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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
1,990 ( 83)

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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:

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

Entertainment Weekly ranked this Number One on their "Guilty Pleasures: Testosterone Edition" list in their March 30, 2007 issue. See more »

Goofs

The scene at the train station is clearly not in New York. The city's two rail stations, Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal both have their tracks located below ground level. 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 Jellyscream! (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The Crazies Come Out
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by John Carpenter
Produced by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Terrific
26 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Escape from New York (1981)

**** (out of 4)

John Carpenter's cult classic is one of the greatest "B" movies ever made thanks in large part to Kurt Russell's terrific performance as the one and only Snake Plissken. Set in the future, the President of the United States (Donald Pleasence) crashes inside Manhattan Island, which has been turned into a prison. The Duke of New York (Isaac Hayes) takes him hostage so the government sends in the criminal Snake Plissken (Russell) to get him out alive. It's hard to believe this film was shot for $5 million but it certainly gets every penny out of the dollar. Russell's performance is clearly the highlight of the film and he carries the movie due to the performances, which gives Snake the perfect personality of a great anti-hero. The supporting cast does a wonderful job including Lee van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins and Charles Cyphers. The film has a great atmosphere and Carpenter's score perfectly sets the mood. Clearly one of the most fun movies of the decade.


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