7.2/10
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332 user 248 critic

Escape from New York (1981)

Trailer
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
1,196 ( 69)
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 City has Become the Only Maximum Security Prison for the Entire Country. Once You go In, You don't Come Out... Until Today. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Carpenter was inspired to write this film when he took a trip to Manhattan and saw the seedier parts of New York City. See more »

Goofs

In the scene immediately after Snake departs from the World Trade building, and is walking toward the wreckage of the President's jet and loading his gun, as soon as he passes a "campfire" (which is providing the low-level lighting for this shot) you will see Snake's face turning to the right, as he looks at a crew member (with a camouflage hat) taking his picture with a "handheld" camera. 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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Cult Classics: Action (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

Terrific
26 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Escape from New York (1981)

**** (out of 4)

John Carpenter's cult classic is one of the greatest "B" movies ever made thanks in large part to Kurt Russell's terrific performance as the one and only Snake Plissken. Set in the future, the President of the United States (Donald Pleasence) crashes inside Manhattan Island, which has been turned into a prison. The Duke of New York (Isaac Hayes) takes him hostage so the government sends in the criminal Snake Plissken (Russell) to get him out alive. It's hard to believe this film was shot for $5 million but it certainly gets every penny out of the dollar. Russell's performance is clearly the highlight of the film and he carries the movie due to the performances, which gives Snake the perfect personality of a great anti-hero. The supporting cast does a wonderful job including Lee van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins and Charles Cyphers. The film has a great atmosphere and Carpenter's score perfectly sets the mood. Clearly one of the most fun movies of the decade.


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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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