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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
2,331 ( 281)

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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:

The world's greatest leader is a hostage in the most dangerous place on Earth. Now only the deadliest man alive can save him. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | 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, Limited Release

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

Shooting began in late summer, 1980, with a seven million dollar budget co-financed by AEPC, International Film Investors, Inc., and Goldcrest Films International. The budget was the largest either John Carpenter or Debra Hill had ever worked with, and the shooting schedule, which lasted three months, was their longest and most "logistically complex," to date. The production employed a 180-person, fully union crew, another benchmark for Carpenter and Hill, who were used to smaller crews of either non-union or partially unionized personnel. See more »

Goofs

The most common rifle used by the police is the M-16 with the front handgrips removed. Apart from making firing very uncomfortable, the hands of the shooters would be in direct contact with the barrel, which becomes very hot. 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 Battle Royale (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Arrival at the Library
(uncredited)
Written and 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...


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