149 user 56 critic

Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world.


(as Donald Siegel)


(book), (screenplay)
3,921 ( 62)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Dirty Harry (1971)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Andrew Robinson, Harry Guardino
Magnum Force (1973)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Dirty Harry is on the trail of vigilante cops who are not above going beyond the law to kill the city's undesirables.

Director: Ted Post
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook, Mitchell Ryan
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo
The Enforcer (1976)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Dirty Harry must foil a terrorist organization made up of disgruntled Vietnam veterans. But this time, he's teamed with a rookie female partner that he's not too excited to be working with.

Director: James Fargo
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly, Harry Guardino
Sudden Impact (1983)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A rape victim is exacting revenge on her aggressors in a small town outside San Francisco. "Dirty" Harry Callahan, on suspension for angering his superiors (again), is assigned to the case.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Thibeau ...
Paul Benjamin ...
David Cryer ...
Madison Arnold ...
Blair Burrows ...
Bob Balhatchet ...
Matthew Locricchio ...
Exam Guard (as Matthew J. Locricchio)


The true story of three inmates who attempt a daring escape from the infamous prison, Alcatraz Island. Although no-one had managed to escape before, bank robber Frank Morris masterminded this elaborately detailed and, as far as anyone knows, ultimately successful, escape. In 29 years, this seemingly impenetrable federal penitentiary, which housed Al Capone and "Birdman" Robert Stroud, was only broken once by three inmates never heard of again. Written by Niz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No one has ever escaped from Alcatraz... And no one ever will!


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 June 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flucht von Alcatraz  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,306,354 (USA) (24 June 1979)


$43,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character of English (played by Paul Benjamin) is based on Alcatraz prisoner Clarence Carnes. In real-life, Carnes was a dark-skinned Choctaw Indian, not a black man. See more »


In the cafeteria scene following Doc's "accident", Frank's food tray contains a whole potato. After the conversation with the warden it is in pieces. See more »


Frank Morris: Something special about those steps?
English: The higher you sit, the more status you got. So we kind of play King of the Mountain. Except here we don't play for fun, man.
Frank Morris: And you're King?
English: Yeah.
[Morris walks down the steps]
English: Now I figure there's two reasons why you didn't sit down on my step. Either you're too scared, or you just hate niggers. Now which is it, boy? You too scared? Hmm?
Frank Morris: [Morris climbs back up and sits next to English] Nah. I just hate niggers.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: JANUARY 18, 1960 SAN FRANCISCO See more »


Referenced in The Real Story: Escape from Alcatraz (2009) See more »


D Block Blues
by Gilbert Thomas Jr.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Classic! And may I say best prison movie ever?
4 May 2005 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

There are many who regard "The Shawshank Redemption" as the ultimate prison movie. I seriously don't. In terms of atmosphere and realism, this is a more superior movie. Also when you watch this movie it becomes obvious to you how incredibly much Stephen King 'copied' (and not even subtly, he basically copied entire characters and events) from this movie for the both of his novels that are set in prisons; "The Shawshank Redemption" and to a smaller extend "The Green Mile".

Yes of course "The Shawshank Redemption" has a totally brilliant story and some top-class acting but I still see "Escape from Alcatraz" as a better movie. The story is more believable which add to the realism of the movie. "The Shawshank Redemption" is a way more over-dramatized movie if you like, while "Escape from Alcatraz" is just simply realistic and honest with its story. Yes the story of this movie might be told and filmed in a slow way but the movie is only 112 minutes long, so this shouldn't be a serious complaint. The movie is never dragging and not 1 minute shorter or longer than was needed.

It should be so that everyone who is about to see or has seen "The Shawshank Redemption" should also watch "Escape from Alcatraz" and then ask yourself this: What does "The Shawsank Redemption" has got that this movie hasn't and what is that makes it that "The Shawshank Redemption" is so incredibly high in the IMDb top250 while "Escape from Alcatraz" isn't even in that same top250.

For the record, I like "The Shawshank Redemption" very much as a movie and even though I think (and also thought so before seeing this movie) that it is a bit of an overrated movie, I would probably still rate it an 9/10.

But enough about "The Shawshank Redemption", let's talk about the quality of this movie. What makes "Escape from Alcatraz" an absolute classic is the atmosphere and like I said before the realism of the characters, the events and the story in general. It was also great to see Clint Eastwood in this role. Before this movie he mostly only played just the hero's in westerns like "Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il", "Hang 'Em High" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales" and in WW II movies like "Kelly's Heroes" and "Where Eagles Dare" or as super cop Harry Callahan in "Dirty Harry". I think this is more a movie in which Clint shows his acting abilities. Also I enjoyed seeing Patrick McGoohan, to be fair I only saw him in three movies before this: "Braveheart" his small role in "A Time to Kill" and the Columbo movie "Columbo: Ashes to Ashes". But despite that fact that I only saw him a small amount of roles, I already adored him as an actor. He was also great in this movie and wow, he looked so incredibly young compared to the movies I had seen him in.

In my opinion THE ultimate prison movie and an absolute classic, due to its atmosphere and realism.



10 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page