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Escape From Alcatraz

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Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possibly successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world.


  • Clint Eastwood
  • Patrick McGoohan
  • Jack Thibeau
  • Roberts Blossom
  • Fred Ward
  • Paul Benjamin
  • Larry Hankin
  • Bruce M. Fischer
  • Frank Ronzio
  • Fred Stuthman

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For almost all of its length, Escape from Alcatraz is a taut and toughly wrought portrait of life in a prison. It is also a masterful piece of storytelling, in which the characters say little and the camera explains the action. It's one of those very difficult exercises in which large emotions, like the compulsion to be free, are reflected in minute actions, like the chipping away at stone with a pocket nail clipper.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Escape From Alcatraz is not a great film or an especially memorable one, but there is more evident skill and knowledge of movie making in any one frame of it than there are in most other American films around at the moment. I should also add that it's terrifically exciting.

Metacritic review by Vincent Canby
Vincent Canby
The New York Times

It's not an action film: there's little in the way of exciting set pieces, and Eastwood's restrained performance is low-key almost to the point of minimalism. Rather, as he slowly tries to tunnel out with a pair of nail-clippers, it's an austere depiction of the tedious routines of prison life, and of the courage and strength of spirit needed in coping with unpleasant warders, tough fellow-inmates, and a life sentence.

Metacritic review by Geoff Andrew
Geoff Andrew
Time Out London