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Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

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2:00 | Trailer
Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world.

Director:

Don Siegel (as Donald Siegel)

Writers:

J. Campbell Bruce (book), Richard Tuggle (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,108 ( 222)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Frank Morris
Patrick McGoohan ... Warden
Roberts Blossom ... Chester 'Doc' Dalton
Jack Thibeau ... Clarence Anglin
Fred Ward ... John Anglin
Paul Benjamin ... English
Larry Hankin ... Charley Butts
Bruce M. Fischer ... Wolf
Frank Ronzio ... Litmus
Fred Stuthman ... Johnson
David Cryer David Cryer ... Wagner
Madison Arnold ... Zimmerman
Blair Burrows Blair Burrows ... Fight Guard
Bob Balhatchet Bob Balhatchet ... Medical Technical Assistant
Matthew Locricchio Matthew Locricchio ... Exam Guard (as Matthew J. Locricchio)
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Storyline

The true story of three inmates who attempt a daring escape from the infamous prison, Alcatraz Island. Although no one had managed to escape before, bank robber Frank Morris (Clint Eastwood) masterminded this elaborately detailed, and, as far as anyone knows, ultimately successful, escape. In twenty-nine years, this seemingly impenetrable federal penitentiary, which housed Al Capone and "Birdman" Robert Stroud, was only broken once by three inmates who were never heard of again. Written by movetosquamish

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No one has ever escaped from Alcatraz... And no one ever will!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fresh water had to be hauled in by boat to create the rain in the opening scene. Using saltwater would have damaged expensive equipment. See more »

Goofs

When Morris meets the warden on his arrival, the warden states that no newspapers, or magazines carrying news, are issued to the prisoners. However, Morris' library duties later include delivering issues of The Saturday Evening Post and Ebony, publications containing news items in each issue. See more »

Quotes

Wolf: I'm Wolf. Where did they transfer you from?
Frank Morris: Atlanta.
Wolf: Nice town, Atlanta.
Frank Morris: I never saw it.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: JANUARY 18, 1960 SAN FRANCISCO See more »

Connections

Featured in Casting By (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

D Block Blues
by Gilbert Thomas Jr.
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User Reviews

 
true story of the great escape from Alcatraz
13 May 2016 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Escape from Alcatraz is a 1979 film starring Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGooghan, Roberts Blossom, and Paul Benjamin.

Eastwood is Frank Morris, who, with the two Anglin brothers (their names were changed for the film) contrived the most elaborate scheme ever to escape "The Rock." Their bodies were never found, and a photo surfaced some years later of the brothers in Brazil. The escape, plus Alcatraz's bad reputation, helped it close less than a year later.

The movie gives a good idea of the horrors of prison life, and particularly the horrors of Alcatraz. Frankly, I don't think the escapees cared if they died. I'm sure anything was better than being in Alcatraz.

Escape from Alcatraz is old-fashioned in that it has the art of the buildup, something lost in today's scripts. Today you must get to the point of your story in the first ten minutes. A film, for instance, like San Francisco where the earthquake happens toward the end would be a no-no.

So we see the preparations, and they're impressive - papier mache heads with hair stolen from the barber shop to fool the guards into thinking they were asleep, digging out a grill at the back of the cell and putting a false grill up to fool the guards; welding a digging tool together with silver from a dime; the making of a raft; playing music while digging to hide the noise (though this really isn't shown). It was painstaking.

Patrick McGoohan plays the warden, who, like all film prison wardens, is a horror show. When he sees a portrait of himself in a cell, he takes away the painting privileges of one of the inmates, Doc. When he finds out two inmates are talking cell to cell, he demands that they be separated.

Actually, at the time of the escape, the warden was Olin Blackwell, considered the most lenient warden Alcatraz had ever had. And by then, inmates were performing music (shown in the film), and had weekend movies (also shown).

Clint Eastwood, heavier than we've seen him in years, does an excellent job as Frank Morris, low-key but lethal. There isn't a tremendous amount of dialogue, but with his great presence and Frank's quiet leadership, we really don't need it.

Recommended for a gritty look at life on Alcatraz, and the fascinating escape.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape from Alcatraz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,306,354, 24 June 1979

Gross USA:

$43,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,004,381
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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