Hey all you warriors of the waste land its AUGUST OF THE APOCALYPES BITCHES and Happys got a great flick for you tonight, Escape From New York is set in the near future (well... 1997 if you saw this in 1981), In a crime-ridden United States that has turned Manhattan Island in New York City into a Maximum Security Prison, Former Soldier and Legendary Fugitive 'Snake' Plissken (Kurt Russell) is given just 24 hours to find the President of the United States (Donald Pleasance)who has been captured by the inmates after 'Air Force One' crashes on the Island.
Escape from NY is one of the best films of all time, which has been often imitated but never bettered or even equalled, The cast is top notch with stars such as Lee Van Cleef, Donald Pleasence, Issac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton & Ernest Borgnine, and it is by far Russell's best film (I know Axe Master will argue that last comment, LOL) and he fits the role of 'Snake' with ease, a role he wasn't first or even second choice to play, The studio at the time preferred Charles Bronson or Tommy Lee Jones as at the time Russell was deemed too lightweight after numerous forgettable Disney Flicks, thankfully though Carpenter refused and Russell was cast.
'Escape' was a huge hit, it opened in 1981 to positive reviews and made $25.2M on it's original release and $50M Worldwide on a budget of only $6M.
This among various other modern classics such as 'Assault On Precinct 13 (1976), Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980) and The Thing (1982) solidified Carpenter's reputation as one of the best Filmmakers of all time, it's sad that in the years since he's become synonymous with trash, inferior sequels & remakes, including an unnecessary sequel to this 15 years later in 'Escape from L.A' (1996) because at the time Carpenter was having a tough time after numerous flops, and sadly, L.A. was no different, it was panned on it's original release for being inferior and it tanked taking only half it's budget.
I'm sad to report that a Remake of New York is on it's way in the foreseeable future, which was to star bland actor Gerard Butler before he dropped out, my advice...DON'T BOTHER, think of new ideas John - stop tarnishing your Originals with trashy PG-13 sequels!