Escape from New York (1981) Script

The Crime Rate in the United States Rises Four Hundred Percent.

The once-great city of New York becomes the one maximum-security prison for the entire country.

A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline,... across the Harlem river, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline.

It completely surrounds Manhattan Island.

All bridges and waterways are mined.

The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island.

There are no guards inside the prison: only prisoners and the worlds they have made.

The rules are simple. Once you go in, you don't come out.


This is Gotham 4, North Bay, Station 17.

I have an escape in progress.

An object in mid-bay moving toward the wall.


You have 10 seconds. Turn around. Start back to the island.


Gotham 4, confirm the kill.

Circled the base. Over.

Security, this is Rehme. We have confirmation from Gotham 4.

We have a kill in midharbor. South of the battery. Two in the water dead.

Two confirmed.

Very well.

Air traffic, this is Rehme ...


"No talking. No smoking. Follow the ORANGE line."

Attention. You are now entering the debarkation area.

No talking. No smoking.

Follow the orange line to the processes area.

The next scheduled departure to the prison is in two hours.

You now have the option to terminate and be cremated on the premises If you elect this option, notify the duty sergeant in your processing area.

Hold on!


We've got a small jet in trouble, over restricted air space.

Where is it? Seven miles out and closing.

We've been on the board for the last 20 minutes. We haven't been able to reach them.

There was a transmission 10 minutes ago.

He identified as "David 14." Then all of a sudden he was cut off.

David 14, acknowledge.

David 14, we are sending Air Rescue.

Squawk 7700, contact on 121.5.

There's still no reply.

Bayonne. I have a mayday in restricted space.

Who is it? I don't know.

You have the code? There's no David 14 on the computer.

Unlisted? Unregistered code.

We telexed Washington. Still waiting for a reply.

I think I've got him, sir.

It's too late, assholes.

All your imperialist weapons and lies can't save him now.

We're going down. We're going to crash.

David 14, acknowledge!

The code's coming in, sir.

"Aircraft Identified.

Code: David14.

Decode: AIR FORCE ONE."

Tell this to the workers when they ask where your leader went ...

We, the soldiers of the national liberation front of America, in the name of the workers and all the oppressed of this imperialist country have struck a fatal blow to the racist police stick!

What better revolutionary example than to let the president perish in the inhuman dungeon of his own imperialist prison?

Unlock the pod! She's bolted the door.

Can't you shoot off the lock? No, sir, she's pressurized the cabin.

How about lifting the door off of the hinges?

No, sir.

Get me to the pod.

Sir, this is a locating device to trace you if you become separated from the pod.

I'm activating it now.

God save me and watch over you all.

Computer simulation tracking Air Force One.

The plane goes down.

It's the escape pod.

40 degrees, 50 yards from impact.

I'm going in.


1-W-Larry. Over the battery.

We're moving down.

Direct sight ahead.


You touch me... he dies.

If you're not in the air in thirty seconds...he dies.

You come back in... he dies.

Twenty seconds. I'm ready to talk.

19...18...

What do you want? 17...16...

Let's go. Let's go!


Yes, he's right here, Mr. Vice President.

This is Bob Hauk.

We can't. If we move in with choppers, they'll kill him.

We're lucky if he's not dead already...

They don't want anything yet. By the time they figure out what they want,it'll be too late.

Tell him we have to go with your plan now.

We can't wait until tomorrow. If we have to move in and take the island, it's a last resort.

It's 8:45. I want permission to try a rescue.

Thank you.

All right.

He's dangerous sir. I know. I'll be ok.


I'm not a fool, Plissken.

Call me Snake.

S.D. Plissken. American Lieutenant.

Special Forces Unit, Black Flight.

Two Purple Hearts, Leningrad and Siberia.

. Youngest man to be decorated by the President.

You robbed the federal reserve depository.

Life sentence, New York Maximum Security Penitentiary.

I'm ready to kick your ass out of the world, War Hero.

Who are you? Hauk Police Commissioner.

Bob Hauk.

Special Forces Unit. Texas Thunder. We heard of you, too, Plissken.

Why are we talking? I have a deal for you.

You'll receive full pardon for every criminal act committed in the United States.

There was an accident about an hour ago. A small jet went down inside New York City.

The President was on board.

President of what?

That's not funny, Plissken.

You go in, find the President and bring him out in 24 hours, and you're a free man. 24 hours, huh?

I'm making you an offer. Bullshit.

Straight just like I said. I'll think about it.

No time. Give me an answer.

Get a new president.

We're still at war, Plissken. We need him alive.

I don't give a fuck about your war... or your president.

