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Escape From New York [Remastered]

7.11 h 39 min1981X-RayHDRUHD15
In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.
John Carpenter
Kurt RussellLee Van CleefDonald Pleasence
Science Fiction
None Available
Audio Languages
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Supporting actors
Isaac HayesHarry Dean Stanton
Larry Franco
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices


4.7 out of 5 stars

4734 global ratings

  1. 78% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Chris-NelsonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 December 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
2018 restoration 4K Boxset Review
Verified purchase
This is a review for the November 2018 4k box set edition of Escape from NY. Disclaimer, i do not own a 4K player, and bought this solely for the BluRay and my own collection. First off the packaging - its really nice, its brand new artwork across the whole box and i like that it also matches the style and the spine design for the other studio canal restorations. I Only bought the box set edition of Escape, however it still matches up with the regular slipcover blurays of Prince, They Live and the Fog. Inside is a small booklet about the making of the film and the restoration. It is similar to what can be found in Arrow Films boxsets. Then there is the triple gatefold packaging, its dark blue and has nice artwork of Snake and some of the other characters. It all folds out to display the three discs as well as the folded (and small) poster and artcards. My only complaint is the booklet and the gatefold packaging is too tight for the box and its hard to easily remove from the outer sleeve.

Onto the film, note that ihave only viewed the bluray, but i can say this restoration is fantastic, and is by far the best available. The previous studio canal blu-ray was awful and was essentially a DVD transfer slapped onto a bluray disc. The US had the shout factory bluray, which looked a million times better, but it pales in comparison to this transfer. The blu-ray looks top notch, so i would imagine the 4k UHD disc looks even better.

The extras are ok, i have not gone through all of them, but it seems to be the same stuff as on previous releases. My biggest complaint, is that the deleted opening scene of the bank robbery was not restored and looks awful. However this is only minor, and its still an enjoyable watch. The soundtrack is a nice touch too, and is a much better addition to that of a DVD copy (as some boxset do include).

Overall a fantastic package, and is currently the best way to watch this film.
35 people found this helpful
Robert19203Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 October 2017
3.0 out of 5 stars
Avoid this release!
Verified purchase
For a film like this it deserves so much more than we get. I took a punt on this release as well its ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, nothing else needs to be said. The artwork cover straight away raises eyebrows as it just looks off, like someone just went onto Photoshop and got a cut out of Snake and plonked him on the end.

