Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story (1980)

TV Movie  |   |  Action, Drama, Crime  |  5 November 1980 (USA)
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Somewhat fact-based story of the lives and attempted 1962 escape of several inmates in the famous correctional facility. Young inmate Clarence Carnes masterminds a grand escape involving ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Clarence Carnes
Jughead Miller
Clarence's Father
Bernard Coy
Sam Shockley
Walt Stomer
Frank Morris
Ray Neal
Louis Giambalvo ...
Clarence Anglin
Paul Mantee ...


Somewhat fact-based story of the lives and attempted 1962 escape of several inmates in the famous correctional facility. Young inmate Clarence Carnes masterminds a grand escape involving several inmates who have nothing to lose, serving life sentences. Written by Jerry Milani <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


At 18, Carnes is the youngest man to be sent to The Rock, yet he vows he'll create the ultimate escape plan -- or die trying! See more »


Action | Drama | Crime


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Release Date:

5 November 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alcatraz and Clarence Carnes  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film does not show that Carnes, after escaping from the Granite Reformatory in Oklahoma, carjacked a passing driver and forced the driver to take him across the state line. That resulted in federal charges of kidnapping and crossing state lines to flee prosecution. That was the reason he was sent into the federal prison system; which resulted in him being sent first to USP Leavenworth and then to USP Alcatraz. See more »


When Carnes arrives at Alcatraz in 1945, there's an establishing shot of the island from the prison launch. You can clearly see that the warden's mansion is a burned out shell. (This happened in the Occupation of Alcatraz by American Indians from 1969-1971.) In 1945, the warden's mansion was intact and being used. See more »


Clarence Carnes: [Runs past Stroud's cell and sees him standing passively, when the doors to D-Block's cells are opened during the 1946 escape attempt. He runs back] Come on! You're free!
Robert Stroud: [calmly] I'm not going anywhere.
Clarence Carnes: Come on man, let's go!
Robert Stroud: Guys like them boys do things the hard way, don't they?
[sits down on his bunk and picks up the book he'd been reading before the commotion began]
Robert Stroud: They'll be dead before sundown; and a lot of other poor, ignorant fools with them. Maybe you too, son.
Clarence Carnes: But... You're in this ...
See more »

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User Reviews

I enjoyed it
19 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

While this is based on some facts within Clarence Carnes life, as a TV movie, you have to remember it is a movie. I didn't think they were making heroes of anyone, as much as just telling a story, and it's a pretty good story too. Telly Savalas is menacing enough as the escaping leader of the cons. And I think the brutality they showed, showed exactly why they were sent there in the first place. And I really enjoyed ARt Carney as "Birdman" R.Stroud--they showed him more realistically doing research and writing than a lot of other movies about him.

I really enjoyed Michael Beck's portrayal of C.Carnes-even though we know it was somewhat whitewashed. His early innocence being led astray and then his coming to terms with the WHY he was there was good. And his character's learning his way around the prison system was good, and the fact that he survived 18 years in Alcatraz is a story worth watching.

Alex Carras did an interesting portrayal of the Assoc. Warden, and I think that in that time period--I don't think they overplayed the brutality of the Alcatraz system either. This was the LAST STOP!!

I enjoyed this miniseries movie, and I thought the actors did a good job with the material.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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