Is that your answer? I'm thinking about it.

Think hard.

Why me?

You flew the Gullfire over Leningrad.

You know how to get in quiet.

You're all I've got.

I guess I go in one way or the other. Doesn't mean shit to me. Give me the paper.

When you come out. Before.

I told you I wasn't a fool, Plissken.

Call me Snake.

Some of them have cars. They took old junkers that were left behind and converted them to steam.

We think they may also have a gasoline source in there, and power.

Greenhouses, rigged up generators. Some areas have streetlights.

The crazies.

Live in the subways. Complete control of the underground.

They're night raiders.

Tracer. Sends a radio signal for fifteen minutes.

You push it, we can track you on radar. Just like Leningrad.

But they added something. A safety catch.

Where am I landing?

Top of the world trade center. Only place you can land.

They won't see it, and you can t take off from a free fall.

On the roof there's a service elevator.

It's still operational. We use it to infiltrate the prison.

There's a power box. It'll activate the elevator down to fifty.

From there on down you walk.

You can locate the President by his vital signs bracelet, on his wrist.

It sends out a sig pulse. Use this.

Homing device. Shows directions and distance.

Strong antitoxin. Stops bacteria and viral-proofs you for 24 hours.

Take off the jacket. I'll be OK.

Let's go, Plissken.

I don't like needles.

22 hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds...

We talked about twenty-four.

In 22 hours the Hartford Summit meeting will be over.

China and the Soviet Union will go back home.

The president was on his way to the summit when his plane went down.

He has a briefcase attached to his wrist.

The tape recording inside has to reach Hartford in 22 hours.

What's on it?

You know anything about nuclear fusion?

All right.

It's about the survival of the human race, Plissken.

Something you don't give a shit about.

I'm going to inject you. It'll sting for a second or two...

That's it, Plissken.

Tell him.

Tell me what?

That idea you had about turning the Gullfire around 180 degrees and flying off to Canada.

What did you do to me, asshole?

My idea, Plissken.

Something we've been fooling around with. Two microscopic capsules lodged in your arteries.

They're already starting to dissolve.

In twenty-two hours, the cores will completely dissolve.

Inside the cores are that heat-sensitive charge.

Not a large explosive.

About the size of a pinhead. big enough to -- open up both your arteries.

I'd say you'd be dead in 10 or 15 seconds --

TAKE THEM OUT NOW. They're protected by the cores. minutes before the last hour is up we can neutralize the charge with X-rays.

We'll burn out the charges IF you have the President.

What if I'm a little late?

No more Hartford Summit. And no more Snake Plissken.

When I get back I'm going to kill you.

The Gullfire's waiting.


I'm ready.

21 hours.

Suppose he's dead, Hauk.

If I come back without him, you'll burn these things out?

Get them both back, Plissken.

Remember, once inside you're on your own Oh, you mean I can't count on you? No.

Good.

"Master Life Clock"

20:17:43... 42... 41....

30 seconds.

Are you picking up the target blip?

Right on course.


It's been a while ...

How's your altitude?

Plissken?

Plissken? Plissken, what are you doing?

Playing with myself. I'm going in.


Plissken? Plissken?


I'm inside the World Trade Center on the 50th floor.

Just like Leningrad, Hauk. Is the glider intact?

Yeah, but taking off is for shit. I'll work it out.

You'll have to use the east stairwell. It'll take you a little while to get to ground level.

Call me when you get outside.


I'm at the plane.

Nobody else made it, Hauk.

Wait a minute.

I've got his pulse.

Right up ahead, moving northwest.


Hey! You're Snake Plissken, ain't you?

What do you want? Nothin'.

I thought you were dead!

Hey! You don't want to walk around down there, Snake!


Hi, Chief. Nice night.

Nice boots. Niiiiice boots. Hey.

Easy now, chief.

I'm walking. I'm walking.


Mr. President ...

I'm the President? Sure, I'm the President.

If I knew where I got this thing -- I'd be the President.

Where did you get it? I woke up, and there it was, just like a miracle ...

The President's life signs all fail.

Oh my god ...

It ... It may be just an impact on the mechanism itself ...

Hauk?

I'm right here, Plissken.

I don't know who you assholes are looking at, but it's NOT the President.

Hail to the chief... La la la la la la...

All right, get your machine ready. I'm coming out.

18 hours, Plissken.

Listen to me, Hauk. The President is DEAD, you got that? Somebody's had him for dinner!

Plissken, if you get back in that glider I'll shoot you down.

You climb out, I'll burn you off the wall.

You understand that, Plissken?

A little human compassion ...


