Escape From New York Shooting Script (June 10, 1980) (Early Version)
(Special thanks to David Fakrikian)
Plissken Being Chased By Two Helicopters While Driving A Motorcycle (Bank Robbery Opening Sequence)
INT. ELEVATOR/EXT. DESERT - DAY - PANAGLIDE
The man punches the "ROOF" button. The doors close. The clang of the alarm fades
as the elevator rises.
The man rips out of his maintenance uniform. His cap comes off. Long hair
underneath. But we still don't see his face. Just pieces of his clothing. A
black leather jacket. Boots. Fatique pants.
The doors open. A blast of sunlight. The man dashes
out into a bleak, expansive Colorado
desert. This is the roof of the underground bank!
CAMERA PANAGLIDES with the
man as he races past huge solar domes. He ducks behind a doom. A motorcycle.
Futuristic (like a Honda Shadow Classic). CAMERA MOVES IN to the fenderwell.
Painted on it is a snake. A cobra. Fangs bared. Forked tongue protruding.
ANOTHER ANGLE - PLISSKEN
As he punches in the computer code and the bike roars to life,
CAMERA PULLS BACK to REVEAL SNAKE PLISSKEN. Arrogant, mean and handsome. His
left eye is totally black. An eye-patch.
Plissken squeezes the bike into gear and tears away from the solar domes across
EXT. DESERT TWO-LANE
Plissken speeds across the desert floor to a two-lane highway. From behind the
solar domes two thrashing black helicopters rise up in the sky. Like huge,
thundering metallic insects. They dip and zoom right for him.
ANGLE DOWN TWO-LANE
Plissken roars by CAMERA, down the two-lane toward a mountain in the distance,
becoming a dot.
Suddenly the two helicopters scream by CAMERA, low to the ground, whirling after
MOVING SHOT WITH PLISSKEN
CAMERA is on Plissken, in front of him, moving with him. Behind him we see the
helicopters closing in.
Closer. Closer. They're right behind him!
Suddenly THE CAMERA and Plissken are plunged into darkness. A tunnel entrance.
Behind, through the opening, we see the helicopters turn away. We are in the
Plissken suddenly veers off to the right.
CIRCULAR UNDERGROUND RAMP (PARKING GARAGE)
Plissken roars down an underground ramp, around and around, deeper and deeper.
There are lights in the ceiling. Concrete. Into an open area. A sign on the
concrete arch above: "PACIFIC EXPRESS."
INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE - PANAGLIDE
Plissken roars off the ramp into a large underground parking garage. Up to an
area marked "ESCALATOR." Plissken pulls his bike to a stop and jumps off. He
starts running. CAMERA PANAGLIDES with him. He jams the screwdriver into a
turnstile. It clicks open. Plissken moves to the escalator.
Shooting Script (June 10, 1980)
Newsreel Footage Of Riots With SWAT Teams Moving Through The Streets
Silence. Newsreel footage slowly FADES ON. Grainy color.
Absolutely real. A riot. Police cars with bubble lights flashing.
SWAT teams moving through the streets.
In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rose four hundred per cent.
A prison riot. The National Guard disperses. Then a street
riot. SWAT teams. GUNFIRE. Tear gas. Pandemonium.
During the Summer War of 1991, fought between the agencies of law enforcement
and the criminal element, the United States Police Force was formed. As large
and well-equipped as the armed forces, the Police Force won the war.
A large emblem: the American Eagle against a
red background. Proud, savage, strong. And in bold letters underneath, THE
UNITED STATES POLICE FORCE. CAMERA MOVES IN on the
In 1994 there were not enough prisons to harbor the three million plus
population of convicted criminals.
CAMERA MOVES IN CLOSER to the eagle.
In 1995, extreme measures were taken to insure law and order in the United
CAMERA MOVES IN to the eye of the eagle, then INTO BLACK.
Two Guards On Liberty Island Having A Conversation About How Many Prisoners The
Pilot Who Blew Up The Escape Raft Has Killed
EXT. POLICE COMPLEX (SEPULVEDA DAM) - ANGLE ON HELICOPTER STATUE OF LIBERTY
CAMERA FOLLOWS the helicopter as it moves through the sky, coming off of it to
REVEAL the Statue of Liberty. We are on Liberty Island.
CAMERA PANS DOWN the Statue. GUARDS are stationed all over it. As CAMERA REACHES
ground level we MOVE WITH TWO GUARDS as they walk along. One of the guards is
Was that Charly?
Yeah. Seventeen for Charly. Another month and he'll have a gold badge.
I believe it's eighteen. Charly's bagged eighteen.
Yeah, I think you're right. I think it is eighteen.
As they enter a guard station CAMERA CONTINUES TO MOVE, past the station into
Bob Hauk Talking To Dr.
Cronenberg After Hanging Up The Red Phone
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM, OUTER OFFICE - NIGHT
Hauk hangs up. He looks
at the Secretary of State, then gets up and quietly walks out the door. CAMERA
MOVES WITH HIM into the small outer office.
DR. CRONENBERG, a tall,
lanky physician with a worried face, stands up from his chair.
Is it ready?
Yes, but I can't
How long will it take?
A few seconds. But I'm
against using it...
I have a directive from
This is an experimental
unit, Hauk. I've never tried it on a man...
You can test it out.
A POLICE SERGEANT
enters the room.
They just took him in
Bring him to my office
Two Cops Rolling Out The GulfFire From A Huge Hangar
EXT. AIRSTRIP - HANGAR - NIGHT
Plissken strides across an empty airstrip. He is still dressed in his own
clothes. Leather jacket. Fatique pants. The survival holster is strapped on.
CAMERA MOVES WITH HIM toward a huge hangar. The doors slowly open. Inside, under
eerie neon lights, is the GulfFire glider. TWO COPS roll it
out of the hangar.
Plissken Running Into The World Trade Center
INT. WORLD TRADE CENTER - NIGHT
The car konks out completely and rolls to a stop. Plissken jumps out. Looks at
CLOSE ON WRIST WATCH
2:05:34, 33, 32...
He runs into the World Trade Center