IMDb > Escape from New York (1981)
Escape from New York
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Escape from New York (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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Escape from New York -- Kurt Russell (Stargate) stars in a high-velocity sci-fi action-thriller from director John Carpenter (co-written by Nick Castle) that sets the screen ablaze with heart-stopping suspense, outrageous stunts and imaginative special effects.
Escape from New York -- In 1998, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant max. security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.
Escape from New York -- In 1998, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant max. security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.


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Popularity: ?
Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Carpenter (written by) and
Nick Castle (written by)
View company contact information for Escape from New York on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 July 1981 (USA) See more »
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 »
In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
SF action classic! See more (283 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kurt Russell ... Snake Plissken

Lee Van Cleef ... Hauk

Ernest Borgnine ... Cabbie

Donald Pleasence ... President

Isaac Hayes ... The Duke

Season Hubley ... Girl in Chock Full O'Nuts

Harry Dean Stanton ... Brain

Adrienne Barbeau ... Maggie

Tom Atkins ... Rehme

Charles Cyphers ... Secretary of State

Joe Unger ... Taylor (scenes deleted)
Frank Doubleday ... Romero
John Strobel ... Cronenberg

John Cothran ... Gypsy #1 (as John Cothran Jr.)
Garrett Bergfeld ... Gypsy #2
Richard Cosentino ... Gypsy Guard
Robert John Metcalf ... Gypsy #3

Joel Bennett ... Gypsy #4
Vic Bullock ... First Indian
Clem Fox ... Second Indian
Tobar Mayo ... Third Indian
Nancy Stephens ... Stewardess

Steven M. Gagnon ... Secret Service #1 (as Steven Gagon)

Steven Ford ... Secret Service #2
Michael Taylor ... Secret Service #3
Lonnie Wun ... Red Bandana Gypsy
Dale E. House ... Helicopter Pilot #1 (as Dale House)
David R. Patrick ... Helicopter Pilot #2

Bob Minor ... Duty Sergeant
Wally Taylor ... Controller
James O'Hagen ... Computer Operator

James Emery ... Trooper
Tom Lillard ... Police Sergeant
Borah Silver ... Theater Manager
Tony Papenfuss ... Theater Assistant

John Diehl ... Punk
Carmen Filpi ... Bum

George 'Buck' Flower ... Drunk (as Buck Flower)
Clay Wright ... Helicopter Pilot #3

Al Cerullo ... Helicopter Pilot #4
Ox Baker ... Slag
Lowmoan Spectacular ... Dancer
Ronald E. House ... Dancer

Alan Shearman ... Dancer
Joseph A. Perrotti ... Dancer

Rodger Bumpass ... Dancer
Ron Vernan ... Dancer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carla Barnett ... Gypsy (uncredited)
Kathleen Blanchard ... Narrator - Opening scenes (uncredited) (unconfirmed)

John Carpenter ... Secret Service #2 / Helicopter Pilot / Violin Player (voice) (uncredited)

Nick Castle ... Pianist (uncredited)
John Contini ... Eye-Patch Prisoner (uncredited)

Jamie Lee Curtis ... Narrator / Computer (uncredited) (voice)
Linda Daniels ... Sewer Orphan (uncredited)
Mark Groseclose ... Crazy (uncredited)
David E. Harshbarger ... Soldier / Bum in Theater (uncredited)
Debra Hill ... Computer (voice) (uncredited)
Jeff Sillifant ... Crazy (uncredited)
Mark Stern ... Guy in Chock Full O'Nuts (uncredited)

Ken Tipton ... (uncredited)
Barron Winchester ... Sewer Dweller (uncredited)

Directed by
John Carpenter 
Writing credits
John Carpenter (written by) and
Nick Castle (written by)