You a cop? No.

You've got a gun.

You got a smoke?

Keep your hand over it.

It's all right if we're quiet. They won't hear us.

Hey, this is a real one. You just get in?

What's going on out there?

Crazies.

It's the end of the month. They're out of food.

Do you live here?

Skulls? You kidding? I'm with the Turks now.

I just got caught in the street after dark and now I'm stuck here all night.

A plane crashed seven hours ago. Did you see it? No.

Shit.

You're a cop. I'm an asshole.

Hey, wait a minute.

I know who you are.

Yeah! But I heard you were dead.

I am.

Wow, Snake Plissken. All right! What you doing in here with a gun, Snake?

Looking for somebody.

Who? The President.

Come on! He really here?

Somewhere.

When you find him, are you gonna take him out?

Take me out with you, Snake.

Why?

I can think of lots of reasons why ...


Where you goin', buddy?

Bad neighborhood! You don't want to be walking from the Bowery to 42nd street at night!

I've been driving a cab here for 30 years and you don't walk around here at night!

Yes, sir!

They'll kill you and strip you in ten seconds flat.

Usually I'm not down around here myself, but I wanted to catch that show.

This stuff is like gold around here, you know.

Hey, Snake, when'd you get in? I didn't even know they caught you.

Ohhh, Snake Plissken in my cab.

Wait'll I tell Eddie!

Hey, hang on, Snake.

Hey, what were you doing back there, Snake? Looking for somebody.

Well, why didn't you ask me? Hell, I know everybody in this town.

I've been driving this cab for thirty years, this very same cab.

I'm GONNA ask you.

Now where's the President?

The Duke's got him! Everyone knows the Duke's got him!

You don't have to put a gun to my head. I'll tell you!

Who's the Duke? The DUKE!

The Duke of New York! A-Number-1! The big man, that's who!

I want to meet this Duke.

You can't meet the Duke, are you crazy? Nobody wants to meet the Duke!

You meet him once and then you're dead!


I hate to leave her on the street.

Usually I don't leave her alone at all.

But you're a special case, Snake.


It's OK, Snake. It's a better neighborhood. You can relax.

Thanks.

Boy, they got a great place here. Like a fortress!

They?

Who is it? It's me!

Who's me? Cabbie!

What do you want?

Somebody wants to see Brain, it's important --

No way, Cabbie -- No, it's Snake! Snake Plissken!

Snake Plissken.

YOU'RE Plissken?

He wants to see Brain.

Why?

I want to meet the Duke.

Hey, what do you think of this place, Snake? It used to be a public library.

Oh, that Brain, he's the greatest!

Mr. Fabulous!

Duke loves him.

Who is that? That's Maggie. Brain's squeeze.

Duke gave him to Brain just to keep him happy ...

...see what I mean?

Heard you were dead.

Brain? Brain! I brought somebody to see you!

Harold Hellman.

Snake?

Harold?

Where you been, Harold? It's been a long time.

You never told me you knew Snake Plissken, Brain.

Isn't that great? Hey, Brain, I could use some gas if you can spare some ...

I'm glad you remember me.

Yeah. A man should remember his past.

Kansas City, four years ago. You ran out on me.

You left me sitting there. You were late.

We were buddies, Harold.

You, me, and Fresno Bob. You know what they did to Bob?

You want to see him sprayed all over that map, baby? Where's the President?!

Swear to god, Snake, I don't know -- Don't fuck with me!

Why do you want to know? I want him.

Working for the man now, huh? Then I'll just beat it out of your squeeze --

Mm-hm. Maggie doesn't know EXACTLY where he is and unless you know EXACTLY PRECISELY w here he is you'll never find him.

Listen, I'll take you out of here.

Yeah. Jet glider just a couple of blocks down the street.

And all you gotta do is get me to him.

No kidding? On the level?

Will you take me, too?

We've got to deal somewhere else. No glider.

We've got the President. And the Duke's taking everybody out of here.

Never happen.

See, I know something you and the Duke don't know.

. We've only got so long before Mr. President don't mean a whole lot.

You're lying. Maybe he's not ...

I know him! Look at his face, he's lying!

Right, Harold. I'm lying.

So I might as well have some fun and keep looking by myself.

Brain, he'll kill us both if you don't tell him -- Brain, you've got to tell him --

ALL RIGHT!!!

You always were smart, Harold.

Just one thing right now.

Don't call me "Harold."

So you work for this Duke, huh?

Yeah.

Make gas for him. Figure out things for him.

Like what?

Like how to get across the 69th street bridge -- it's mined, but I know where they're planted.

