, 1990S Spy Films, 1992 Films, American Action Thriller Films, American Films, American Political Thriller Films, Film Scores by James Horner, Films About Revenge, Films About Terrorism, Films About the Irish Republican Army, Films About the Troubles (Northern Ireland), Films Based on Military Novels, Films Based on Works by Tom Clancy, Films Directed by Phillip Noyce, Films Set in London, Films Shot in Maryland, Films Shot in Washington, D.C., Paramount Pictures Films, Pinewood Studios Films, Ryanverse Films, Sequel Films, Suspense Films
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Patriot Games (film)

Patriot Games
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Phillip Noyce
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Patriot Games 
by Tom Clancy
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Donald McAlpine
Edited by
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • June 5, 1992 (1992-06-05) (United States)
Running time
117 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million[1]
Box office $178 million[2]

Patriot Games is a 1992 American spy thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce and based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, but with different actors in the leading roles, Harrison Ford starring as Jack Ryan and Anne Archer as his surgeon-wife. James Earl Jones is the lone holdover, reprising his role as Admiral James Greer. The cast also includes Sean Bean, Patrick Bergin, Thora Birch, Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Harris.

The film premiered in theaters in the United States on June 5, 1992 and spent two weeks as the No. 1 film, grossing $178,051,587 in box office business. It currently holds a 76% score on Rotten Tomatoes with 32 critical reviews counted.[3] On June 9, 1992, the original motion picture soundtrack was released by the RCA Records music label. The soundtrack was composed and orchestrated by musician James Horner. The film series' next installment also featured Ford and Archer in the 1994 film Clear and Present Danger.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
    • Casting 3.1
    • Filming 3.2
    • Music 3.3
  • Reception 4
    • Critical response 4.1
    • Box office 4.2
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Retired CIA analyst Jack Ryan (Ford) is on vacation with his family in London. They witness a terrorist attack on Lord William Holmes (Fox), British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Ryan intervenes and is injured, but he kills one of the assailants, Patrick Miller, while his older brother Sean (Bean) looks on. The remaining attackers flee, as Sean is apprehended by the police. While recovering, Ryan is called to testify in court against Miller, who is part of a splinter cell of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Miller is later convicted for his crimes.

While being transferred to Albany Prison on the Isle of Wight, Miller's escort convoy is ambushed by his comrades, including Kevin O'Donnell (Bergin), who execute the police officers, and coordinates an escape. Miller and his companions flee to Northern Africa to plan their next kidnapping attempt on Lord Holmes. Miller also persuades several members of the group to accompany him to the U.S. to murder Ryan and his family.

London, where the opening scene takes place.

Ryan survives an assassination attempt orchestrated by Annette (Walker) and an accomplice outside the U.S. Naval Academy. Later, Miller and a henchman attack Ryan's wife and daughter on a busy highway, injuring them both. Enraged over the attack on his family, Ryan decides to go back to work for the C.I.A., having earlier rejected the appeal of his former superior, Vice Admiral James Greer (Jones).

Ryan's work leads him to conclude that Miller has taken refuge in a training camp in Libya. A British Special Air Service team attacks and kills everyone in the camp while Ryan looks on through a live satellite feed. Unbeknownst to Ryan, Miller and his companions had already fled the camp and were on their way to the U.S. to stage their next attack.

Lord Holmes decides to visit Ryan at his home to formally present his KCVO. With the aid of Lord Holmes' traitorous assistant, Miller's group tracks Holmes to Ryan's house in Maryland. They kill the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service agents and the state troopers guarding the residence, and make an attempt to kidnap Lord Holmes. Ryan leads Holmes and his family to safety while he attempts to lure Miller and his companions away from the home.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Hostage Rescue Team scrambles to pick up Holmes. Ryan develops a ruse to leave his family and Lord Holmes behind, near a shoreline, while racing away from the coast on a boat. Miller, O'Donnell and Annette follow suit, and chase him in a secondary boat. Upon realizing that Ryan is leading them away from Holmes, O'Donnell and Annette try to persuade him to turn around. But an enraged Miller kills them both and continues his pursuit of Ryan. Miller reaches Ryan's boat, as they both fight. Miller attacks Ryan with a Danforth anchor, but Ryan then impales him on it, killing him.


Actor Samuel L. Jackson, who portrayed the fictional character Robby Jackson.