Produced by
Barry Bernardi .... associate producer
Larry J. Franco .... producer (as Larry Franco)
Debra Hill .... producer
Original Music by
John Carpenter 
Alan Howarth 
Cinematography by
Dean Cundey 
Film Editing by
Todd C. Ramsay  (as Todd Ramsay)
Production Design by
Joe Alves 
Set Decoration by
Cloudia Rebar  (as C L O U D I A)
Costume Design by
Stephen Loomis  (as Steven Loomis)
Makeup Department
Frankie Bergman .... hair stylist
Ken Chase .... makeup artist supervisor
Benjamin Douglas .... makeup artist (as Ben Douglas)
Production Management
Alan Levine .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jeffrey Chernov .... second assistant director
Larry J. Franco .... first assistant director (as Larry Franco)
Art Department
Eugene Booth .... assistant property master (as Gene Booth)
Lee B. Drygas .... swing gang (as Lee Drygas)
Joseph C. Fama .... propmaker (as Joe Fama)
Arthur Gelb .... graphic designer
Serge Genitempo .... stand-by painter
Chris Horner .... assistant art director
Mike May .... property master
Art Molen .... propmaker foreman
Andrew 'Sandy' Overholtzer .... propmaker foreman (as Andrew Earl Overholtzer)
Marvin Salsberg .... construction foreman (as Marv Salsberg)
Wayne Smith .... paint foreman
Don Sutton .... leadman
Ward Welton .... paint supervisor
Frank White .... laborer
Ed Zingel .... painter
Sol Aquino .... carpenter (uncredited)
Michael W. Moore .... prop maker (uncredited)
Sound Department
Joseph F. Brennan .... boom operator (as Joe Brennan)
Thomas Causey .... sound mixer (as Tommy Causey)
Carl Fischer .... boom operator
Warren Hamilton Jr. .... sound editor (as Warren Hamilton)
Alan Howarth .... special synthesizer sound
Gregg Landaker .... rerecording mixer
Steve Maslow .... rerecording mixer
John Mosley .... stereo recordist
David Ritscher .... assistant sound editor (as David Ritcher)
Bill Varney .... rerecording mixer
David Lewis Yewdall .... sound editor (as David Yewdall)
Nicholas James .... foley editor (uncredited)
Mark A. Mangini .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
Steve Rice .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Roy Arbogast .... special effects supervisor
Pat Patterson .... special effects
Eddie Surkin .... special effects
Gary Zink .... special effects
Kevin Pike .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Steve Caldwell .... camera assistant: special visual effects
James Cameron .... director of photography: special visual effects (as Jim Cameron)
James Cameron .... matte artwork (as Jim Cameron)
Tom Campbell .... engineer: special visual effects
Brian Chin .... miniature construction
George D. Dodge .... director of photography: special visual effects (as George Dodge)
Steven Elliott .... Elicon camera operator (as Steve Elliot)
Steven Elliott .... rotoscope (as Steve Elliot)
Mary Ann Fisher .... producer/liaison: special visual effects
Randall Frakes .... camera assistant: special visual effects (as Randy Frakes)
Julia Gibson .... Elicon camera operator
Jena Holman .... matte artwork
Ken Jones .... Elicon camera operator (as Dr. Ken Jones)
R.J. Kizer .... project supervisor: special visual effects
Aaron Lipstadt .... associate producer: special visual effects
Austin McKinney .... director of photography: special visual effects
Sara Nelson .... production accountant: special visual effects
Tony Randel .... lab liaison: special visual effects (as Anthony Randel)
Dennis Skotak .... director of photography: special visual effects
Robert Skotak .... matte artwork (as Bob Skotak)
Charles Skouras III .... production manager: special visual effects
Dan Smith .... rotoscope
Robin Thomas .... production secretary: special visual effects
Gary Wagner .... gaffer: special visual effects
John C. Wash .... graphic displays (as John Wash)
William L. Arance .... visual effects (uncredited)
Whitney Scott Bain .... visual effects production assistant (uncredited)
Stephen Barncard .... motion control designer (uncredited)
Mark Stetson .... model maker (uncredited)
Hoyt Yeatman .... motion control photographer (uncredited)
Buff Brady .... stunts
Tony Brubaker .... stunts
Roydon Clark .... stunts
Glory Fioramonti .... stunts
Sandra Lee Gimpel .... stunts (as Sandy Gimpel)
Bill Hart .... stunts
Kent Hays .... stunts
Eddie Hice .... stunts
Loren Janes .... stunts
Mike Johnson .... stunts
Mags Kavanaugh .... stunts
William T. Lane .... stunts (as Bill Lane)
Fred Lerner .... stunts
Mike H. McGaughy .... stunts (as Mike McGaughy)
Bob Minor .... stunts
John Moio .... stunts (as John A. Moio)
Harvey Parry .... stunts
George Sawaya .... stunts
Jack Tyree .... stunts
Jack Verbois .... stunts
