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Escape From New York > Information

AKA: John Carpenter's Escape From New York
Year: 1981
Runtime: 99 min
Country: USA
Language: English
Australia: M/Canada: 14A/Finland: K-16/Norway: 15/Norway: 16 (original rating)/Sweden: 15/UK: 15/USA: R/West Germany: 16 (w)/Singapore: PG/UK: AA

Filming Dates
August 04, 1980 - October 09, 1980

Copyright Holder
Avco-Embassy Pictures Corp. 1981

StudioCanal (Current)

By 1997, the island of Manhattan has been turned into a maximum security prison for the worst criminals in the USA. When the President's aircraft crashes on the island and he's taken hostage by the self-styled Duke of New York, the authorities send war hero turned criminal Snake Plissken in to get him out.

The world's greatest leader is a hostage in the most dangerous place on Earth. Now only the deadliest man alive can save him.

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

New York City has Become the Only Maximum Security Prison for the Entire Country. Once You go In, You don't Come Out... Until Today.

Poster Tags
1997. New York city is now a maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane.

Technical Specifications
Film negative format (mm/video inches): 35 mm
Cinematographic process: Panavision (anamorphic)
Printed film format: 35 mm
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Color: Color (Metrocolor)
Sound Mix: Dolby

Business Data

Budget: $6,000,000
Opening Weekend: $4,162,000 (USA) (12 July, 1981) (579 Screens)

Australia: AUD 1,444,000 (1981)
Hong Kong: HKD 1,864,842 (1982)
Italy: ITL 2,825,000,000 (1982)
Sweden: SEK 8,534,336
West Germany: €9,458,900 (1981)

France: 1,243,900
Sweden: 368,416
West Germany: 2,653,541

Release Dates
23 May, 1981
France: 24 June, 1981
USA: 10 July, 1981
Denmark: 24 July, 1981
Sweden: 27 July, 1981
Brazil: 07 August, 1981
Netherlands: 13 August, 1981
West Germany: 03 September, 1981
Portugal: 18 September, 1981
Australia: 08 October, 1981
Italy: 15 October, 1981
Spain: 26 October, 1981 (Madrid)
Mexico: 19 November, 1981
Finland: 26 November, 1981
Greece: 04 December, 1981
Norway: 26 December, 1981
Turkey: April, 1982
Hong Kong: 09 April, 1982
Brazil: 20 May, 1982
Belgium: 22 September (Gent)
France: January, 1999 (Travelling Festival de Cinema de Rennes)
Italy: November, 1999 (Turin Film Festival)
France: 01 January, 2002 (Gérardmer Fantasticarts Film Festival)
UK: 01 November, 2008 (Film4 FrightFest)

Awards and Nominations
1982, Production Design: Joe Alves (Apex Scroll)
1982, Achievment In Sound Effects (Apex Scroll) (Fennecus Award)
1982, Achievment In Stunt Co-ordination (Fennecus Award)
1982, Best Costums: Stephen Loomis (Saturn Award) (Nominated)
1982, Best Director: John Carpenter (Saturn Award) (Nominated)
1982, Best Make-Up: Ken Chase (Saturn Award) (Nominated)
1982, Best Science Fiction Film (Saturn Award) (Nominated)

Alternate Titles
Fuga De New York/Escape De New York

Austria: Die Klapperschlange
New York 1997
Brazil: Fuga de Nova York/
Nova Iorque 1997
Бягство от Ню Йорк
Canada (French Title): New York 1997
Croatia: Bijeg Iz New Yorka
Czech Republic: Útek z New Yorku
Flugtaktion New York/Flugten fra New York
Finland: Pako New Yorkista
France: New York 1997
Germany: Die Klapperschlange
Απόδραση από τη Νέα Υόρκη
Hungary: Menekülés New Yorkból
Israel: Briha M'New-York, Ha- (Hebrew Title)
Italy: 1997: Fuga da New York
ニューヨーク 1997
뉴욕에서 탈출

Macedonia: Бегство од Њујорк
Escape mill New York
Escape de Nueva York
Norway: Flukten fra New York
Poland: Ucieczka z Nowego Jorku
Portugal: Nova York 1997
Evadare din New York
Побег из Нью - Йорка

Bekstvo iz Njujorka

Útek z
New Yorku
Pobeg iz New York

Spain: 1997: Rescate en Nueva York
Sweden: Flykten från New York
Turkey: New York'tan Kaçis
Втеча з Нью-Йорка
US: John Carpenter's Escape from New York (Complete Title)
Venezuela: Escape de Nueva York
Thoát khỏi New York

Factual errors: While briefing Hauk about "David 14," Rehme says the jet is "Seven miles out and closing." Even at a leisurely 300mph (the cruising speed of the Convair 580 aircraft the Air Force One model was based on), the plane would have reached them in under a minute and a half. Yet they have plenty of time to get to the control center and ID the aircraft before it even crosses the river.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: The American flag on the right-hand side of Air Force One's tail is not reversed. In reality it would have the stars in the upper right to represent a real flag moving forward. However, the flag could have been changed in the alternate history within the movie.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: The President is clearly British. In order to qualify for US presidency you must be a natural-born US citizen and have lived in the US for 14 years, but he could have been born in the US and grown up in the UK, moving back as an adult, or even born abroad to US parents.

Continuity: When the USPF initially go into New York immediately after Air Force One crashes, helicopter 3 is shown landing, and a large chunk of the sticky back black plastic used to create its USPF livery is peeling off and missing from the tail section, revealing the green US Army livery underneath. (The UH1 Huey used in this scene was on loan from the Missouri National Guard.) When it takes off again a few moments later, the tail is back to perfect black.

