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Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story (1980)

Fact based story of the lives and attempted 1962 escape of several inmates in the famous correctional facility. Young inmate Clarence Carnes masterminds a grand escape involving several ... See full summary »


Paul Krasny


Ernest Tidyman (teleplay), Clarence Carnes (based on a story by) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Beck ... Clarence Carnes
Art Carney ... Robert Stroud
Alex Karras ... Jughead Miller
Telly Savalas ... Cretzer
Will Sampson ... Clarence's Father
Ronny Cox ... Bernard Coy
Richard Lynch ... Sam Shockley
Robert Davi ... Hubbard
John Amos ... Bumpy Johnson
James MacArthur ... Walt Stomer
Ed Lauter ... Frank Morris
Joe Pantoliano ... Ray Neal
Louis Giambalvo ... Clarence Anglin
Jeffrey Tambor ... Dankworth
Paul Mantee ... Ordway


Fact based story of the lives and attempted 1962 escape of several inmates in the famous correctional facility. Young inmate Clarence Carnes masterminds a grand escape involving several inmates who have nothing to lose, serving life sentences. Written by Jerry Milani <jmilani@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


At 18, Carnes is the youngest man to be sent to The Rock, yet he vows he'll create the ultimate escape plan -- or die trying! See more »


Action | Drama | Crime


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Release Date:

5 November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alcatraz and Clarence Carnes See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Telly Savalas (Joe Cretzer) appeared in Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), starring Burt Lancaster as Robert Stroud. In the previous film, Savalas played a convict, Feto Gomez, at Leavenworth prison, but unlike Stroud, his character was never sent to Alcatraz. See more »


When Carnes arrives at Alcatraz in 1945, there's an establishing shot of the island from the prison launch. You can clearly see that the warden's mansion is a burned out shell. (This happened in the Occupation of Alcatraz by American Indians from 1969-1971.) In 1945, the warden's mansion was intact and being used. See more »


Clarence Carnes: [Runs past Stroud's cell and sees him standing passively, when the doors to D-Block's cells are opened during the 1946 escape attempt. He runs back] Come on! You're free!
Robert Stroud: [calmly] I'm not going anywhere.
Clarence Carnes: Come on man, let's go!
Robert Stroud: Guys like them boys do things the hard way, don't they?
[sits down on his bunk and picks up the book he'd been reading before the commotion began]
Robert Stroud: They'll be dead before sundown; and a lot of other poor, ignorant fools with them. Maybe you too, son.
Clarence Carnes: But... You're in this ...
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User Reviews

Not bad for an old time TV movie
26 August 2003 | by baconbitSee all my reviews

I've seen this recently and you gotta love any movie that has both Joe Pantoliano and Jeffrey Tambor, however briefly. I'm not sure how accurate it all is, but it is fairly entertaining. The first time I came across it was really late at night and though I only planned on watching a few minutes, I soon found myself still awake at 4:00 in the morning. This just shows that made for TV movies often outshine their theater counterparts. Especially in the 80s with The Day After, and all the mini-series that often now are shown as long movies.

Not sure how they could release this in widescreen format, despite the letterbox snobs who wish for it. It was a made for TV movie. And therefore most likely never filmed in widescreen aspect. So what would they do on a letterbox? Black out the sides of the TV as well?

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