What made me press the trigger on this was the extras. They are the same as the Special Edition DVD but with the added HD upgrade I was happy enough to pretend the cover didn't exist. Sadly I was wrong. The extras on any Blu-Ray are delightful but this upgrade, well it just wasn't anything there to enjoy. It felt like I was watching a DVD on a Blu-Ray disc and that is not why you pay the extra money. If I was a fan giving advice to another fan I would suggest pay the extra money and buy the Scream Factory release with the real HD upgrade plus the original artwork as your front cover plus a newly commissioned cover by the great Paul Shipper. Make sure your player is Region Free first though. Overall not worth it.
26 people found this helpful
CarlReviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 January 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
4K Collectors Set with Slipcase, Cards, Soundtrack & Booklet WOW
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This review is for the 2018 4K Slipcase Collectors set which includes the 4k UHD Release and a whole lot of extras inc the soundtrack on cd, an extras bluray, a booklet and poster with art cards. i ordered this straight away despite owning several other versions on DVD and Bluray over the years. Let me tell you this - the 4K version of the film is stunning. We will never see EFNY look any better than it does here. There is a little grain (as is expected from old movies shot on celluloid) but WOW.... I kept finding my self sitting closer and closer to my 65'' TV to fully immerse myself in this new found detail and clarity I was experiencing. Looking at the specs (won't bore you here) but it looks like they did this properly and meticulously, finishing off with the original cinematographer supervising the colour grading for the UHD release, for me, rubber stamping the authenticity of this new transfer. I love the artwork on some of my old dvds and blurays of EFNY, so i'll never part with them, but also, I'll never again open them to play the discs... they are now redundant. As a lifelong fan of EFNY, I love this new transfer and to talk about the extras which come in this package is almost insignificant, but a very welcome inclusion. Soundtrack CD, Poster, Art Cards, Booklet, Extras Bluray...... all housed in a nice slip case with fresh artwork. If I'm totally honest, I'm not a fan of the artwork for these new releases - they look too polished to me, whereas I always think of EFNY as this dystopian movie, full of grit and dirt...but hey. this is a VERY minor personal gripe. If you can get your hands on one of these sets, just buy it, you won't be disappointed. Well done Studiocanal.
15 people found this helpful
William HallReviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 November 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Kurt in a very dirty New York
Verified purchase
I remembered this fondly from decades back but it has dated. Inevitably a lot of its material has been imitated since the film appeared but the big disappointment is the lack of humour. It’s not quite the Tom and Jerry film I had in mind. Director John Carpenter rarely raises the lighting, all is doom and gloom. However my refurbished print is excellent so nothing is missed.
The situation in New York is not properly explained.Why are there few females? Where does everyone live and how come they keep popping up in odd places.? Although the man called Brain is supposed to provide oil, where does he get it? It is of course a sci-fi film of sorts but there needs to be a firm basis to the plot.
None of the actors has a chance to shine except possibly Kurt Russell, who has been directed by Carpenter to speak his lines in an angry whisper. He hates life you see. He was so fed up with being a war hero, he turned to robbery, as one does.
Never mind. Despite all this and a chase at the end which, considering the fact that the bridge is mined, would have been impossible, it’s worth seeing. The film has an energy and a who-cares-what-happens-next vitality rarely found today.
2 people found this helpful
Dr. John C. FranklinReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 March 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Classic movie in pin-sharp HD
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I bought this movie to watch with my eldest son, it's an 80's classic and he has enjoyed other John Carpenter movies already. I had never seen it on anything other than an old, non-HD TV, either as a broadcast years ago, or maybe on VHS. So, to see it for the first time myself in HD was a revelation. A great, HD, trip down memory lane, and my son really enjoyed it also. Maybe not as quite as good a film as either They Live, or Assault on Precinct 13, but a classic nonetheless. Who doesn't love Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken or Ernest Borgnine as Cabbie?
3 people found this helpful
Phil LathamReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 April 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
EFNY March 2019 4K UHD restored version
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John Carpenter’s film output is impressive, varying from his student project Dark Star (1974), a science-fiction comedy he wrote with Dan O’Bannon (who later reworked it into science-fiction horror as Alien) to other films such as Halloween and The Thing. So how does his 1981 Escape from New York (hereafter EFNY) stack up as a restored 4K UHD version in 2019? (My review is of the three-disc version released in March 2019, not the Collector’s Edition.)

ENFY features a great ensemble cast, including Lee Van Cleef, Donald Pleasance, Ernest Borgnine and Harry Dean Stanton (from Alien) and, with restoration overseen by the original cinematographer Dean Cundey, the 4K UHD version is the best version of the film we have, until 8K VUHD arrives (insert smiley face). The principal character, played by Kurt Russell, is the believable Snake Plissken (former US soldier with two Purple Hearts) and Russell would go on to play a similar anti-hero character in John Carpenter’s 1982 masterpiece, The Thing.

EFNY’s plot of rescuing the US President (in 1997!) from a converted Manhattan Island that is the country’s maximum security prison is compelling. Moreover, the film does successfully evoke a dystopian nightmare, with most Manhattan scenes (actually shot in St Louis) featuring broken windows, burnt-out cars and scavenging hordes, like the descendants of Victorian street urchins. Indeed, most of EFNY is dark, reckless and menacing and is all the better for it. That EFNY apes the look of earlier sci-fi horrors such as 1971’s The Omega Man is to be applauded, whilst EFNY itself has clearly influenced others: James Cameron worked on EFNY and his bleak 1984 The Terminator strives for a similarly menacing look (and also uses moody synthesiser music).

