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Escape from New York (Special Edition) (1981)

Kurt Russell , Lee Van Cleef , John Carpenter  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (457 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.98
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Multi-Format Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging $14.32  
Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $19.99  
DVD 1-Disc Version $6.99  
  Special Edition $19.90  

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Escape from New York (Special Edition) + Escape from L.A. + Mad Max (Special Edition)
Price for all three: $48.18

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes
  • Directors: John Carpenter
  • Writers: John Carpenter, Nick Castle
  • Producers: Barry Bernardi, Debra Hill, Larry J. Franco
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: December 16, 2003
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (457 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000CNY27
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,836 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Escape from New York (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Brand-new high-definition film transfer and 5.1 audio
  • Deleted opening sequence: the never-before-seen 10-minute bank robbery scene with commentary by John Carpenter and Kurt Russell
  • "Return to Escape from New York": all-new featurette
  • Making of John Carpenter's "Snake Plissken Chronicles" comic plus exclusive comic book
  • Photo gallery

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

Fans of the cult favorite have known about the original opening ever since the film debuted in 1980. Twenty-three years later, this first reel (about 8 minutes of footage) is seen, and folks, you didn't miss a thing. The opening robbery attempt (which lands hero Snake Plissken in the New York City jail) shows the low-key and cash-strapped production at its worst. On the optional commentary track, director John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell talk about the opening and come to the conclusion it was something good to trim. Also on this two-disc set is a new, deft 25-minute featurette on the production, too many notes on the new comic book series, and two commentary tracks. The Carpenter-Russell one from the 1984 laser disc (before the sequel Escape from L.A. was made) is a detailed and delightful reminiscence; the new one from producer Debra Hill and production designer Joe Alves track is for die-hard fans only. Both the picture and sound have been souped up here, making the low-cost film look and sound better than its grassroots origins probably deserve. --Doug Thomas

Product Description

A thrilling landmark film that jolts along at a breakneck pace, Escape From New York leapt to cult status with high-octane action, edge-of-your-seat suspense and a mind-blowing vision of a lone warrior (Kurt Russell) battling his way out of a post-apocalyptic Manhattan! Hailed as "stylish and scary" (Los Angeles Times), "dark and dangerous" (Newsweek) and "gloriously...fun" (Tyler Morning Telegraph), this fast-paced and furiously entertaining thriller grabs you by the throat and won't let go! In a world ravaged by crime, the entire island of Manhattan has been converted to a walled prison where brutal prisoners roam. But when the U.S. President (Donald Pleasence) crash-lands inside, only one man can bring him back: notorious outlaw and former Special Forces war hero Snake Plissken (Russell). But time is short: in 24 hours, an explosive device implanted in his neck will end Snake's missionand his lifeunless he succeeds!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Get a new president..." January 1, 2004
Format:DVD
Hailed as a cult classic by many, John Carpenter's "Escape from New York" is finally available in a more-than-appropriate DVD edition that does the film justice. A dark movie filled with danger, action, suspense, and even humor, this is the classic that gave birth to the ultimate outlaw and anti-hero; Snake Plissken. Now, you can relive the movie like never before.
In a post-apocalyptic world filled with crime and violence, the entire city of Manhattan has been transformed into a prison--a death sentence to most. Here, the prisoners are sent once they are banned from society and are forced to stay a life sentence to fight on their own. A crisis is before the people who are in charge of the prison, as the President has been kidnapped and is being held hostage by the very people they dedicated their lives to lock up. The only chance they have is a former war hero turned outlaw, Snake Plissken. They make him a deal that if he can bring back the President alive, all of the charges against him will be dropped. However, there's yet another catch; the main man in charge of the prison has injected Plissken with an explosive device that will be the end of him in less than 24 hours should he not be successful, insuring that he won't "flee" the scene. All of this leads to an exciting and thrilling cult classic that is loved by many.
John Carpenter has done a terrific job of painting a dark and bleak picture of law enforcement as we know it. At the same time, he does an excellent job of creating a successful and subtle satire of law and authority. The script is always clever and surprising. While the movie might be a little dated, it still does not take away anything from the raw effect the movie has on us.
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116 of 135 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
The film itself is three and a half stars (out of five): yet another entertaining "B" thriller from cult film director John Carpenter, this sci-fi/action romp is lots of fun in every sense of the word: great characters populated by a great cast, led by Russel's iconic take on "Snake Plissken", the love child of Clint Eastwood and Jim Morrison; a delicious, cheese-tastic premise that maintains a sense of humor while playing it serious (unlike its lesser, overly-campy sequel); production values that sporadically waver between solid and chintzy, somehow only adding to the film's gritty, dark (and fun) comic book-like tone; and a classic (albeit corny) John Carpenter synth score.

As a point of acknowledgment, I'm a big John Carpenter fan... but if truth be told, while Carpenter is terrific with atmosphere and suspense, he is somewhat challenged when it comes to shooting action sequences. That point is underscored once again with this film, as the action sequences are fairly unmemorable; fortunately, the film's creepily weird atmosphere and colorful characters more than make up for it.

