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Escape from Alcatraz

By Tom Keogh
  Escaping from Alcatraz

Alcatraz, late 1994 by Patrick Mondout

Though no prisoners were proven to have successfully escaped from Alcatraz during its run as a federal prison, thousands have escaped in recent years. What's that? You've never heard of the "Escape from Alcatraz" Triathlon? It's held each June in San Francisco. And yes, they really do jump from the island and swin to SF to start the race!

One of Clint Eastwood's two most important filmmaking mentors was Don Siegel (the other was Sergio Leone), who directed Eastwood in Dirty Harry, Coogan's Bluff, Two Mules for Sister Sara, and this enigmatic, 1979 drama based on a true story about an escape from the island prison of Alcatraz. Eastwood plays a new convict who enters into a kind of mind game with the chilly warden (Patrick McGoohan) and organizes a break leading into the treacherous waters off San Francisco. As jailbird movies go, this isn't just a grotty, unpleasant experience but a character-driven work with some haunting twists.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Don Siegel

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan, Fred Ward, Roberts Blossom

Released: June 22, 1979

Availability: DVD VHS


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