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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
1,872 ( 610)
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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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Studio executives also wanted Charles Bronson for the role of Snake Plissken, but John Carpenter refused, on the grounds that he was too old. See more »

Goofs

After returning to the glider, he collects the others but has to go back down in the lift. As the doors close you can see, on the right, the fingers of someone's hand pushing the door closed. 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

Collector's edition laserdisc (during director commentary) shows cut scenes of high-tech bank robbery which led to Snake's conviction and eventual prison sentencing to New York. See more »


Soundtracks

Bandstand Boogie
Music by Charles Albertine
Courtesy of Cherio Corporation
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Thrilling and spectacular rescue in Manhattan become in a top-security prison
18 December 2006 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

We are in the year 1997, the Air Force One is hijacked by a band of revolutionaries and the President (Donald Pleasence : Halloween) is dropped into a capsule crashing on a nearly deserted Manhattan, which is an island turned into a maximum security jail and finds itself under siege by violent gangs . A previous war hero named Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) gone rebel must effect a daring recapture and bring up the President in twenty four hours , but an interior device (installed by Lee Van Cleef and Tom Atkins) blowing him up . Snake must retrieve him and along the way facing off a lot of villains like the Duke (Isaac Hayes : Shaft's musician) and others . He's only helped by a sympathetic cab-man (Ernest Borgnine : Dirty dozen) , two action women (Adrienne Barbeau and Season Hubley , at the time Kurt Russell's wife) and a veteran (Harry Dean Stanton : Paris, Texas) . The world's greatest leader is a hostage in the most dangerous place on Earth. Now only the deadliest man alive can save him . As New York City is now a maximum security prison . Breaking out is impossible . Breaking in is insane. 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.

The film is a comic-book plenty of action , chills , fun , adventures , thriller and susprise-filled entertainment . Magnificent plethora of characters with exceptional performances for its entire cast . Kurt Russell as a tough and valiant renegade is terrific . Lee Van Cleef was hired by Carpenter and Debra Hill (the producer) for their admiration on spaghetti Western's hero roles. Adrienne Barbeau (at the time Carpenter's wife) is gorgeous , her role (similar to The Fog) was specifically written with her in mind . The picture contains an imaginative and memorable production design by Joe Alves (Jaws) . Colorful cinematography by Dean Cundey . John Carpenter also composed the eerie and atmospheric music score as well as he did in Halloween . The movie will probably like to action enthusiasts and Kurt Russell fans . It's followed by an inferior sequel by the same protagonist actor , Kurt Russell , and director Carpenter : ¨Escape from L.A.¨. Rating : Better than average ,good and enjoyable.


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