Escape from New York is a 1981 American science fiction action film directed and scored by John Carpenter. He also co-wrote the screenplay with Nick Castle. The film is set in the near future in a crime-ridden United States that has converted Manhattan Island in New York City into a maximum security prison. Ex-soldier and legendary fugitive "Snake" Plissken (Kurt Russell) is given 24 hours to find the President of the United States, who has been captured by inmates after Air Force One crashed on the island.
Carpenter originally wrote the film in the mid-1970s as a reaction to the Watergate scandal, but no studio wanted to make it because Carpenter proved unable to articulate just how this film could relate to the Watergate scandal. After the success of Halloween, he had enough influence to get the film made and shot most of it in St. Louis, Missouri, where significant portions of the city were used in place of New York City.
The film's total budget was estimated to be US$ million. It was a commercial hit, grossing over $50 million worldwide. It has since developed its own cult following, particularly around the anti-hero Plissken. A sequel, Escape from L.A., was released in 1996.
In a dystopia 1997, World War III is nearing an end. Both the United States and Soviet Union have suffered greatly in the conflict and are looking for a peaceful resolution. Due to a nationwide crime increase of 400%, Manhattan was turned into one giant maximum security prison in 1988. Surrounded by a 50 foot containment wall, and mines on all bridges and waterways, nobody is allowed in the prison, not even guards. Because there are no guards inside the prison there are only "prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you don't come out. "
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