Added to your love list
0 Love It

Escape from New York (1981), directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell (VIDEO)

Watch the trailer for Escape from New York, directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell; No. 9 on our list of the 100 best New York movies.

New York movies: Escape from New York (1981)

In the not-too-distant future (of 1997), the isle of Manhattan has become a maximum-security prison, home to mohawked killers, slick con artists, gun-toting femmes fatales and other assorted crazies. John Carpenter’s gorgeously grimy thriller posits a memorably dystopian Big Apple: The spectacular opening shot—a slow rise up and over the prison wall—is like a WELCOME TO NY! postcard from an alternate universe (a young fella named James Cameron was one of the background-matte painters). Our eye-patch-sporting antihero, Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell, the epitome of sneering manliness), uses the Twin Towers as a landing platform for his glider—an unintentionally loaded image. The New York Public Library and Grand Central Terminal are villains’ trash-strewn headquarters. And all the bridges are mined! Scene by scene, Carpenter satirizes the de rigueur fears of a crime-plagued NYC—which is funny considering the film was mostly shot in St. Louis.—Keith Uhlich

RECOMMENDED: See all 100 best New York movies

 Buy Escape from New York on Amazon

Watch the trailer for Escape from New York

PREVIOUS:New York movies: No. 10 | NEXT:New York movies: No. 8

You might also like
Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese and other movie buffs choose their essential New York film
Check out the best (and worst) New York screen moments
Check out the full list of the 100 best New York movies
See more in Film