Dick Warlock .... stunt coordinator
Dick Warlock .... stunts
Jesse Wayne .... stunt double (stunt double: Donald Pleasence)
Jesse Wayne .... stunts
Ted White .... stunts
George P. Wilbur .... stunts (as George Wilbur)
James Winburn .... stunts (as Jim Winburn)
Dick Warlock .... stunt double: Kurt Russell (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Leo Behar .... grip
Clyde E. Bryan .... first assistant camera (as Clyde Bryan)
Scott Buttfield .... electrician
Jim Coe .... still photographer
Jack Lee Gary .... assistant camera: second unit (as Jack Gary)
Kim Gottlieb .... still photographer
Douglas Knapp .... camera operator: second unit (as Doug Knapp)
Jim Lucas .... director of photography: second unit
Drain M. Marshall .... rigging gaffer (as Drain Marshall)
Terry Marshall .... electrician
Thomas Marshall .... best boy electrician (as Tom Marshall)
Steve Mathis .... flicker box technician
George Mooradian .... assistant camera: second unit
Douglas Olivares .... second assistant camera
Seymour Owens .... second grip
Frank Palmer .... key grip
Frank Ruttencutter .... camera operator: second unit
Tommy Sands .... dolly grip
Raymond Stella .... camera operator (as Ray Stella)
Steve Tate .... second assistant camera
Mark Walthour .... gaffer
Curtis Foster .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Pegi Brotman .... casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Katrina Bronson .... costumer: women
Mel Sawicki .... costumer: men
Editorial Department
Dean Beville .... assistant to assistant film editor
Barbara Gandolfo-Frady .... apprentice editor (as Barbara Ann Gandolfo)
Randy D. Thornton .... assistant film editor
Location Management
Barry Bernardi .... location manager
Frank Capra III .... assistant location manager
Music Department
Pete Anthony .... conductor
Pete Anthony .... orchestrator
Bruce Botnick .... scoring mixer
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist
Sandy DeCrescent .... orchestra contractor
George Doering .... musician
Robert Fernandez .... scoring mixer
Kenneth Hall .... music editor
Alan Howarth .... music performer
Alan Howarth .... musician: synthesizer
Dennis S. Sands .... scoring recordist
Steve Schaeffer .... musician: percussion
Steven L. Smith .... music preparation
James Thatcher .... musician: French horn
Ian Underwood .... musician: synthesizer
Transportation Department
Joe Benet .... driver
Bobby Benton .... driver
Rodney Berg .... driver (as Rod Berg)
Steve Boyd .... driver
John Brumby .... creative mobile technician
Michael Connolly .... driver (as Mike Connolly)
William Charles Hauer .... driver (as Chuck Hauer)
Dick Lee .... driver
Wayne Roberts .... driver
Mario Simon .... driver
Tom F. Thomas .... transportation captain (as Tom Thomas)
Eddie Lee Voelker .... transportation coordinator
Wayne Williams .... driver
Ed Wirth .... driver (as Eddie Worth)
Tom Briggs .... set driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Juan Betancourt .... meals
Donald P. Borchers .... avco nominee (as Don Borchers)
Pegi Brotman .... assistant: producers
John F. Buckley .... accountant (as Jack Buckley)
Louis Chirco .... craft service (as Louie Chirco)
Kelli Cole .... unit publicist (as Kelli Garris)
Maurice Costello .... nurse
Chip Fowler .... production office coordinator
Matt Franco .... assistant: the assistants
Louise Jaffe .... script supervisor
Bert Jetter .... meals
David R. Lawson .... medic
Ron Littrell .... location contact
Terry Murphy .... location contact
Sarah Preece .... office production assistant
Geoffrey Ryan .... production assistant (as Geoff Ryan)
Syd Stembridge .... weapons advisor
David DeCoteau .... production assistant (uncredited)
John L. Hammontree .... militia coordinator (uncredited)
Howard R. Schuster .... financing (uncredited)
Barron Winchester .... stand-in: Mr. Pleasance (uncredited)
Walter Abell .... special thanks
David Cronenberg .... special thanks
Dennis Foley .... special thanks (as Lt. Col. Dennis R. Foley)
George A. Romero .... special thanks
Don Taylor .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"John Carpenter's Escape from New York" - USA (complete title)
"New York 1997" - Japan (English title)
See more »
99 min | 106 min (Extended Version)
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:PA (Manitoba) | Canada:R (Manitoba) (director's cut) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Chile:14 | Finland:K-15 (DVD rating) | France:Tous publics | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R16 | Norway:15 | Norway:16 (original rating) | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) | USA:R (No. 26272) | West Germany:16 (w)

