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The Escape Artist (1982)

PG | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 28 May 1982 (USA)
Teenager Danny Masters, the son of the late Harry Masters, considered the second best escape artist in history, wants to follow in his father's footsteps, he already a skilled but untested ... See full summary »


Caleb Deschanel


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




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 ... Neighbor
David Clennon ... Newspaper Editor
Harry Caesar ... Sax Player
Huntz Hall ... Turnkey


Teenager Danny Masters, the son of the late Harry Masters, considered the second best escape artist in history, wants to follow in his father's footsteps, he already a skilled but untested magician. As far as Danny knows, his father died in a dangerous escape routine. Escaping from under his grandmother's roof, Danny, in a step to achieve his goal as they have all his father's old professional paraphernalia, reunites with his Aunt Sibyl and Uncle Burke in the town of Harding where they have a mind-reading act, she who actually can read minds but which only impinges on the smoke and mirrors they've developed with the act itself. In his wanderings around Harding, Danny gets involved with corrupt Stu Quiñones, and indirectly with Stu's equally corrupt father, the town's mayor, Leon Quiñones. This father/son pair no longer associate with each other as although Stu aspires to be as corrupt as his father, Stu's activities are a little too brazen and public for a politician with which to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He can get away with anything, that's why they call him The Escape Artist See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The picture features a boy magician character Danny Masters (Griffin O'Neal). The movie's magic consultant Ricky Jay had turned pro since the age of seven. See more »


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


Referenced in The Dream Studio (2004) See more »

User Reviews

Utterly Charming
25 January 2004 | by chopper-9See all my reviews

This is a truly wonderful movie experience. The magical score adds to the atmosphere perfectly. It is beautifully photographed by Stephen H Burum and perfectly directed by Caleb Deschanel. The central performance by Griffin O'Neil is very watchable as is a great support cast which includes Elizabeth Daly and the late great Raul Julia. This is THE movie that made me want to make movies. The haunting final shot combined with the beautiful music has stayed with me for years.

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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

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zoetrope Studios See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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