ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ (1979) C widescreen 112m dir: Don Siegel
w/Clint Eastwood, Patrick MacGoohan, Roberts Blossom, Jack Thibeau, Fred Ward, Paul Benjamin, Larry Hankin, Bruce M. Fischer, Frank Ronzio, Fred Stuthman
Eastwood's fifth film with director Siegel, his mentor as a director, is a tension-filled drama based on fact. It's the story of Frank Norris (Eastwood), a prisoner who attempted to escape from the escape-proof Rock with two other inmates in 1962. (The incident, in fact, caused the closure of the prison.)
From Variety's review of the film: "Considering that the escape itself from rock-bound Alcatraz prison consumes only the film's final half hour, screenwriter Richard Tuggle [adapting the book by J. Campbell Bruce] and director Don Siegel provide a model of super-efficient filmmaking. From the moment Clint Eastwood walks onto The Rock to the final title card explaining the three escapees were never heard from again, Escape from Alcatraz is relentless in establishing a mood and pace of unrelieved tension. Pic's only fault may be an ambiguous ending, tied, of course, to the historical reality of the 1962 escape, only successful one in Alcatraz's 29-year history as America's most repressive penal institution.
"Key counterpoint to Eastwood's character comes from Patrick MacGoohan as the megalomaniacal warden."