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Escape from New York (1981)

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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
2,428 ( 497)

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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:

1997. New York City is now a maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane. 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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,162,000, 12 July 1981

Gross USA:

$25,244,700

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(John Carpenter): [names]: Minor characters Cronenberg, Romero, and Taylor, named after fellow science fiction and horror directors David Cronenberg, George A. Romero, and Don Taylor. See more »

Goofs

When the Duke is shooting at the handcuffed President, we hear the sound of very loud, echoing gunfire even though he is conspicuously using Snake's submachine gun equipped with a rather large silencer. 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 ...
See more »

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 »

Connections

Edited into Hollywood Burn (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Main Title
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by John Carpenter
Produced by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"The name's Plissken."
14 January 2002 | by Backlash007See all my reviews

First things first, Kurt Russel is just plain cool. That said, on to the review. Escape From New York is a classic action movie with a great horror cast, including Donald Pleasence, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, and who could forget Buck Flower. Buck, who has one of the best scenes in the movie ("Sure, I'm the president!"), is hilarious. John Carpenter proves that he is a versatile director and can make a hell of a film outside the horror genre. In Carpenter's classic, Kurt Russell plays the immortal Snake Plissken, New York has become a prison state, and the president has just crash landed there. Enter Snake Plissken. Freshly captured and about to be incarcerated in New York, he must save the President (Pleasence, who isn't even American but pulls it off well) from the clutches of Isaac Hayes in order to regain his freedom. It's all great stuff and you can't stop watching as Snake fights his way from one famous landmark to another (he even has to wrestle Ox Baker). But it leaves me with one unanswered question: What did happen to Fresno Bob?

Note: A couple of the Duke's cronies are credited as Romero and Cronenberg. Also, Jamie Lee Curtis does the opening computer dialogue.


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