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Escape From New York (1981)

Action & Adventure and Cult Movies movie directed by John Carpenter

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New York a Prison?

  • Nov 13, 2002
Why is it that John Carpenter only makes decent movies when he has a small budget and foils up big time when he's given a Hollywood budget? ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is one of Carpenter's better movies. Sure, it's mindless entertainment. But it's good mindless entertainment without too much gore, sex, or profanity. This was the film that started Kurt Russell down the path to bigger box office dollars. It's also worth checking out for the opening scene where a hijacked plane crashes into a tall New York skyscraper. It's so eerily similar to September 11th, 2001 that it makes you wonder how much art really does imitate life, or is life now imitating art?

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About this movie


In the future, crime is out of control and New York City 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 warrior new to prison life, is coerced into bringing the President, and his cargo, out of this land of undesirables. Kurt Russell put his Disney days behind him as the nicest bad guy in the picture. All comic-book sensibilities and macho posturing, this is one of writer-director John Carpenter's better brainless escapes. There are snappy one-liners and explosive action scenes. However, the film lacks tension and some believability even within the realm of SF fantasy. Even when it fails to gel, though, it always manages to amuse, thanks in great part to a varied and unusual supporting cast (watch for Ernest Borgnine as a cabdriver). Followed in 1996 by Carpenter's overdone and campyEscape from L.A.--Rochelle O'Gorman
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Director: John Carpenter
Screen Writer: John Carpenter, Nick Castle
Runtime: 99 minutes
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
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"New York a Prison?"
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