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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1,760 ( 68)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

New York is a disease. Meet the cure. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Trivia

Produced during a highly sensationalized era of the Cold War, the story envisions the United States at war with the Soviet Union in 1997. Hauk mentions Snake having flown the Gullfire glider into Leningrad. At the time of the film's production, Leningrad was still the name of the 18th-century Russian city of Saint Petersburg. Saint Petersburg was changed to Petrograd in 1914 (a literal Russian translation of the German name Petersburg, as anti-German sentiment was very high), then to Leningrad in 1924, after the death of V.I. Lenin, and then reverted to Saint Petersburg in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. See more »

Goofs

When Snake, Maggie & Brain drive the station wagon in search of Duke & the president, a distant camera shot shows rain falling. Yet no other shot in this scene indicates rain. 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 ...
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Alternate Versions

Collector's edition laserdisc (during director commentary) shows cut scenes of high-tech bank robbery which led to Snake's conviction and eventual prison sentencing to New York. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dan Bongino Show: A Biden Bombshell? (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Bandstand Boogie
Music by Charles Albertine
Courtesy of Cherio Corporation
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User Reviews

 
A classic film John Carpenter's the best Action Sci-Fi flick
15 October 2015 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

Escape from New York is a 1981 American dystopian action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter.A classic film.

Escape From New York (1981) Is also one of my personal favorite classic Action Sci-Fi John Carpenter movies. It was also the first movie I ever saw from John Carpenter as a child and It I still the best movie in my opinion. I love this movie to death I own it on Blu-ray tough it doesn't have great video quality like it should have I still love it to death. Kurt Russell is Snake Plissken period! Also Lee Van Cleef Is also in it from a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly I just love those Western movies to death. Adrienne Barbeau from The Fog is also in it and she is the beautiful, but deadly Maggie.

The plot is set more in the future American by the late 90's. In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue. In a world ravaged by crime, the entire island of Manhattan has been converted into a prison which houses the world's most brutal inmates. And when the President of the United States crash lands inside, only one man can bring him back: Snake Plissken, a notorious outlaw and former Special Forces war hero who, in exchange for a full pardon, descends into the decayed city and wages a blistering war against the captors. But time is short: in 24 hours, an explosive charge planted inside Snake's body will end the mission -- and his life -- unless he succeeds.

You've got Kurt Russell, wearing a freaking eye patch and toting a massive assault rifle, squatting in the middle of a fire. You know, just taking it easy, popping a squat while the city burns around him. Non-plussed. Chillaxed. In the background, Lady Liberty's decapitated head lies in the middle of the street, her copper-green eyes staring vacantly up into a crowded, off-kilter skyline. What the hell happened, I wondered. I'd have to wait for Cloverfield to find out, because, as it turns out, that nifty piece of poster art-while summing up the film's nothing is sacred attitude and permanently establishing Kurt Russell as an icon of badass - has no relation to the film's plot. When I finally managed to see the movie, I kept waiting for Lady Liberty's head to get blown off, but it never happened. I was a little disappointed. And in a way, that's still how I feel about Escape From New York. The premise is a near-perfect action movie set-up, and the world that John Carpenter creates has so much potential for edge-of- your-seat storytelling, but the end result doesn't fully deliver on its promise. But that's not to say that it doesn't have its moments of undiluted awesomeness. Long proclaimed as an action film cult classic, there's surprisingly little action in Escape From New York, at least, not of the Michael Bay, in your face, two explosions per minute variety, the kind to which today's Rockstar-infused audiences are acclimated. Watching the film now, nearly thirty years after it hit theaters in 1981, EFNY seems curiously slow-paced. Snake limps through the city, occasionally bopping a guy in the face, occasionally busting a cap.

The film is John Carpenter best work I have seen, there are some other films I don't like, Escape From New York (1981) is one of the best cult classic films from John carpenter and Kurt Russell. Kurt Russell's iconic character of all time Snake Plissken is his best roles of all time on the screen, I have ever seen. I also love the sequel to death the same as I love this film. Snake Plissken is an ex-soldier turned criminal, recruited/blackmailed into rescuing a hostage president from the prison of New York City. Lee Van Cleef as Bob Hauk New York Police Commissioner did a great job portraying one of the most memorable characters. I wish he would return in the sequel but he couldn't because 8.later the actor died. Rest in peace Lee.

I love main theme music from John Carpenter and Alan Howarth and I enjoy some action scenes performed from Kurt Russell in the film.

I love this film to death and It is my favorite action science fiction flick of all time I love it. 10/10


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

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)

Gross USA:

$25,244,626

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,244,626
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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