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Escape from New York (1981)

aka Escape from New York

"1997. New York City is now a maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane."

Directed By: 
Details: 99 mins · English · R (USA)


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Small Snake Plissken
Small Police Commissioner Bob Hauk
Small Cabbie
Small President of the United States
Small The Duke of New York
Small Harold 'Brain' Helman
Small Maggie
Small Rehme
No_movie_poster Romero
No_movie_poster Cronenberg
Small Brain
No_movie_poster Taylor
Small Girl in Chock Full O'Nuts
No_movie_poster Secretary of State


No_movie_poster Larry J. Franco Producer
No_movie_poster Dean Cundey Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Todd C. Ramsay Editor
No_movie_poster Debra Hill Producer
No_movie_poster Joe Alves Production Design
Small John Carpenter Director
No_movie_poster Barry Bernardi Producer
No_movie_poster Stephen Loomis Costume Design
No_movie_poster Nick Castle Screenplay
No_movie_poster Alan Howarth Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Jim Lucas Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Cloudia Rebar Set Decoration
Small John Carpenter Writer
No_movie_poster Todd C. Ramsay Editing


"1997. New York City is now a maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane."


In 1988, crime in the United States increased 400%, so the island of Manhattan was converted into a giant maximum security prison. A 50-foot containment wall surrounds the island, and mines have been placed on all the bridges and tunnels to the island. The surrounding waters are patrolled and no civilians, even prison guards, are allowed to step foot on the island.

Nine years later in 1997 during the Third World War, while traveling to a three-way peace summit between the United States, the Soviet Union, and China, Air Force One is hijacked by terrorists. The plane crashes into Manhattan, but the President (Donald Pleasence) makes it to an escape pod and survives. The inmates take him hostage and order all recovery forces to leave Manhattan immediately or they will kill him.

Police Commissioner Bob Hauk (Lee Van Cleef) offers a deal to special forces soldier turned criminal "Snake" Plissken (Kurt Russell): If he rescues the president and retrieves a secret cassette tape within 24 hours, Hauk will give him a full pardon. When Plissken reluctantly agrees to attempt the rescue, Hauk has him injected with microscopic explosives that will rupture his carotid arteries in 24 hours. The explosives can only be defused in the last 15 minutes before they detonate, ensuring that Snake does not abandon his mission. If he returns with the President and the tape in time for the summit, Hauk will save him.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1981-07-10 : United States of America

DVD : 2003-12-16

DVD : 2000-11-21