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Escape from New York (1981)

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2:26 | Trailer
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:

John Carpenter
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Popularity
1,161 ( 352)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Garrett Bergfeld ... Gypsy #2
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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:

New York is a disease. Meet the cure. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name Snake Plissken was actually taken from a real person. When writing the screenplay John Carpenter struggled over assigning a memorable name to his main character. A friend of a friend suggested using the name of someone he knew in high school who he described as a "sort of a tough guy" who bore a large snake tattoo on his abdomen; his last name was Plissken and went by the nickname "Snake". Said Carpenter "Anybody with a snake tattooed on them some place ... that's my kinda hero." See more »

Goofs

The American flag on the right-hand side of Air Force One's tail is not reversed. In reality it would have the stars in the upper right to represent a real flag moving forward. However, the flag could have been changed in the fictional history within the movie. 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 ...
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Alternate Versions

The theatrical release had no music during the Broadway scene. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mad About You: Escape from New York (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
Cult monument with a dream cast!
11 August 2005 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Nearly 25 years and an endless amount of viewings later, John Carpenter's "Escape from NY" still ranks high among the chosen few, quintessential cult films of the 80's. This is, simply put, one of the coolest productions ever with legendary characters, ingenious plot and pitch-black humor. Kurt Russell, with eye patch and nihilistic 'you-don't-like-it-go-to-hell' attitude, plays the role of his life as anti-hero Snake Plissken, recruited by his authority-nemesis Bob Hauk to bring back the American president who crashed with his plane in New York. One problem though; ever since crime rose with 400% in 1987, New York has become one giant and demarcated prison where criminals determine their own "civilization". Offered no other choice, Snake infiltrates NY for his mission …and for a personal race against the clock. Especially the first sixty minutes of this movie are terrific, since there constantly is the introduction of new and imaginative characters. Class-A actors play all these utterly cool characters, which makes it even more memorable! Apart from Kurt Russell, "Escape from New York" also stars icons like Lee Van Cleef ("The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"), Isaac Hayes ("Truck Turner"), Donald Pleasance ("Halloween") and Harry Dean Stanton ("Repo Man"). Even the smaller supportive roles are well distributed, with the underrated Tom Atkins as Van Cleef's sidekick and Adrienne Barbeau in a very sexy part. The downfall of America's number one city is atmospherically portrayed and Carpenter's own music score creates an excellent mood of despair. The action sequences are impressively photographed and John Capenter professionally camouflages that his film is, in fact, and independent production. My only slightly negative remark is that the story should have had a better, more explosive climax. Particularly because the first hour is so great, the ending seems quite tame. But, what the hell, this movie is a must for every film lover! In 1996, Carpenter also made "Escape from L.A." and even though it's good entertainment, it can't compete with "NY".


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Escape from New York See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$25,244,626

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,244,626
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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