Considering that the escape itself from rock-bound Alcatraz prison consumes only the film's final half-hour, screenwriter Richard Tuggle [adapting the book by J. Campbell Bruce] and director Don Siegel provide a model of super-efficient filmmaking. From the moment Clint Eastwood walks onto The Rock, until the final title card explaining the three escapees were never heard from again, Escape from Alcatraz is relentless in establishing a mood and pace of unrelieved tension.

Considering that the escape itself from rock-bound Alcatraz prison consumes only the film’s final half-hour, screenwriter Richard Tuggle [adapting the book by J. Campbell Bruce] and director Don Siegel provide a model of super-efficient filmmaking. From the moment Clint Eastwood walks onto The Rock, until the final title card explaining the three escapees were never heard from again, Escape from Alcatraz is relentless in establishing a mood and pace of unrelieved tension.

Pic’s only fault may be an ambiguous ending, tied, of course, to the historical reality of the 1962 escape, only successful one in Alcatraz’ 29-year history as America’s most repressive penal institution.

Key counterpoint to Eastwood’s character comes from Patrick McGoohan as the megalomaniacal warden.

Escape from Alcatraz

Production

Paramount/Malpaso. Director Don Siegel; Producer Don Siegel; Screenplay Richard Tuggle; Camera Bruce Surtees; Editor Ferris Webster; Music Jerry Fielding; Art Director Allen Smith

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 112 MIN.

With

Clint Eastwood Patrick McGoohan Fred Ward Roberts Blossom Bruce M. Fischer Paul Benjamin
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