Patriot Games

Patriot Games Information

Patriot Games is a 1992 action-suspense 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. It stars Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan, Anne Archer as Jack's surgeon-wife Dr. Caroline Catherine "Cathy" Ryan and Sean Bean as the vengeful Irish Republican terrorist Sean Miller.


Jack Ryan (Ford) is on a "working vacation" in London with his family. He has retired from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) and is a professor at the U.S. Naval Academy. They witness an attack on Lord William Holmes (James Fox), British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and a distant cousin of the Queen Mother. Ryan intervenes and kills one of the assailants, Patrick Miller, while his older brother Sean (Sean Bean) looks on. Ryan is badly wounded.

The remaining attackers flee and leave Miller to be apprehended by the police. While recovering, Ryan is called to testify in court against Miller, who is part of a fictional breakaway group of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Ryan is awarded a knighthood and eventually returns to the United States.

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 kill the police officers, and he escapes. Miller and his companions flee to Northern Africa to plan their next attempt on Lord Holmes. Miller, however, cannot shake his anger towards Ryan for killing his brother and persuades several members of the group to accompany him to the United States to murder Ryan and his family.

Ryan survives an attack outside the U.S. Naval Academy. Simultaneously, Miller and an accomplice attack Ryan's wife and daughter on a busy highway. They crash and both are severely injured. 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 US 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 home in Maryland, kill the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service agents and state troopers guarding the house, and attempt to kidnap Lord Holmes. Ryan leads Holmes and his family to safety while he attempts to lure Miller and his companions away from his home.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Hostage Rescue Team scrambles to pick up Holmes. Upon realizing that Ryan is leading them away from Holmes, Miller's companions try to persuade Miller to turn around, but an enraged Miller kills O'Donnell and the rest of the group and continues his pursuit of Ryan. Ryan and Miller fight hand to hand aboard the boat; Miller attacks Ryan with a Danforth anchor, then falls on it and is killed, and his body is obliterated in the subsequent explosion of the craft.



The movie was filmed at Pinewood Studios, on location in England, and in the Washington, D.C. area including Annapolis, Maryland.

The scenes at the start of the movie with the attempted killing of Lord Holmes which are meant to be around Buckingham Palace were shot at Greenwich. In two shots Canary Wharf tower can be clearly seen in the distance. Filming also took place at Aldwych underground station for a sequence later in the film.

The numerous changes between the film and the novel caused Clancy to distance himself from the film production.

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. (In Bean's subsequent Sharpe series, this would be emphasized with makeup to add credibility to his character.)


The actors who played Jack and Caroline Ryan in The Hunt for Red October, Alec Baldwin and Gates McFadden, were unavailable. At the time, Baldwin was performing A Midsummer Night's Dream on Broadway. In 2011, Baldwin says he did not appear because of "sleazy Hollywood tools." McFadden, who appeared in Red October only for a moment, didn't accept Patriot Games' greatly expanded screen role for Cathy Ryan due to her regular role as Dr. Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The character of Jack Ryan's wife was also altered from a British woman named "Caroline" in The Hunt for Red October to an American woman named "Cathy" in Patriot Games. Despite the film's plot and setting, Richard Harris, Patrick Bergin and Jonathan Ryan are the only Irish actors to appear in the film.


The score by James Horner 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 soundtrack vocals are performed by Maggie Boyle.


The film had a lot of controversy during its release, from Tom Clancy disowning the film, to critics complaining it was too different from the book. Despite the controversy, the film was a critical success, currently earning a 72% "Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.

American Film Institute recognition:

  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains:
    • Jack Ryan - Nominated Hero

Box office

The film was a financial success, debuting at No. 1.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Patriot_Games_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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