Trivia / Escape from New York

  • Actor Allusion: It's been joked/speculated that since Kurt Russell was appearing in a movie with Lee Van Cleef, he decided to imitate Clint Eastwood.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Snake Plissken's eyepatch was suggested by Kurt Russell.
  • All-Star Cast: The movie features five of the most famous and recognizable character actors of all time: Lee Van Cleef, Donald Pleasance, Ernest Borgnine, Harry Dean Stanton, and Isaac Hayes. And all play the exact type of character we associate them with.
  • Colbert Bump: The amount of people who discovered this movie due to being Referenced by... the Metal Gear franchise probably rivals the amount who saw it in theatres.
  • Deleted Scene: The film was intended to open with a bank robbery detailing how Snake got captured.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In some of the shots during the fight scene, Snake's expressions of terror are real. Ox Baker, having never done a film before, got a little too into his role, and poor Kurt Russell really did end up fearing for his life.
  • Fake American: Brit Donald Pleasence plays the President of the USA.
  • Illinois and Missouri Doubling: Filmed in East St. Louis and St. Louis to keep the budget low. Entire areas were in such a state of neglect - urban fires had severely damaged them only a few years earlier - to the point where sets didn't even have to be built. Four years later, the scene of the Batter Up Blood Sport (see above) was renovated into a hoity-toity shopping area — visual Mood Dissonance.
  • Playing Against Type: Before Escape from New York and The Thing (1982), Kurt Russell was best known for doing Disney comedies and other lightweight fare. The studio was surprised when Carpenter picked him, instead of someone like Charles Bronson or Tommy Lee Jones.
    • Russell did play real-life psychopathic mass murderer (not serial killer) Charles Whitman 6 years before "Escape from New York". To this day, out of all characters played by Russell, Whitman remains the most evil one.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • The girl in the Chock Full O' Nuts is played by Kurt Russell's then-wife, Season Hubley.
    • Adrienne Barbeau was married to John Carpenter at the time.
  • Throw It In: The idea of putting a wig on at one point in the film was improvised by Donald Pleasence on the set.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • As stated above the studio was not initially keen to hire Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken due to his past work as a Disney kid and tried to counter-pitch director John Carpenter on either Tommy Lee Jones or Charles Bronson (an idea Carpenter shot down on the grounds that Bronson was too old). Other candidates for the role of Snake included Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris, Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges and Kris Kristofferson; Nolte and Bridges declined because they just weren't interested and the latter was declined by the studio due to the failure of Heaven's Gate. But Carpenter fought for Russell and he eventually won.
    • John Carpenter had originally considered a scene where Hauk reveals that the explosive charges in Snake's neck were a hoax intended to coerce Snake into rescuing the President, but decided not to use it. Carpenter did, however, use said plot device in the sequel Escape from L.A..

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