escape from alcatraz
“DON SIEGEL’S “Escape From Alcatraz” is not a great film or an especially memorable one, but there is more evident skill and knowledge of movie making in any one frame of it than there are in most other American films around at the moment. It’s the kind of movie that could be more profitably studied in film courses than all of the works of Bergman and Fellini combined. That’s not to say that Mr. Siegel (“Dirty Harry,” “The Beguilded,” “Riot in Cell Block 11,” etc.) outweighs those masters but that film students have a way of leaping into the art while still ignorant of the craft. Craft is something that a Siegel film demonstrates without half trying.”

Vincent Canby, the great critic of the New York times, wrote the above words back in 1979 when Escape From Alcatraz opened. I saw this Clint Eastwood film way back when and hadn’t seen it since until this new Blu-ray version came out. Canby is right: Don Siegel, one of my favorite directors, demonstrates facile film-making in this thriller. The suspense is slowly ratcheted up. Eastwood underplays his character to perfection. If you haven’t seen Esacape From Alcatraz, you’re missing a well-made thriller. GRADE: A

13 thoughts on “ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ [Blu-ray]

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    That’s actually a pretty on-target review. I like Don Siegel’s movies too and this one was pure Clint.

  2. Patti Abbott

    I remember seeing this at the theater and liking it more than I expected. Was never much of an Eastwood as actor fan. But this one worked for me. No longer have a DVD player so I am at the mercy of streaming it.

  3. maggie

    This is one of those I think I’ve seen, but just not sure. I’ll put in my netflix queue, which is over 400. I’m still on the disc option with netflix. Have rated 2796. If I can’t remember enough about a movie I know I’ve seen to rate it, I don’t do a rating. I just wish there was a way to mark ones that I’ll never in the world see so they don’t keep popping up everytime.

    I also wish they’d do the How often do you watch bit better. some of the options i got recently were ninotchka as reality tv, ruling class and pict. of dorian grey as italian language films, the fighting sullivans as hard rock and heavy metal , calvary as reggae, remington steele as ice hockey and my fav. brunette as science and nature docs.

  4. Cap'n Bob

    Why is everyone above’s comments in italics?! Will mine be?! If this movie is the one with Tyne Daly, I’ve seen it!

  5. Cap'n Bob

    That should be “Why are everyone’s above comments…” and I know it! And yes, mine are also italicized!

  6. Sergio (Tipping My Fedora)

    I remember this perceived as a bit of a let down when it originally came out (like Redford’s own prison movie, BRUBAKER at around the same time) – I dare sqay the ambiguous ending didn’t help but all the Eastwood / Siegel collaboration are worthwhile and Patrick McGhoohan is terrific too.


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