Escape From Alcatraz (1979)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Escape Film, Prison Film  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Review by Brian J. Dillard

The script for this prison-escape picture is as lean and expressive as the scowl on Clint Eastwood's rough-hewn, familiar face. Each scene gives us either who, what, when, where, why, or how; the emphasis is on the how, though, for everything else flows from that. The early scenes and central relationships establish the brutality and caprice with which The Rock is managed, but really, the motivation for Frank Morris' escape is built in. No over-the-top soliloquies concerning the beauty of freedom are necessary, and the film quickly gets down to the business of delineating Morris' brilliant plan. Producer/director Don Siegel, screenwriter Richard Tuggle, and cinematographer Bruce Surtees depict the step-by-step sequence of events with pins-and-needles suspense and flatly realistic atmosphere. Afterwards, the film doesn't waste too much time relishing as the warden (Patrick McGoohan) eats crow. Escape From Alcatraz was one of Siegel's final efforts; Tuggle would go on to direct Eastwood and Genevieve Bujold in 1984's dark, kinky cop flick Tightrope.