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Escape from New York (1981)  IMDB   
Genre Action/Adventure MPAA R
Director John Carpenter Rating
Writer John Carpenter Runtime 99 minutes
Producer Larry J. Franco Type Movie
Cinematographer Dean Cundey Format DVD
Studio Avco Embassy Pictures Disk No. 1/1
Language English Edition
Country USA UPC
Color Color    
Plot Summary


A condemned criminal and former war hero is offered his freedom if he can rescue the President of the United States from the walled prison island of Manhattan after a terrorist brings down the President's plane in this futuristic adventure.

Summary written by: Keith Loh {}
Actor / Character


Kurt Russell ..... Snake Plissken
Lee Van Cleef ..... Bob Hauk
Ernest Borgnine ..... Cabbie
Donald Pleasence ..... President of the United States
Isaac Hayes ..... The Duke of New York
Season Hubley ..... Girl in Chock Full O'Nuts
Harry Dean Stanton ..... Brain/Harold Helman
Adrienne Barbeau ..... Maggie
Tom Atkins ..... Rehme
Charles Cyphers ..... Secretary of State
Joe Unger ..... Taylor
Frank Doubleday ..... Romero
John Strobel ..... Cronenberg
John Cothran Jr. ..... Gypsy #1
Garrett Bergfeld ..... Gypsy #2


John Carpenter is a cinematic virtuoso, and his talents as a writer, director and even composer are all at the forefront of Escape From New York. Given the mere $7 million budget, the film is a technical achievement as well as a testament to Carpenter's ingenuity. These were the days before computer generated special effects: the aerial city view, for example, was an actual physical model that Carpenter painted and filmed --- there's nothing digital about it. At the time, Kurt Russell was best known for his roles in family films, and it's safe to say that Escape sent his career in a more profitable direction. His growly performance as the eye-patched Snake Plissken is one of the more memorable cinematic bad-guy heroes. For all its strengths, the film has a rather slow pace and never really develops much suspense, even in the action sequences. Regardless, there are many great scenes and images here; the view of the unlit, desolate New York City skyline is particularly memorable. In the years since its release, the film has gained a solid cult following and given rise to many imitators, particularly on the Italian filmmaking scene. --- Matthew Doberman

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