While the film ultimately does not live up to its potential, it has more than enough attributes to cement its place as a minor genre classic. This is not Carpenter's best work by a long shot (for my money, "Halloween" and "The Thing" are tied for that honor); nevertheless, this is still a must-see for those who dig the 1970's-early 1980's era of "B" movie sci-fi/action flicks.

Now, on to the Blu-Ray review: the 1080P widescreen picture quality of this Blu-Ray is a decent step-up from the special edition DVD released a few years back. Released in the correct aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (Amazon incorrectly listed this release at 1.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The name is Plisskin." February 5, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Back in 1981, John Carpenter released a film, set in 1997, that depicted a somewhat bleak future for the United States in that the crime rate had risen to the point where it was necessary to turn New York City into a maximum security prison by enclosing the island in giant, concrete walls, installing landmines on the access bridges, and providing constant surveillance with the threat of death for any that try to escape. Felons convicted and sent to this prison are given the option of execution rather than being forced to try and survive in this hellish, nightmare environment. Truly only the strongest and most ruthless survive behind these walls. The female narration, done by Carpenter favorite Jamie Lee Curtis, at the beginning ends with the ominous line, "Once you go in, you never come out."

After this is set up, we learn that, while en route to an extremely important conference, the president's plane has been hijacked, and is crashed inside the prison. The inmates recover the president, and threatening to kill him if any attempt is made to release him. A plan is formulated, one including the recently captured, ex-military, now convicted, criminal Snake Plisskin (Kurt Russell) to send him in, alone, and try to bring the president out alive, offering him a full pardon should he succeed. Only problem is, due to time constraints, of the conference, Snake only has 24 hours to complete this mission, if he accepts it. Another minor glitch...without his knowing it, microscopic implants are inserted into Snake's neck in case he decided to skip out, and are set to go off unless Snake can recover the president and return him safely within the time allotted.

This has always been one of my favorite movies. It brings to life the perfect anti-hero, the outlaw.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars kept me awake
I watched this in hopes that it would put me to sleep, but it had the opposite effect. The plot was just interesting enough.
Published 17 hours ago by tom
1.0 out of 5 stars thank goodness I didn't pay to watch this
Unable to watch more than 20 minutes of this movie. Thank goodness I didn't pay for this. It is free with prime.
Published 19 hours ago by mritchie14
2.0 out of 5 stars Escape From New York - QUICK
Very disapointed in the movie in general. Bad acting, bad special effects and not a very good plot. Maybe I have been jaded by the newer hgh tech movies, but this one just didn't... Read more
Published 22 hours ago by Kathy Bement
3.0 out of 5 stars ESCAPE NEW YORK
I GUESS IT WAS JUST O.k. I WOULD NOT WATCH IT AGAIN . IS NOT ONEYOU KNOW THERE R SOME MOVIES U CAN WATCH OVER AGAIN THIS IS NOT ONE
Published 2 days ago by Eivens Wilborn
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Action
Vintage Kurt Russell and Adirenne Barbeau . . . does it get any better? Much better than the sequel . . . everyone knows snakes don't surf.
Published 3 days ago by Greg French
2.0 out of 5 stars not worth watching bad acting glad it was free i cant say anything...
not worth watching bad acting glad it was free i cant say anything good about the movie do not watch
Published 4 days ago by M. Watts
3.0 out of 5 stars Bob in Albany
It was a real '70s film. Kurt Russell at his macho best. Donald Plesance at his smarmy peak. It was fun if you remember the times.
Published 4 days ago by Robert M. Nelson
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to watch this
Movie was not very good when new and is now almost impossible to watch. Story sucks -- what, give New York to the criminals and just forget about them? Read more
Published 5 days ago by Jerry I. Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars CAMP
If you want to watch a camp movie, this is the place to go! Also watch Escape From LA! Yeah!
Published 5 days ago by Elsa D. Mendoza
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Boring boring boring. When a movie has a boring story line, at least have good action or effects to compensate...BORING! I fell asleep watching this movie. Read more
Published 5 days ago by johnny hung
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Will all the extras from the DVD Special Edition be included in this...
I just read on a couple of different sites that the DVD in this combo IS the old flipper disc with widescreen on one side and fullscreen on the other side. Totally lame. I'm starting to think that this movie will get a new release on Blu-ray with all of the previous special features when the... Read more
Aug 2, 2010 by DeAd MiKe |  See all 13 posts
region?
It appears to be A locked.
Jan 16, 2014 by D. Phillips |  See all 2 posts
Is this transfer still green???
I watched the Blu-ray twice so far... Didn't notice any green tint during the night scenes.
Aug 17, 2010 by DeAd MiKe |  See all 3 posts
Closed Captions or Subtitles?
You are in luck! Not only does the Blu-ray feature an English subtitle track, but the subtitle track is marked "For the deaf and hard of hearing" - it's a really great subtitle track. The subtitles are large and they appear in front of the character who speaks the words. If there are... Read more
Aug 6, 2010 by DeAd MiKe |  See all 4 posts
Escape From New York on BluRay...?
The movie will play, but the special features won't. So it's a toss up. Personally, I just wanted to watch the movie (I don't care that much for special features anyway), so I'm happy with it.
Jun 19, 2009 by D. J. Gehen |  See all 2 posts
escape from new york soundtrack Be the first to reply
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