It's 1997 and New York is a maximum security prison. During the course of a night a plane carrying the President Of The United States crashes into the prison and the authorities have to move quickly.
When a rescue attempt fails they send in an inmate whom they have arrested for robbery. Hauk (Lee Van Cleef), the man who runs the prison offers Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) a full pardon if he can go in and rescue the president within 24 hours.
Snake agrees, rather reluctantly, and is dropped into the prison by glider. Once inside he runs into an odd assortment of inmates including Cabbie played with much gusto by Ernest Borgnine, Brain played by Harry Dean Stanton and Maggie played by Adrienne Barbeau. With their help he lots a rescue attempt to get the President (Donald Pleasence) away from the self appointed leader of the inmates called The Duke played by Isaac Hayes.
The ending to this film is one of the most bleak, but it fits the tone of the film perfectly. This is when Carpenter was in top form, making all kinds of enjoyable films like this and also including "Halloween", "The Thing" and much more.
there is a lot of interesting trivia with this film including the fact that Kris Kristofferson was considered for the role of Plissken, but wasn't talked to after the failure of "Heaven's Gate". I however, feel the casting of Russell was perfect.
it's hard for me to believe that this film is 34 years old. It seems like only yesterday I went to the theater to see this gem. Seeing this after many years is a joy and it looks better than ever thanks to the efforts of Shout Factory. This is a two disc set on which disc one has the feature film and disc two is crammed full of extras which any fan of the film will love, including interviews with many cast members including the late Isaac Hayes.
The rest of the cast for this great film includes Season Hubley, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers and the voice of Jamie Lee Curtis who narrates the opening. Look quickly for Ox Baker and John Carpenter. I cannot say enough good things about this film. Totally enjoyable from start to finish and not a flaw to be seen. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!