Review – Escape from Alcatraz


Letter ‘E’ of the Alphabet Challenge – it’s the 1979 drama ‘Escape from Alcatraz’.

Based on the true story of the 1962 actual escape from the island prison in San Francisco bay, the story follows a number of inmates (mainly Frank Morris – played by Clint Eastwood) firstly showing daily life in the prison evolving into their endeavours as they prepare for an escape attempt.

The film was directed by Don Siegel, who overall worked with Eastwood in 5 different films (Dirty Harry being the most famous) with a script by Richard Tuggle based on the book of the escape  (with the same name) by J. Campbell Bruce.

As the other prisoners in the film – Jack Thibeau plays Clarence Anglin, and Fred Ward plays his brother John Anglin. Additionally Larry Hankin plays another key prisoner – Charley Butts – and the warden of the prison is played by Patrick McGoohan (somewhat ironically given his most famous role was The Prisoner).

The film tells the tale of the attempt through its conception by Morris and progression by the various inmates involved. It struggles to build much tension (given the title and the profile of the actual true story) yet offers a decent enough retelling of the tale.



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