Ice Station Zebra is a 1968 action film directed by John Sturges, starring Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan, Ernest Borgnine, and Jim Brown. The screenplay by Alistair MacLean, Douglas Heyes, Harry Julian Fink, and W.R. Burnett is loosely based upon MacLean's 1963 novel of the same name. Both have parallels to real-life events that took place in 1959 (see below). The film was photographed in Super Panavision 70 by Daniel L. Fapp, and presented in 70 mm Cinerama in premiere engagements. The original music score is by Michel Legrand. The movie has an all-male cast.
A satellite reenters the atmosphere and ejects a capsule which parachutes to the Arctic (85N 21W). During an ice storm, a figure soon approaches, guided by a homing beacon, while a second individual secretly watches from nearby.
The scene shifts to Commander James Ferraday (Rock Hudson), captain of the U.S. nuclear attack submarine USS Tigerfish (SSN-509), stationed at Holy Loch, Scotland. He is ordered by Admiral Garvey (Lloyd Nolan) to rescue the personnel of Drift Ice Station Zebra, a civilian weather station moving with the ice pack. However, the mission is actually a cover for a highly classified assignment.