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The Escape Artist (1982)

The young and self-confident Danny blufs at the local police-station that he will escape out of prison within one hour. What follows is a flashback about his childhood with his uncle and ... See full summary »


Caleb Deschanel


David Wagoner (based on the novel by), Melissa Mathison (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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A baseball-loving small girl decides to hook up her favorite down-on-his-luck baseball player and her mom, a down-on-her-luck lounge singer. Then her controlling rich granddad tries to force her mother to send the girl to live with him.

Director: Neil Leifer
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Raul Julia ... Stu Quiñones
Griffin O'Neal ... Danny Masters
Desi Arnaz ... Mayor Quiñones (as Desiderio Arnaz)
Teri Garr ... Arlene
Joan Hackett ... Aunt Sibyl
Gabriel Dell ... Uncle Burke
John P. Ryan ... Vernon
Elizabeth Daily ... Sandra
M. Emmet Walsh ... Fritz
Jackie Coogan ... Magic Shop Owner
Hal Williams ... Cop at Mayor's Office
Helen Page Camp Helen Page Camp ... Neighbor
David Clennon ... Newspaper Editor
Harry Caesar ... Sax Player
Huntz Hall ... Turnkey


The young and self-confident Danny blufs at the local police-station that he will escape out of prison within one hour. What follows is a flashback about his childhood with his uncle and aunt, which are 'vaudeville'-artists themselves. We also follow the problems of Danny with the corrupt son of the mayor. Written by Evert Poppen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When you meet him, you're going to love him. See more »


Crime | Drama


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 May 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

60 minuti per Danny Masters See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,323, 31 May 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zoetrope Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Actor Griffin O'Neal took a crash course in magic and its philosophy with technical advisor Ricky Jay for his role as teenage magician Danny Masters in this movie. This included learning such tricks as juggling, fine-fingered lock work and sleight-of-hand maneuvers. See more »


Danny Masters: You wanna know what you need? You need an education.
See more »


Referenced in The Dream Studio (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

A whimsical bittersweet tale...
12 February 1999 | by VagabearSee all my reviews

A whimsical bittersweet tale with quirky characters, charming moments and which is quite enchanting as a whole. Griffin O'Neal (Ryan's son) as the young lead character showed great promise in this film. Raul Julia is at his most vibrant as the spoiled son of a mayor (played by Desi Arnaz!) who befriends O'Neal's character. This film is HIGHLY under-rated and desperately needs to be remastered and reissued on video.

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