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Escape from New York (1981)

R  |   |  Action, Sci-Fi  |  10 July 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 84,317 users  
Reviews: 276 user | 189 critic

In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.


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4 nominations. See more awards »



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


In the future, crime is out of control and New York City 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


The world's greatest leader is a hostage in the most dangerous place on Earth. Now only the deadliest man alive can save him. See more »


Action | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

10 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Escape from New York  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$25,244,700 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Season Hubley received a 'special appearance' credit. See more »


You can see a crew member giving Isaac Hayes a "stand-up" cue quite visibly in the left side of the screen when The Duke is quieting the Madison Square Garden crowd. See more »


[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 ...
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Referenced in Metal Gear Solid (1998) See more »


Everyone's Going to New York
Music and Lyrics by Nick Castle
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The definition of a good B Movie
27 November 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Although not as fast-paced or well-lit as its sequel, Escape from LA, this movie works on the level that it is futuristic, without being TOO futuristic, and the main character is likeable, while being tough at the same time. Whether you like Kurt Russell or not, it seems that he was made for the part of Snake Plissken. One of its highest points is its theme song. It really gets your adrenaline going, and that is one of the most important factors of movies. Available on DVD. Sequel, Escape from LA, filmed 15 years after the original also available on DVD.

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