Friday, October 4, 2013

Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

Director: Don Siegel

Writers: J. Campbell Bruce, Richard Tuggle

Composer: Jerry Fielding

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan, Roberts Blossom, Jack Thibeau, Fred Ward, Paul Benjamin, Larry Hankin

More info: IMDb 

Tagline: No one has ever escaped from Alcatraz... And no one ever will!

Plot: A group of inmates attempt a daring escape from the notorious Alcatraz prison island, from which no-one had managed to escape before. Based on a true story.

My rating:8.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

I recently took a trip to San Francisco, my first.  In the short time I was there I made it a point to visit Alcatraz.  It...was...fucking...amazing!  I ended up going twice just to catch more of what I missed the first time and I STILL didn't get to see everything.  Next time.  A week later the gang comes over and we're watching this movie.  Everyone dug it but the two of us that were just there REALLY friggin' loved it and visiting the island gives you a much larger appreciation of the film. 

I'm a big fan of Don "DIRTY HARRY" Siegel's work. He's made some really good movies, movies that feel edgier but still maintain their large budgets and big name casts.  Eastwood's just great.  There's enough dialogue to keep things moving and to fill the audience in with everything you need to know to understand how things were in the prison and how difficult it was to bust out.  It's very relaxed and I can see how you could be bored by it but it's so much more than that.  The life of Alcatraz prisoners was one of monotony and repetition and it seems like the movie gets a lot right. The focus of the picture is clearly dictated by the title but there's only so much you can do in such a short time frame.  If you ever get the chance to visit Alcatraz, do whatever it takes to make it happen.  It was a tremendous experience, one I'd like to have again.

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