7.6/10
86,236
142 user 53 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 the most infamous prisons in the world.

Director:

(as Donald Siegel)

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,445 ( 591)

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Videos

Photos

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
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
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The San Fernando Valley adventures of trucker turned prize-fighter Philo Beddoe and his pet orangutan Clyde.

Director: James Fargo
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis
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
Sudden Impact (1983)
Action | 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
The Gauntlet (1977)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle
Action | Drama | Thriller
    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
Hang 'Em High (1968)
Certificate: M Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When an innocent man barely survives a lynching, he returns as a lawman determined to bring the vigilantes to justice.

Director: Ted Post
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Inger Stevens, Pat Hingle
The Dead Pool (1988)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dirty Harry Callahan must stop a sick secret contest to murder local celebrities, which includes himself as a target.

Director: Buddy Van Horn
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Liam Neeson, Patricia Clarkson
Pale Rider (1985)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A mysterious preacher protects a humble prospector village from a greedy mining company trying to encroach on their land.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Missouri farmer joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Chief Dan George
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A hard-nosed, hard-living Marine gunnery sergeant clashes with his superiors and his ex-wife as he takes command of a spoiled recon platoon with a bad attitude.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 June 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flucht von Alcatraz  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$36,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, tourists were still allowed onto the island, and a new boatload would arrive every half-hour. They became so much of a distraction that the majority of filming was moved to night shoots. See more »

Goofs

Frank Morris sticks a mirror out of his cell to spot the guard, but the angle he's holding it at is for the benefit of the camera. He can only see the back of the mirror. See more »

Quotes

Frank Morris: There's always the possibility that some asshole will be offended. Isn't there?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in MythBusters: Hollywood on Trial (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

D Block Blues
by Gilbert Thomas Jr.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Full of prison clichés but more of a reflection on prison life than a genre movie
31 May 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When people disobey the rules of society they get sent to prison. When they disobey the rules of prison they get sent to Alcatraz. Transferred from Atlanta, this is the true story of Frank Morris – the only man to break out of Alcatraz prison. Morris comes to the prison to find cruel guards and monotony are the norm, all resided over by the disinterested warden. With time he makes both friends and enemies and begins to plan his way out of his cell and out of the prison.

I have seen this film once before, probably more than a decade ago and I wasn't going to try and review it from my distant memory of it so I watched it again the other day. From my memory of the film and the opening 15 minutes I assumed that this was just going to be an effective break-out thriller with all the usual clichés in place – the shanks, the old man with a small animal, the old timer who goes nuts etc, and in some regards this is what it is. However it is also very unusual for a prison movie because it is so very low key and slow. In this way it is like the prison life itself – based in routine without a great deal actually happening, certainly the film engages consistently rather than relying on a handful of set pieces to do it. For this reason some viewers may be turned off by it as they expect more from prison dramas, certainly viewers of HBO's Oz cannot help but find this to be lacking in action.

I don't want my comments to be taken out of context so I will say that I think that this is a very effective film in what it tries to do. It is slow but never dull, clichéd but never uninteresting. Siegel's direction shows good control and it is matched by a performance from Clint Eastwood that is so understated that at times it seemed like he would disappear from the screen with a slight whiff of smoke – this was not a showy performance but it was a very good one. He is supported by a cast that delivers mostly clichéd characters but delivers them without overdoing it or pushing it to the point where they are too obvious. The support cast includes turns from Blossum, Benjamin, Fischer, Hankin and Fred Ward. McGoohan doesn't have a great deal to do but he plays his character well, with a strange half smile on his face for much of the time – a knowing look reflecting the irony of the most famous Prisoner becoming the warden perhaps?

Overall this is lacking in fireworks or big set pieces (even the escape at the end is delivered without dramatic flourishes or tense music) but that is it's aim. The film captures the dull routine of prison life including the violence and the treatment while also telling a good story that it has the good taste to leave open as it was in real life.


27 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Family Claims Brothers Survived MatthewKeen
What happened to Wolf in the end? Gonsaro
English shoequeen2713
The BBC reckons that could have made it. chunkylefunga
What Happened to the Mouse? dpeddicord2
Quiest and Peaceful Prison bing-10
Discuss Escape from Alcatraz (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page