Escape from New York (1981)
Director: John Carpenter
Cast: Kurt Russell, Isaac Hayes, Lee Van Cleef, Harry Dean Stanton
Trivia: In the future the city of New York has been turned into the only maximum security prison in the United States once you come in you don’t get out. On its way to a very important international summit Air Force One has been hijacked and the President has been able to escape but his pod lands in New York. The police commissioner Hauk (Lee Van Cleef) running the penal colony enters the city with some men to retrieve the President. They are met by a man who tells them that if they don’t leave the city immediately the President will die and if they return the President will die they want to be freed in return for the President. In a desperate act Hauk “enlists” Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) by putting explosive charges in his next that will detonate in 24 hours unless he gets the President back and the suitcase containing an important document for the summit. Now Snake only has a short time to slip in and out of New York with the President before the Duke (Isaac Hayes) the leader of the penal colony can stop them.
Trivia: The shot where the helicopter flies over Central Park was actually filmed in San Fernando, California. The buildings in the background were matte-paintings by future director James Cameron. Kurt Russell has stated that this is his favorite of all his films, and Snake Plissken is his favorite of his characters.
Why I think you should see this: This is the first movie that John Carpenter and Kurt Russell worked together on and it is a great chase film. This is a very different role for Kurt Russell but you can tell he loves it because it come as naturally to him as any of his other roles. This a very entertaining film that any action fan should see it and is a very strange look at a future that never materialized. I am a huge fan of the Kurt Russell/John Carpenter teaming and recommend this one very highly.