January 16th, 2013: Escape from New York (1981)

Escape From New York

Cast: Nick Castle (Co-Writer); Debra Hill (Producer); Larry J. Franco (Producer); Alan Howarth (Score, with John Carpenter); Dean Cundey (Cinematography); Ernest Borgnine, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, Bob Minor, John Diehl, George “Buck” Flower, Jamie Lee Curtis

What It’s About: In the far-flung future of 1997,the United States turns an abandoned Manhattan into a maximum security prison.  A revolutionary (Nancy Stephens) destroys Air Force One and strands the President (Donald Pleasence) (and an all important tape) in Manhattan on the eve of the Hartford Summit (go Connecticut!), a last-ditch effort to avert World War III.  Manhattan’s warden, Hauk (Lee Van Cleef) knows there’s only one man who can find (and save) the President:  legendary bank robber and veteran “Snake” Plissken (Kurt Russell)…but can even Snake Escape from New York?

Why Watch it Today?:  League favorite John Carpenter turns 65 today.  Carpenter scored a hit (and lasting cult favorite) with today’s movie, which can be credited along with The Road Warrior for inspiring the bulk of 1980s Post Apocalypse films, even as it stands outside them by featuring a great ensemble cast, a lean synth score, and a sense of humor.

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