Escape From Alcatraz Poster

Release Date: July 3rd, 2005

DVD Release Date: March 9th, 1999

PG|1 hr 52 min

Plot Summary
Frank Morris (Clint Eastwood), a hardened con with a history of prison breaks, is sent to serve the rest of his life sentence at Alcatraz -- America's most infamously brutal and inescapable maximum security prison. Morris quickly realizes the prison's dehumanizing effects and clashes with its cruel warden (Patrick McGoohan). Fed up with life at Alcatraz, Morris and two convict brothers (Fred Ward, Jack Thibeau) meticulously plan the unthinkable: an escape from the island.

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan, Jack Thibeau, Roberts Blossom, Fred Ward, Paul Benjamin, Larry Hankin, Bruce M. Fischer

Director: Don Siegel

Genres: Thriller, Drama

Production Co: Paramount

Keywords: Escape, Gritty, Brother, 1960s

Ratings & Reviews

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  • The major reason for Escape's success is Siegel's effortless expertise in re-creating the atmosphere of Alcatraz, an atmosphere in which, as the Warden says, good citizens were not made, but good prisoners were. As photographed by Bruce Surtees in rainy black and blue, the dogged, slow-motion swim through excelsior that constitutes prison existence is painfully and convincingly reproduced. For Eastwood, there is an extra bonus: if the milieu doesn't provide him with a reason for his stubbornly characteristic grimness, it does at least provide an excuse. [23 June 1979]

  • Dirty Harry director Don Siegel reunited with Clint Eastwood for this taut 1979 thriller about real-life bank robber Frank Morris, who led the one possibly successful (bodies were never found) escape attempt from the notorious maximum-security prison on San Francisco's Alcatraz Island. show more

  • For almost all of its length, Escape from Alcatraz is a taut and toughly wrought portrait of life in a prison. It is also a masterful piece of storytelling, in which the characters say little and the camera explains the action. It's one of those very difficult exercises in which large emotions, like the compulsion to be free, are reflected in minute actions, like the chipping away at stone with a pocket nail clipper. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com