Did You Know?

This film previewed to an enthusiastic audience as an unannounced feature at Filmex, the former-annual Los Angeles film festival. The film had been set to screen at the USA Film Festival in Dallas, but was pulled from the schedule because they did not have the equipment to screen the film's "double system work print" .See more »
Errors in geography: The scene at the train station is clearly not in New York. The city's two rail stations, Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal both have their tracks located below ground level.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...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Everyone's Going to New YorkSee more »


What is Plissken's reason for destroying the all-important cassette tape at the ending?
What is on the tape that the President keeps in his briefcase?
Is there going to be a third Snake Plissken-movie?
See more »
56 out of 73 people found the following review useful.
SF action classic!, 8 July 2002
Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia

'Escape from New York' ties with 'Assault On Precinct 13' as my second favourite John Carpenter movie (#1 being 'The Thing'. Of course.) I find it hard to be objective about this movie. Like 'The Omega Man' you either love it or you don't. Kurt Russell rocks as Snake Plissken, a cross between Roger Zelazny's Hell Tanner and Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name. He is one cool dude. Spaghetti western favourite Lee Van Cleef is well cast as Snake's nemesis, and b-grade fave Tom Atkins ('Maniac Cop') and Carpenter semi-regular Charles Cyphers ('The Fog') are excellent as his sidekicks. The rest of the cast is equally impressive, and includes cult legend Harry Dean Stanton ('Repo Man'), veterans Ernest Borgnine ('The Wild Bunch') and Donald Pleasance ('Halloween'), soul singer Isaac Hayes, and the buxom Adrienne Barbeau ('Two Evil Eyes') to name a few. 'Escape from New York' is an SF action classic from an era when ideas and character were more important than big budget FX. Personally I'd take this over the Star Wars series any day of the week. Beware the sequel though, it's a major disappointment...

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
If Suicide Squad does well, will they fast track the Efny remake/reboot? thedarklantern
Hold it. .... (Fade to black) ManuelManipulation
Please would fans explain why they enjoyed this movie samuel-84
Any Gotham (tv show) fans here? thedarklantern
Barbeau's boobs jhiott75
Which actress played the Duke's girlfriend? lisbonchicago
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