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The First (and Best) Jack Ryan

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Before Jack Ryan faced the The Hunt for Red October .

While Sean Connery is busy delivering possibly one of his greatest performances as Raimus, it’s easy to forget that the central character of this 1990 film is Ryan (Baldwin). But that’s the beauty of Baldwin’s performance. The actor–before he really discovered his comedic chops and, let’s face it, pork chops–here finds the perfect balance between certainty and timidity, a combo that allows him to drive the plot forward and lose himself in the background.

That his character’s job: To provide the intelligence that allows the Jean Claudes and the Sylvesters to make their big moves. That point seems to have been lost by Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. Baldwin, for his part, gives a performance so subtle, it’s easy to miss. So pay attention.

The Hunt for Red October plays throughout the week starting tonight January 23 at 8 p.m. | 7C.

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