7.2/10
108,263
309 user 222 critic

Escape from New York (1981)

Trailer
2:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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
Reviews
Popularity
1,597 ( 492)

John Carpenter: Defining "Carpenteresque"

"Kubrickian" is in the Oxford English Dictionary, but "Carpentersque" isn't. Here's why John Carpenter's style and influence should have earned him the honor.

Travel "Through the Lens"

4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A rough-and-tumble trucker helps rescue his friend's fiance from an ancient sorcerer in a supernatural battle beneath Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun
They Live (1988)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
The Fog (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An unearthly fog rolls into a small coastal town exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in its waters.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An unlikely partnership between a Highway Patrol Officer, two criminals and a station secretary is formed to defend a defunct Los Angeles precinct office against a siege by a bloodthirsty street gang.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen
The Thing (1982)
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David
Vampires (1998)
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee
Starman (1984)
Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith
Christine (1983)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

In 2176, a Martian police unit is sent to pick up a highly dangerous criminal at a remote mining post. Upon arrival, the cops find that the post has become a charnel house.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Pam Grier
Edit

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
Edit

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 »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape from New York City See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,162,000, 12 July 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$25,244,700
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

John Carpenter had cited the Harry Harrison science fiction novel "Planet of the Damned" as an inspiration behind the film. The novel was about a man called Brion Brandd whom leaves the planet Anvhar and travels to the desert planet Dis on a mission to prevent a global nuclear holocaust. See more »

Goofs

Air Force One is shown in flight as an aircraft with engines mounted at the back either side of the tail. The wreckage on the ground and the computer image on the USPF computer as it crashes are of a 737 type aircraft with the engines mounted on the wings. 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

Columbia Tristar Home Video released a director's special editon on VHS (now out of print). It basically has same the material as the collector's laserdisk. An interview with John Carpenter which contains extra footage not in the theatrical release. Also the orginal theatrical trailer. The movie is Letterbox, digitally remastered, and Dolby Surround Stereo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ghosts of Mars (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Engulfed Cathedral
(uncredited)
Written by Claude Debussy
Performed by John Carpenter
Produced by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

SF action classic!
8 July 2002 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

'Escape from New York' ties with 'Assault On Precinct 13' as my second favourite John Carpenter movie (#1 being 'The Thing'. Of course.) I find it hard to be objective about this movie. Like 'The Omega Man' you either love it or you don't. Kurt Russell rocks as Snake Plissken, a cross between Roger Zelazny's Hell Tanner and Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name. He is one cool dude. Spaghetti western favourite Lee Van Cleef is well cast as Snake's nemesis, and b-grade fave Tom Atkins ('Maniac Cop') and Carpenter semi-regular Charles Cyphers ('The Fog') are excellent as his sidekicks. The rest of the cast is equally impressive, and includes cult legend Harry Dean Stanton ('Repo Man'), veterans Ernest Borgnine ('The Wild Bunch') and Donald Pleasance ('Halloween'), soul singer Isaac Hayes, and the buxom Adrienne Barbeau ('Two Evil Eyes') to name a few. 'Escape from New York' is an SF action classic from an era when ideas and character were more important than big budget FX. Personally I'd take this over the Star Wars series any day of the week. Beware the sequel though, it's a major disappointment...


56 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 309 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed