7.2/10
101,790
305 user 210 critic

Escape from New York (1981)

R | | Action, Sci-Fi | 10 July 1981 (USA)
In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
1,772 ( 844)

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun
They Live (1988)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
The Fog (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A ghostly fog descends upon a small coastal town exactly 100 years after a ship was mysteriously sunk in its waters.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A police sergeant and an unlikely band of criminals defend a closing LA precinct office on New Years Eve against an army of gang members.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker
The Thing (1982)
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A crew in Antarctica finds a neighboring camp destroyed and its crew dead. Whatever killed them is nowhere to be found, unless it's hidden in plain sight.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen
Christine (1983)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul
Vampires (1998)
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee
Halloween (1978)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
Starman (1984)
Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Secretary of State
...
Taylor (scenes deleted)
...
John Strobel ...
...
Gypsy #1 (as John Cothran Jr.)
Garrett Bergfeld ...
Gypsy #2
Edit

Storyline

In the future, crime is out of control and New York City's Manhattan is a maximum security prison. Grabbing a bargaining chip right out of the air, convicts bring down the President's plane in bad old Gotham. Gruff Snake Plissken, a one-eyed lone warrior new to prison life, is coerced into bringing the President, and his cargo, out of this land of undesirables. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

1997. New York City is now a maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane. See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

10 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escape from New York City  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,162,000, 12 July 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$25,244,700
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original German one-sheet poster prominently misspells Snake's last name as "Plessken". See more »

Goofs

When Snake get into a car to steal it to take himself, Brain and Maggie to the Duke's place the headlights are on. However when he starts to drive the car away the lights are off. The next shot shows the car font the front with the lights on. After crashing the car through the barrier after the run down Broadway the lights are off again but when the car stops the lights are on again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline, across the Harlem River, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy: Tiger with Chlamidya (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Bandstand Boogie
Music by Charles Albertine
Courtesy of Cherio Corporation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
" Hi Snake, . . . I heard you were dead!"
30 June 2007 | by See all my reviews

Many fans of Kurt Russell were extremely surprised he emerged from his years as a child actor to evolve into a believable, hard hitting, action hero. True, he was traditionally recognized to many for his whimsical, good-looks and high school persona. Thus when movie-goers saw him in this film, many stood aghast at his mature tenor. This futuristic story begins with the President's plane being high-jacked by rebel extremists and flown into the island city of New York which has been transformed into a maximum prison. The plane with the president (Donald Pleasence) on board crashes into the prison and it falls to the warden/Police Commissioner, one, Bob Hauk, (Lee Van Cleef) to rescue the chief executive. His plan? To send in a new convict, an experienced ex-soldier and special ops veteran, named, Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) with the promise of a presidential pardon if he can return him alive. To insure the clever criminal does not take the opportunity to escape, he is given a lethal injection which can only be removed by the commissioner's medical staff. Thus, begins a timely drama which means life or death for the hero, the president and ultimately the world. The success of this film owes much to the film's other characters like the talkative Cabbie (Ernest Borgnine, terrific acting), Harold ' Brain' Helman (Harry Dean Stanton), his 'squeeze' Maggie (Adrienne Barbeau) and Isaac Hayes, who plays the heavy, The Duke of New York. This a groundbreaking film for Russell and as expected, he carries it to it's rave conclusion with action to spare. ****


15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 305 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Best of 2017: Our Favorite Movie and TV Stills

Take a look at our favorite movie and TV stills from the past year. Spot any of your faves?

Browse the Best of 2017