IMDb > The Escape Artist (1982)
The Escape Artist
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The Escape Artist (1982) More at IMDbPro »

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The Escape Artist -- Young Danny's father was known as "the greatest escape artist, second only to Houdini." When Danny leaves home to follow in his father's footsteps, he finds himself in trouble with a small town's corrupt mayor (Desi Arnaz) and the mayor's conniving son (Raul Julia) in this touching family comedy from executive producers Fred Roos and Francis Ford Coppola.


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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
David Wagoner (based on the novel by)
Melissa Mathison (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Escape Artist on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 May 1982 (USA) See more »
He can get away with anything, that's why they call him The Escape Artist See more »
The young and self-confident Danny blufs at the local police-station that he will escape out of prison within one hour... See more » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Magic and fun See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Raul Julia ... Stu Quiñones
Griffin O'Neal ... Danny Masters

Desi Arnaz ... Mayor Quiñones (as Desiderio Arnaz)

Teri Garr ... Arlene

Joan Hackett ... Aunt Sibyl
Gabriel Dell ... Uncle Burke

John P. Ryan ... Vernon

Elizabeth Daily ... Sandra

M. Emmet Walsh ... Fritz

Jackie Coogan ... Magic Shop Owner

Hal Williams ... Cop at Mayor's Office
Helen Page Camp ... Neighbor

David Clennon ... Newspaper Editor
Harry Caesar ... Sax Player
Huntz Hall ... Turnkey

Harry Anderson ... Harry Masters
George Brengel ... Water Commissioner

Carlin Glynn ... Treasurer's Secretary
Isabel Cooley ... Secretary at Newspaper Office
Tom Signorelli ... Mailbox Cop

George Cantero ... Jail Trustee
Harry Cohn ... Jailmate
James Howard ... Cop at Bridal Shop
R. Wayne Kruse ... Reporter

Margaret Ladd ... Reporter
Tom Mahoney ... M.C
G.K. Marshall ... Drummer

Doug McGrath ... Photographer
Susi Sherman ... Woman at Club
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Richard Bradford ... Sam - City Treasurer (uncredited)

Directed by
Caleb Deschanel 
Writing credits
David Wagoner (based on the novel by)

Melissa Mathison (screenplay) and
Stephen Zito (screenplay)

Produced by
Doug Claybourne .... producer
Francis Ford Coppola .... executive producer (as Francis Coppola)
Buck Houghton .... producer
Fred Roos .... executive producer
Original Music by
Georges Delerue 
Cinematography by
Stephen H. Burum 
Film Editing by
Arthur Schmidt 
Casting by
Jane Jenkins 
Barbara Johnson 
Production Design by
Dean Tavoularis 
Art Direction by
Angelo P. Graham  (as Angelo Graham)
James J. Murakami  (as James Murakami)
Set Decoration by
Bruce A. Gibeson (set decorator: added scenes)
George R. Nelson 
Costume Design by
Gloria Gresham 
Makeup Department
Michael Germain .... makeup artist
Lola 'Skip' McNalley .... hair stylist
Production Management
Barrie M. Osborne .... unit production manager (as Barrie Osborne)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Andy Anderson .... second assistant director
Michael Haley .... first assistant director
Mark Radcliffe .... additional second assistant director
Art Department
Matty Azzarone .... leadman
Matty Azzarone .... property master
John Gaughan .... illusion design and construction (as John Gaughn)
Robert Scaife .... construction coordinator
'Dangerous' Bob Widin .... set property master
John Zemansky .... property master
Stan Cockerell .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist
Gregg Barbanell .... supervising sound editor
James A. Corbett .... sound re-recording mixer
Robert Glass .... sound re-recording mixer (as Robert J. Glass)
Ron Horwitz .... supervising sound editor
Robert Knudson .... sound re-recording mixer (as Buzz Knudson)
John Leveque .... sound editor
Chris McLaughlin .... production sound
Bob Newlan .... assistant sound editor
James E. Webb .... production sound (as James Webb)
Special Effects by
Lawrence J. Cavanaugh .... special effects (as Larry Cavanaugh)
Visual Effects by
Robert Blalack .... special visual effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Dustin Blauvelt .... first assistant camera
Emmett Brown .... key grip (as Emmett A. Brown)
Joseph Cosko Jr. .... second assistant camera
Joe R. Marquette Jr. .... camera operator (as Joe Marquette)
Don Smetzer .... still photographer
Peter Sorel .... still photographer
Louis Tobin .... gaffer (as Lou Tobin)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Aggie Guerard Rodgers .... costumer (as Aggie Rodgers)
Editorial Department
Stephen Semel .... assistant editor
Music Department
Daniel Allan Carlin .... music producer
Georges Delerue .... conductor
Curt Sobel .... music editor
Transportation Department
Dennis Hollis .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Anthony Cunningham .... location manager
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Jeff Jaffee .... location manager
Ricky Jay .... technical advisor
Bill Liles .... lock consultant
Sam Mercer .... location manager
Betsy Norton .... script supervisor
Daniel R. Suhart .... assistant: Fred Roos
Hal Ashby .... special thanks
Steve Baker .... special thanks
Gill Dennis .... special thanks
Frank Garcia .... special thanks
Walter Murch .... special thanks
Robert Towne .... special thanks
George V. Voinovich .... special thanks: City of Cleveland (as Mayor George V. Voinovich of Cleveland)
Mark Wilson .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
94 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Publicity for this picture reported that the Zoetrope Studios purchased the Cuyahoga County Jail which was scheduled to be demolished and then reconstructed the building back on a sound stage in California. This was used for the sequence where the escape artist breaks out of a real life gaol.See more »
Danny Masters:You wanna know what you need? You need an education.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Dream Studio (2004) (V)See more »


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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Magic and fun, 1 October 2003
Author: ImTylerDurden from Luton, England

It's a great kid's film, I saw it as an early teen and it really got me interested in magic. The main character gets away with so much because of his skills but it was all within the realms of plausibility if you've got a bit of bottle and enough books on magic and safe cracking etc. Griffin O'Neal is really expressive and natural in his role. Even though what he gets up to is pretty wild you believe that this kid is amazing enough to pull it off.

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