St. Louis To Stand In For Manhattan In Movie (St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Jun 15/1980/US) By Linda Eardley



Lights - camera - action. And Ernest Borgnine, too, all in St. Louis.

A motion picture directed by John Carpenter and starring Borgnine and Carpenter's wife Adrienne Barbeau, will be filmed in St. Louis for three weeks in August, says the Missouri Division of Tourism.

The movie is tentatively entitled Escape From New York. In it, St. Louis will play the role of Manhattan in 1997.

The plot has Manhattan set aside as a gigantic walled prison for criminals and political prisoners. A plane carrying the president of the United States crashes on the island. He is captured, and a rescue mission is mounted.

"I wouldn't give away the rest of the plot if I could," said Dean Brooks, news media coordinator for the Tourism Division. "It is enough to say there are various fantastic surprises along the way."

Besides Borgnine and Miss Barbeau, stars are Kurt Russell and Donald Pleasence. Carpenter's other movies include The Fog, Halloween and the made-for-television movie Elvis.

Brooks quoted a member of the production company as saying that St. Louis was selected for filming because "the basic look is close enough (to New York) that camera magic would give the film authenticity, and because of the outstanding cooperation we received from Missouri and St. Louis."

Most of the exterior scenes will be filmed here; the interior scenes will be shot in Los Angeles.

Brooks said the area to be featured will be roughly from 14th to 20th street and from Market to Olive streets - what Brooks described as "the old warehouse."

The Fox Theater, the Chain of Rocks Bridge and parts of Laclede's Landing and St. Charles Street also probably will be included, he said. All of filming will be done at night.

The movie is tentatively scheduled to be released in the middle of next year. It is being produced by Larry Franco and Debra Hill. Carpenter and Nick Castle wrote the script.

Dean described the movie as "a major motion picture." Other movies made in St. Louis in recent years have been decidedly less than major.

One major aspect is the money involved. Charles Boyd, state tourism director, said the "publicity value and economic impact of hosting the film will be substantial." He said the film's total budget may run as high as
$7 million.