The actors who played Jack and Caroline Ryan in The Hunt for Red October, Alec Baldwin and Gates McFadden, were unavailable. Baldwin had committed to perform in A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway.[4] In 2011, Baldwin says he did not appear because of "sleazy Hollywood tools."[5]


Filming also took place at Aldwych underground station for a sequence later in the film.[6] The numerous changes between the film and the novel caused Clancy to distance himself from the film production.[7] Harrison Ford accidentally hit Sean Bean with a boat hook while shooting the final scene; Bean has a scar over his eye as a result.[8]


Patriot Games: Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by James Horner
Released June 9, 1992
Length 45:10
Label RCA Records
Jack Ryan soundtrack chronology
The Hunt for Red October
Patriot Games
Clear and Present Danger

The film's musical score is composed by James Horner and contains musical references to works by Aram Khachaturian (Adagio from "Gayane" Suite) and Dmitri Shostakovich (Symphony No. 5, 3rd mvt.). A music video is shown in an early scene featuring Clannad's song "Theme from Harry's Game", originally made for an ITV drama about The Troubles in 1982. All other vocal performances featured on the soundtrack are by Maggie Boyle.[9]

In 2013, a 2-disc expanded soundtrack album was released by La-La Land Records. Limited to 3000 copies, the album contains over 50 minutes of previously unreleased music (including cues by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and John Philip Sousa).[10]


Critical response

I haven't read Clancy's Patriot Games, and for all I know this movie is faithful to his book, but on the basis of The Hunt for Red October, which I have read, I expected this one to be a little more cerebral and without the Indiana Jones ending.

Roger Ebert, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times[11]

Despite receiving generally positive reviews, the film garnered a lot of controversy during its release, from Tom Clancy disowning the film, to critics complaining it was too different from the book.[12][13][14]The film has earned a 75% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[15]

Roger Ebert called it "absorbing" while also commenting how actor Harrison Ford "once again demonstrates what a solid, convincing actor he is".[11] Chris Hicks of the Deseret News mentioned how director Noyce gave the film "flourish and tension" while star Harrison Ford injected "a commanding sense of decency and humanity to the role of CIA analyst Jack Ryan, making it his own."[16]

Box office

The film was a financial success, debuting at the number one position for the weekend of June 5, 1992.[17] During that weekend, the film grossed $18,511,191 in business showing at 2,365 locations.[2] The film's revenue dropped by 39.5% in its second week of release, earning $11,208,134. For that particular weekend, the film remained in 1st place with an increased theater count of 2,396. Patriot Games went on to top out domestically at $83,351,587 in ticket sales and $94,700,000 in foreign business for a worldwide total of $178,051,587 through an initial 9-week theatrical run.[2] For 1992 as a whole, the film would cumulatively rank at a box office performance position of 14.[18]

See also


  1. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (1992-05-23). "Clancy's War Over 'Patriot Games' Ends".  
  2. ^ a b c "Patriot Games (1992)".  
  3. ^ "Patriot Games".  
  4. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (1992-03-22). "MOVIES: Mr. Nice Guy Dives Back Into Action: Harrison Ford returns to the genre that made him a star. In 'Patriot Games,' he inherits the role of the C.I.A. agent from Alec Baldwin, but the production is in trouble with author Tom Clancy".  
  5. ^ Baldwin, Alec (2011-03-23). Two and a Half Men' Is Better Than None"'".  
  6. ^ Badsey-Ellis, Antony; Horne, Mike (2009). The Aldwych Branch. Capital Transport. p. 104.  
  7. ^ Galbraith, Jane (1992-04-30). "Paramount to Reshoot 'Patriot Games' Ending: Movies: Studio to change climactic boat scene after test audiences complained about film's ambiguous finale".  
  8. ^ "Sean Bean: The Biography". Retrieved 2014-09-12. 
  9. ^ "LA LA LAND RECORDS, Patriot Games - James Horner - Limited Edition".  
  10. ^ "Expanded ‘Patriot Games’ Score by James Horner Released". Film Music Reporter. July 3, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Patriot Games". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  12. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (1992-06-11). "Variety Editor's Letter Over Review Angers Employees".  
  13. ^ "Patriot Games".  
  14. ^ "Patriot Games".  
  15. ^ "Patriot Games". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  16. ^ "Film Review: Patriot Games". Deseret News. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  17. ^ Fox, David J. (1992-06-16). "Weekend Box Office : 'Patriot,' 'Sister' Lead the Pack".  
  18. ^ "1992 DOMESTIC GROSSES".  

External links

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