Escape from New York is a 1981 American dystopian action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter. The film is set in a then near-future 1997 in a crime-ridden United States that has converted Manhattan Island in New York City into a maximum security prison. Ex-soldier Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is given 22 hours to find the President of the United States (Donald Pleasence), who has been captured by prisoners after the crash of Air Force One.
Carpenter wrote the film in the mid-1970s as a reaction to the Watergate scandal. After the success of Halloween, he had enough influence to begin production and filmed it mainly in St. Louis, Missouri on an estimated budget of $6 million. Debra Hill and Larry J. Franco served as the producers. The film was co-written by Nick Castle, who already collaborated with Carpenter previously by portraying Michael Myers in Halloween.
Escape from New York was released in the United States on July 10, 1981. The film was a commercial success, grossing $25,244,700 at the box office. It won four Saturn Awards, including Best Science Fiction Film and Best Direction. The film was followed by a sequel, Escape from L.A.