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Escape From New York

John Carpenter

When the President (Donald Pleasence) crash lands on the island of Manhattan, now a maximum security prison, Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is sent in to rescue him…or die trying.

““By the end of the ’70s there was a backlash against everything in the ’60s, and that’s what the ’80s were, and Ronald Reagan became president, and ‘Reaganomics’ came in,” Carpenter explained back in 2013. “A lot of the ideals that I grew up with were under assault.”

The director would go on to make more films criticizing Reagan-era consumerism, most overtly in 1988’s They Live, creating a body of work peopled with rebels and free thinkers. But the subversive political strain in his work that bloomed in They Live took seed in Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) and first flowered in Escape.

The early 1980s were a rough time for many American cities. Once-prosperous neighborhoods fell into decay as many wealthier, mostly white families fled inner cities for the safety of the suburbs, and police struggled to control drug use and gang violence. Heck, a recession began literally the same month Escape arrived in theaters.” – Not My President: Political Dissent in ‘Escape from New York’, Ashley Wells

“…an enthralling, if sometimes inadvertently cheesy adventure yarn, an intriguing window into the fears and anxieties of the early Reagan years, and a film-lover’s cavalcade of genre mash-up…” James Kendrick, Q Network Film


  • 4/6 | 8:00PM
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