Thursday, August 31, 2017

Movie Review: "Escape from Alcatraz" (1979)

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Movie"Escape from Alcatraz"
Director: Don Siegel
Year: 1979
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes

Frank Morris masterminds an elaborate plan with the help of a few other inmates to escape one of the most secure prisons in the United States: Alcatraz.  

Clint Eastwood stars as Frank Morris in "Escape from Alcatraz," a prison break drama inspired by true events. Frank was a bank robber who gets transferred to Alcatraz, a maximum-security prison, after escaping from many other prisons throughout the country. The Warden, played by Patrick McGoohan, lets Frank know right off the bat nobody has ever escaped from Alcatraz and reminds him nobody ever will. Of course, this sounds like a challenge to Frank, at least from our perspective. The Warden, who remains nameless probably for legal reasons, is a huge bully and gets a kick out of mistreating prisoners.

We find out right away that Alcatraz is not a good place to be and is very dangerous regardless of if the danger comes from other inmates or from the guards breaking prisoners down mentally. Of course, all of this is necessary in order to get the audience to cheer for the escape of a bank robber and his friends. It's a good thing the characters and the real-life people they are based on were not violent criminals because this movie would be a completely different film otherwise. It'd be hard to root for the escape of a bunch of violent offenders. Clint Eastwood plays his standard gruff, charming tough guy part. As always, he does an excellent job in this movie. In fact, most the acting is solid all the way around. Patrick McGoohan really sells the "bad cop" act as The Warden. The audience grows to despise him as a character the more he breaks down the will of the prisoners.

Everything in "Escape from Alcatraz" builds to its ultimate payoff. It is a slow and low burn leading up to this climactic breakout scene. The audience feels the tension and excitement as these guys attempt to escape from Alcatraz. It provides for a really stellar finale. Director Don Siegel makes these final moments tense, compelling, and

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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