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Escape from New York
Directed by John Carpenter • 1981 • United States
Starring Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Isaac Hayes
It’s the year 1997 and the dystopian hellscape of Manhattan has been turned into a maximum security prison. When the U.S. president’s plane is hijacked and crash lands on the island, it’s up to hard-bitten ex-solider Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell sporting an iconic eyepatch) to rescue him . . . or else. Featuring a synth score and a dynamite supporting cast—including Harry Dean Stanton, Lee Van Cleef, Adrienne Barbeau, Isaac Hayes, and Ernest Borgnine—John Carpenter’s apocalyptic sci-fi spectacle crackles with exhilarating action set-pieces and subversive social commentary.