Escape from New York (1981)

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

A man is forced to brave a decayed New York in order to save the President for a dystopian government.




Snake Plissken - Kurt Russell

Hauk - Lee Van Cleef

Cabbie - Ernest Borgnine

President - Donald Pleasence

The Duke - Isaac Hayes

Girl in Chock Full O'Nuts - Season Hubley

Brain - Harry Dean Stanton

Maggie - Adrienne Barbeau

Rehme - Tom Atkins

Secretary of State - Charles Cyphers

Taylor - Joe Unger

Romero - Frank Doubleday

Cronenberg - John Strobel

Gypsy 1 - John Cothran Jr.

Gypsy 2 - Garrett Bergfeld

Gypsy Guard - Richard Cosentino

Gypsy 3 - Robert John Metcalf

Gypsy 4 - Joel Bennett

First Indian - Vic Bullock

Second Indian - Clem Fox

Third Indian - Tobar Mayo

Stewardess - Nancy Stephens

Secret Service 1 - Steven Gagon

Secret Service 2 - Steven Ford

Secret Service 3 - Michael Taylor

Red Bandana Gypsy - Lonnie Wun

Helicopter Pilot 1 - Dale House

Helicopter Pilot 2 - David R. Patrick

Duty Sergeant - Bob Minor

Controller - Wally Taylor

Computer Operator - James O'Hagen

Trooper - James Emery

Police Sergeant - Tom Lillard

Theater Manager - Borah Silver

Theater Assistant - Tony Papenfuss

Punk - John Diehl

Bum - Carmen Filpi

Drunk - Buck Flower

Helicopter Pilot 3 - Clay Wright

Helicopter Pilot 4 - Al Cerullo

Slag - Ox Baker

Dancers - Ronald E. House, Alan Shearman, Joseph A. Perrotti, Roger Bumpass, and Ron Vernan


National Liberation Front of America


The Gypsies


Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

"1988. The crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A 50 foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline across the Harlem River and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple, once you go in you don't come out."

In 1997, an escape is being attempted from Manhattan by two inmates on a raft. A police helicopter notifies them they have ten seconds to return to New York City and as the ten seconds expire the helicopter fires a rocket blowing up the raft and prisoners. Rehme is notified of the escapees death and he passes it on to security. Snake Plissken is dropped off at the debarkation zone. Air traffic control receives a transmission from David 14. Rehme tells Hauk about a plane approaching restricted air space. The plane turns out to be Air Force One. They receive a transmission from a member of the National Liberation Front of America who states they are going to crash Air Force One into Manhattan. The President gets into his escape pod and Air Force One crashes into the side of a building. Hauk takes two helicopters and lands in Manhattan but is told to leave by Romero or the President will be killed. The Vice President, Secretary of State and Hauk have a phone meeting and decide to go with Hauk's plan.

Snake Plissken is brought to Hauk's office and offered a deal, if he goes into Manhattan and rescues the President within 24 hours he will be pardoned for all his crimes. Snake agrees to go on the mission. He is forced to take a strong "anti-toxin" injected by Cronenberg which turns out to be tiny explosives set to go off in 21 hours. Snake lands on the top of the Twin Towers flying a glider. He finds the remains of Air Force One and he tells Hauk the device they gave him has picked up the President's pulse. He travels to a theater where he is greeted by Cabbie who recognized him when he walked by. A Bum and his friends try and ambush Snake, but they are unsuccessful. Snake finds a man wearing the President's suit and wrist locator being beaten by another man, however the man wearing the locator turns out to be just a Drunk. Snake slams the wrist monitor, causing the pulse meters to flat line. He calls Hauk and tells him the monitor was on the wrong person and the President is dead however Hauk tells him to continue the mission. Snake returns to the site of the escape pod but has to run for cover when Crazies emerge from the sewers. He meets a woman in the Chock Full O'Nuts store who recognizes Snake but had heard he was dead. Crazies attack and drag the woman underground while Snake manages to get away, but drops his walkie talkie in the process.

Cabbie drives up and takes Snake to see Brain when Snake demands he take him to the Duke. Snake meets Maggie and the Brain. Snake recognizes Brain as Harold Hellman who left him and Fresno Bob to be captured by the police. Fresno Bob was tortured by the police. Snake by gunpoint, convinces Brain to help him find the President. Cabbie drives away when the Duke and his gang arrive in the neighborhood looking for Brain. Snake steals one of the Duke's cars and he, Brain and Maggie drive to where the President is being held. Brain distracts the guards while Snake gets the President. As Snake and the President are trying to escape they are caught by Gypsies. The Duke questions Snake who refuses to talk and Brain tells the Duke Snake was sent by the authorities. Snake is then knocked unconscious by the Duke. The Secretary of State wants to raid the prison while Hauk wants to stay the course. The Duke orders Brain to give him the map of the locations of the mines on the 69th Street bridge. The Duke is using the President as target practice when he shoots the President's briefcase open. The briefcase, which was attached by a handcuff to his wrist, drops a cassette tape, which Romero takes. A helicopter is hailed by a group of convicts, the convicts run away leaving the President's briefcase. Hauk reads a letter found in the briefcase to the Secretary of State and Rehme. The Duke demands amnesty for all convicts in New York City in exchange for the President. In the briefcase is some of Snake's gear which leads Hauk to move to plan B an invasion of the island. Snake is brought to a boxing ring where he is forced to fight Slag using baseball bat maces as weapons and trash can lids as shields. Brain convinces Romero to let him see the President and then stabs and kills Romero while Maggie shoots the other guards. Brain then frees the President and he and Maggie flee, but not before being spotted by a Gypsy Guard. During the fight Snake notices Red Bandana Gypsy wearing his beacon locator. Snake kills Slag by hitting him in the head with a spike from the bat, killing him and then grabs Red Bandana Gypsy's arm and activates the beacon locator and taking it back. Gypsy Guard tells Duke Brain escaped with the President and the Duke quickly leaves. Gypsy Guard then tells the other Gypsies who pile out of the area.

Snake returns to the Twin Towers and finds Brain and Maggie fighting some Indians. Brain tells Snake he knows where the cassette tape is. They find Brain's car disabled and the Duke and his men waiting for them, forcing them to run away just in time to be picked up by Cabbie. Snake drives towards the bridge while Brain guides him. The Duke follows in his vehicle behind them. Snake drives over a mine which blows the cab in half and also kills Cabbie. Brain is killed when he steps on a landmine and Maggie stays behind to kill the Duke. Maggie is killed when the Duke runs her over with his car. The Duke then follows Snake and the President on foot. Hauk dispatches helicopters to Snake and the President's location. The Duke is shot by the President as the Duke was about to shoot Snake. Snake hands over the tape to Hauk and Cronenberg administers the charge to destroy the mini bombs in Snake's arteries. Hauk offers Snake a job, but Snake walks away. The President has a press conference where he plays the tape, which turns out to be one of Cabbie's music tapes. Snake walks away unraveling the real tape and then tosses it aside.