We got a diagram from a guy that got all the way across ...

... before they shot the poor bastard.

We got a crew up there now clearing the way across the first barricade.

What a sight, Snake!

The whole camp rolling right across the bridge and the President right out front!

Oh, that would have been so fine ...

Yeah, it would have been ...

Yeah, but we're going with Snake now.

That's the Duke! I know the sound of his engines.

Don't cross the Duke

-- everybody knows that.

-- everybody knows that.

No, Brain!


He's looking for you, Brain What does he want?

He wants my diagram of the bridge.

When he finds out I'm with you he's going to want my life! I knew I shouldn't have listened to you --

We've got to get to the President NOW, while he's busy.

Forget it, he's on the other side of town and we got no wheels. The deal is off --

Just calm down.


I think they saw us! Turn left, turn left here!

Brain. This is Broadway.

I know, I know, the Duke'll take Seventh Avenue, Broadway is 5 minutes. - No!

Yes!!! Just keep driving!

What's wrong with Broadway?

Come on sweetheart...

Maggie!


Hold on.


He'll be in the third car from the end, by the last campfire.

It's all right. He's got to go in the front way. It'll take him 5 minutes.

If you're not back to the car in four minutes you're on your own.

When we get there, Harold, you just keep talking.


Hi, guys.

Hi ... how's it going? Cooled off a little, huh?

What do you want, Brain?

Duke told us to wait inside. He's on his way here now.

He didn't say nothing to us about it.

Well, you can't expect him to tell everybody in the joint, now can you? That's why he's the Duke.

Why don't we wait outside here for him?

Why don't we wait inside for him?

'Cause I got orders, that's why.

What are your specific orders, by the way?

Specific orders, Brain, was for me not to let no one go inside.

How's the President holding up, by the way?

Any political discussion you've had with him?

That Brain is a real pain in the ass.

He's always sniffing around like a dog.

He comes up with the gas.

What are you looking at?

Are you from the outside?

Stop shaking. I can't! Who are you?

Hauk sent me. We've got to move fast Move fast?

You're goddamned right I'll move fast. Quiet!


They got him. Now watch him.

Friend of yours, Brain?

He had a gun on me, Duke, there was nothing I could do.


Who are you?

I said who are you?

Snake Plissken, Duke. he Man sent him in here.

Something's going down ... we need him.

Snaaaaaake Plissken.

I've heard of you.

I heard you were dead.


This is surveillance 4 to security control.

Nothing on the infrared body scan.

There aren't any fires on the street.

Nobody moving down here.

Surveillance 5 ... security control ... negative on infrared body scan ... no movement in the searchlight ... nothing strange going on down there.

We've got to go in now. We hold.

You're countermanding my orders, Hauk. This is my prison, I'll give the orders.

I override all that!

Just try.

...still negative on the scan.

This is Surveillance 4 to Security Control.

Nothing on the infrared body scan. Negative on the sweep.

Surveillance 10. Still negative on the scan.

Surveillance 5 still negative.

This is Surveillance 4 to Security Control. Nothing on the infrared body scan. Negative...


Don't move, Snake.

I want that diagram, Brain.

Oh. It's at my place, Duke.

Duke, that Plissken said something about a time limit.

What time limit On him.

That's a lot of crap.

What did I teach you?

You... You are... the Duke of New... New York...

You're... A-Number-One.

I can't hear you.

YOU ARE... THE DUKE OF NEW YORK... YOU'RE A-NUMBER-ONE!

Get me the diagram.

Duke... Don't kill Plissken. We need him.

Get moving, Brain.


People out below in the park. Can you see them?

Surveillance 2 to Security Control.

We're getting that readout, mostly in the infrared.

We have a visual sighting on it.

It's a crowd of prisoners in Central Park.

They're waving at us. Signaling us in the food drop area.

They're waving us down.


I still can't figure out whether that son of a bitch Plissken was telling the truth or not.

God, I hate that guy.

He got in somehow.

Yeah, yeah, but how?

You gotta land the glider and take off. You can't do it in Central Park, there's too many trees.

Port Authority's too low to the ground.

Unless it was some...... Someplace high up.

World Trade Center. That's it.

There we go. The World Trade Center.

And it's gonna be a hell of a lot easier for me to take off than it was for him to land.

"Amnesty for all prisoners in New York City in exchange for President.

69th Street Bridge tomorrow, 12 Noon.

No bullshit or he's dead."

Where's the tape? Not here.

They're Plissken's.

So much for your man, Hauk?

Warm up the choppers. We're moving in.

Plissken?

Come on, get up!


They sent in their best man.