I have not compared the 4K UHD version to the non-restored one, but Cundey’s restoration seems only partially successful. On the plus side, the colours are vibrant and although the film is dark, it’s supposed to be and it isn’t so dark that you can’t actually see anything. So the colour tones appear faithful and the overall colour balancing for a film that is almost three decades old does hold up well. However, the scenes set on Manhattan, the majority of the film, are VERY softly focussed. It’s as if the entire camera crew routinely spent the day in the pub and only then decided to shoot footage. Wide shots are blurred. Even some close-ups aren’t actually in focus. Perhaps it’s the film stock they used, that didn’t respond well enough to low light levels? Whatever the reason, it’s disappointing. I’m assuming the soft focussing is endemic to the source material; if so, the lack of sharpness seems odd when other films from the same era such as Blade Runner look astounding on 4K UHD. (I checked the Blu-Ray version and the soft focussing is a tad worse than the 4K UHD version).

The film itself is also hit and miss. I won’t detail the entire plot (read Wikipedia for that) but it’s too simplistic to occupy a film of 94 minutes (plus end credits); there aren’t enough subplots or twists in the ‘find the President and rescue him’ narrative to rescue EFNY from being more a solid B-film.

The pacing at the start of the film is also slow. Not only do the opening credits hang around for three minutes, but the scene where Snake agrees to rescue the President ends at 20:18. So EFNY takes 20 minutes to get going. The good news is that from 20:18 to the end credits there is little flab, so the pacing is fine.

My final whinge is that cast. Yes, the male leads are great, but Adrienne Barbeau, as the main female character, is incredibly underused (even less than in The Fog). Indeed, her character spends every scene with her breasts on show, akin to that moment in The Cannonball Run, where Barbeau’s character unzips her top and tries to use her cleavage to evade a speeding ticket. 1981 was clearly a more sexist time than now, and Barbeau being married to Carpenter at the time might also have something to do with her portrayal, but I’d still prefer to see an actress being allowed to act, rather than being crudely used as the token sex object.

So, EFNY is a deserved cult classic and a 7/10 film. The colour restoration looks great. Despite the slow start, once it gets going the urban chaos looks great and is both evocative and interesting. The film itself has a great concept and is intriguing, although it lacks depth and the blurring/soft focussing is a shame (if this is how it appeared originally then so be it). If you like this I would recommend John Carpenter’s The Thing, which is quite a lot better and is something I would love to see on 4K UHD . . .

+ Great idea and solid male cast (but see below)
+ Snake Plissken is a likeable anti-hero and is well-played by Kurt Russell
+ The dystopian nightmare is evocatively realised
+ Colour balancing from the restoration works, but . . .

- . . . The restoration and 4K UHD release does not rescue the disappointing soft focus
- The film lacks depth given its running time
- Adrienne Barbeau is the main female actor but is woefully underused as a token sex object
- The pacing at the start is a little too slow
- Carpenter’s The Thing is MUCH better (but not available on 4K UHD as of April 2019)
4 people found this helpful
horror fan-manReviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 December 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Amazing 4K edition
Verified purchase
WOW!!!! what an amazing release from studiocanal, a stunning 4K upgrade and the film looks amazing and you get a blu-ray, extras disc and the great carpenter cd soundtrack, a fantastic film with amazing extras that every carpenter fan shiuld own and its region free.
8 people found this helpful
Mr. R. W. GrahamReviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 September 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Call Him Snake
Verified purchase
In 1997 the President Of The United States' plane crashes in New York City which is now the largest maximum security prison in the world. Former military man and bank robber Snake Pliskenn is sent in to save the President. A B movie but probably one of the best B movies ever made, this is a superb sci-fi action movie with Kurt Rusell giving one of his best performances as Snake Pliskenn and excellent performances from Ernest Borgine as a cab driver, Isaac Hayes as the villain the Duke Of New York, Lee Van Cleef as the man who sends Snake in to save the President, Harry Dean Stanton as a convict and Donald Pleasance as the President Of The United States. The future of 1997 is now laughably dated but this is still a classic and one of director John Carpenter's best films. The restored and cleaned up picture and sound is superb.
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