Factual errors: Actor Lee Van Cleef (Bob Hauk) mispronounces Black Flight (the Special Forces unit Snake served in) to Black Lights during his first meeting with Snake. Black Flight is clearly in the script.

Continuity: Snake's time limit was stated as 22 hours, but his Master Life Clock started at 22:59:57, or 23 hours.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: At the start, the scientist tells Snake they cannot neutralize the explosion until 15 minutes before the deadline. In other words, it can be neutralized anywhere from 15 minutes to a fraction of a second before the deadline, but no sooner. Therefore, it is OK that Snake lets the timer run down to 6 seconds.

Continuity: After Snake takes off in the glider, Charles Cyphers is seen in the control room wearing a shirt and tie. In the next shot, he is wearing a suit jacket, which he then takes off. He wears the shirt and tie for the remainder of the scene.

Factual Errors: When Snake lands on top of the World Trade Center tower, his altimeter indicates less than 200. The tower was over 1300 feet.

Continuity: When Snake first receives a signal on the President's Life Signs transponder, he radios Hauk then checks his mission timer. The timer reads 18:50:18 (and counts down to :14 seconds). As the scene is fading (at the :14 sec. mark), the timer changes to 17:50:14.

Continuity: Air Force One is shown in flight as an aircraft with engines mounted at the back either side of the tail. The wreckage on the ground and the computer image on the USPF computer as it crashes are of a 737 type aircraft with the engines mounted on the wings.

Continuity: The interiors shots of the plane before the crash are from a wide-body airliner. However, the wrecked fuselage seen on the ground is not a wide-body.

Revealing mistakes: Walls in the "Chock full o' Nuts" building are clearly made of Styrofoam.

Revealing mistakes: During the sequence where Snake is being chased by the Crazies (and is about to shoot an oval pattern in a wall so he can break through), his eye patch shifts enough to reveal a perfectly good eye.

Continuity: When Cabbie takes Snake to see Brain, Maggie answers the door. She goes inside first. Snake follows her and Cabbie goes in last, shutting the door behind him. But now in the indoor shot, Cabbie and Snake are in front and Maggie is way behind them.

When Snake gets into the LTD after knocking out the driver, you can see the bars in the windows jiggle revealing them to be rubber. This is especially noticeable in the shot from the front of the car.

Continuity: When Snake drives the station wagon through the gauntlet of convicts on Broadway, they pelt the car thoroughly with broken bricks. Immediately afterwards we see the vehicle from several angles, filthy but not actually dented.

Errors in geography: The scene at the train station is clearly not in New York. The city's two rail stations, Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal both have their tracks located below ground level.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: When The Duke is shooting at the handcuffed President, we hear the sound of very loud, echoing gunfire even though he is conspicuously using Snake's submachine gun equipped with a rather large silencer.

Continuity: Toward the end, the helicopter lands just outside the prison walls, and it's broad daylight. The rest of the film takes place at night, even though the times given indicate clearly that the helicopter landed only moments before the subsequent action.

Crew or equipment visible: You can see a crew member giving Isaac Hayes a "stand-up" cue quite visibly in the left side of the screen when The Duke is quieting the Grand Central Station crowd.

Errors in geography: New York's 59th St Bridge is referred to as the "69th St Bridge." Here is the story: The 69th Street Bridge was invented by John Carpenter since they could not stop the ten-lane, double-decker traffic of the George Washington Bridge and could not afford to rebuild it somewhere else. The 69th Street Bridge was built somewhere between 1980 and 1997 and Debra Hill suggested calling it the Richard N. Nixon Memorial, or even the John B. Anderson Memorial, but that was before the election. In a later interview John Carpenter claimed naming it the 69th Street Bridge was a cheap adolescent joke. In a more recent interview John Carpenter claims he did not know New York that well and that it was meant to be the The 59th St. (Ed Koch Queensboro) Bridge.

Revealing mistakes: When Brain stabs Romero in the storeroom and lowers him to the floor, Romero drops the last few inches and Brain is left holding the "knife" but you can see there is no blade.

Continuity: Baseball bat falls off the head of the gladiator, but is back again in subsequent shots.

Continuity: In the gladiators' ring, Snake cripples his opponent with a spiked club hammered into the lower abdomen and genitals. Very rapidly Snake wrenches it out to strike him in the back of the head, killing him. The now-dead opponent is leaning on the rail lines, and we can see the pale colored floor. No blood.

Crew or equipment visible: Crew fingers visible closing elevator door after failed escape run to glider. Seen on widescreen DVD edition.

Factual errors: As The Duke drives his car toward Maggie on the bridge, she fires her six shot revolver seven times at the car.

Continuity: Right before Snake's fight with The Duke at the end of the film, he watches his timer which says 00:01:32. Then after the President shoots the Duke and Snake gets the micro-bombs deactivated he waits for 10 seconds and watches his timer which reads 00:00.02. However the time elapsing between the two times he checks his timer is 00:02:08, but according to what we see on the timer in the film only 00:01:30 should have past.

Continuity: When the President shoots The Duke, the cable to bring Snake up from the city is clearly under the railings; but when Snake reaches the top, the cable is over the top railing.

Continuity: When the bombs in Snake's arteries are deactivated, he raises his right hand to his left wrist to display the time on his countdown clock. When we see a close-up of the clock as time runs out, Snake's right hand is not there. But when we switch back to the previous view, his right hand is still pressed against the clock.