And when we roll down the 69th street bridge tomorrow on our way to freedom,... we're gonna have their best man leading the way. From the neck up.

On the hood of my car!

On the hood of my car!


Hello. Where'd you get the hat?

Got it from Cabbie. Yeah?

Traded him. For what?

What are you so nervous about? I'm here to see the President.

Who says? The Duke.

No he doesn't. Well... I'll have to tell him you said that.

Wait a minute. Why?

He's got something hidden in his clothing. The Duke wants it.

What? I'll show you.

You'll tell me. Cyanide capsules.

The Duke don't want a dead president.

Gentlemen.

Mr. President.

Cyanide?

Yeah. He might try to take it tomorrow.

That's bullshit.

You're not supposed to be in here, Brain --


Snake! Snake!

"Tracer Status: ACTIVATED."

Tracer activated at one hour, thirty-five minutes, twenty-seven seconds.

Hauk!


LISTEN!!! LISTEN!!! LISTEN!!!

THE PRESIDENT'S GONE!

BRAIN TOOK HIM!

Hauk! Plissken's tracer!

Get on the radio! Keep them down! Nobody move!

He's approaching the World Trade Center.

I knew that son of a bitch was alive.

He's inside.


It's gone.

The signal only lasts for 15 minutes.

Download the choppers. We're in a standby situation.

Anybody could have pushed that button.

Only Plissken knew there was a safety catch.

Now we'll give him a little more time, just to make sure.

Goddamned redskins!

They're savages, Mr. President!

Listen, I swear to god, I thought you were dead -- Yeah, you and everybody else.

That's your car in the lobby? The keys! Quick! Quick!

Diagram of the bridge! Hey, hey, hey --

I'm the only one who knows how to read that -- Stay out of my way, Harold Besides, you can't read and drive at the same time. You need us!

You shouldn't have double-crossed me again, Brain. Come on, let's go --

They sawed it off... The tape? - Gone... I don't know where...

I do.

Swear to god, Snake, I know where it is. Just take us to the car and I'll take you right to it.


Don't talk.

Breathe.

Come on, come on, we're wasting time!

What's wrong? Dead, Harold. What?!

Here, take these.

Car trouble?

Hi, Duke.

This whole deal of yours is over, Snake.

You and Brain just say good-bye to each other.


GO, GO!

They're behind us --

They come in groups of threes! Where's the tape, Brain?

The tape from the briefcase! Oh, that tape! Here it is!

You traded away your hat for it! How'd you know?

See, see!

Here, give me that tape! Not just yet.


Easy... easy! Go for it, Snake!


You've got to slow down a little, Snake...

I think there are three mines ahead, Snake. You think?!

Stay left, stay left, stay left, and then jog right when I tell you.

You're pushing her too hard, Snake.

OK, OK, NOW!


I said JOG RIGHT!... you asshole.

Stay to the right, stay to the right, now jog left.

Hold it, left...left...

LEFT, DAMMIT!


Keep moving...

Maggie... he's dead.

Come on.


Station 19! They spotted two cars on the 69th street bridge.

Station 19! They spotted two cars on the 69th street bridge. - Taxicab and a Cadillac.

Taxi hit a mine. There's four people on foot.

Fourteen minutes... Get a jeep with a winch over there fast.

Strombaerden! Get over to Station 19. They're coming across the bridge.

This is Rehme, Security Control.

We are in a standby situation. Repeat. We are in a standby situation.

All helicopters, down. Wall guard, do not fire on prisoners.

Repeat, do not fire on prisoners.

All vehicles, stand by.

Repeat, all vehicles, stand by.


Yeah, hey, Number One!

You're the Duke!

You're the Duke!

You're... the Duke... You're A-Number-One.


The tape, Plissken.

That's it.


I radioed ahead, Mr. President. They know the situation.

They're waiting for your broadcast.

Yeah. Oh, it's all right.

I, uh... I want to thank you.

Anything you want... you just name it.

Just a moment of your time.

Three minutes, sir.

Yes?

We did get you out.

A lot of people died in the process. I just wondered how you felt about it.

Well, I...

I want to thank them.

This nation appreciates their sacrifice.

Look, uh, I'm on the air in... Two and a half minutes?

Yes, sir.


You going to kill me now, Snake?

I'm too tired.

Maybe later.

I've got another deal for you.

I've got another deal for you while you're resting.

I want to give you a job.

We'd make one hell of a team, Snake.

The name's Plissken.

You're on camera, Mr. President.

Good evening.

Although I shall not be present at this historic summit meeting...

I present this... in the hope... that our great nations ... may learn to live in peace.