Escape From New York/Fun Facts
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
- The studio wanted Tommy Lee Jones for the role of Snake Plissken. They didn't think Kurt Russell was right for the role because of his prior work.
- The wire-frame computer graphics on the display screens in the glider were not actually computer graphics. (Computers capable of 3D wire-frame imaging were way too expensive when this was made.) To generate the "wire-frame" images, they built a model of the city, painted it black, attached bright white tape to the model buildings in an orderly grid, and moved a camera through the model city!
- A scene in the beginning of the film where Snake and another criminal are robbing a high-security bank, which leads to his arrest and sentence to New York, was in the original script but was cut from the film before release.
- The name "Snake Plissken" was changed to "Hyena" for the Italian release.
- The name Snake Plissken was changed to "Cobra" Plissken in the Korean video version.
- Director Trademark: [John Carpenter] [names] Cronenberg, Romero, Taylor (Don).
- The 'city at night' scenes were filmed in St. Louis after a recent devastating fire.
- The only scene actually filmed in New York was the opening dolly shot, which follows a character pass the Statue of Liberty.
- The shot where the helicopter glides over Central Park were actually filmed in San Fernando. The buildings in the background were matte-paintings by future director James Cameron.
- The fight scene in the wrestling ring was filmed in the grand hall of St. Louis' Union Station. This was filmed a few years before renovation when the building was abandoned. While the hall was extremely dilapidated, one can make out the stained glass window representing New York, St. Louis, and San Francisco in the background. This window is still above the front entry into the grand hall from Market Street.
- The original negative was considered lost, but later found by the current owner of the film: MGM. It was subsequently used to create new elements for the special edition DVD.
- Donald Pleasence came up with a backstory to explain how he became President with his British accent but Carpenter didn't use it.
- Ox Baker during the fight sequence really laid into Kurt Russell with some of his blows. Russell finally had enough and walked over to Baker and asked him to take it easy and gently tapped him in the groin to let him know he was serious. Baker calmed down then.
- Bill Bartell was the pilot in the glider sequence at the start of the movie. He sold the glider to the production company, and then flew it. The glider used had the designation N2927B and was a Romanian made IS28-B2.
- The skeletal weapons being carried by the police guards in the beginning of the movie are M16A1 rifles with the ventilated hand-guards and gas tubes removed. Though the rifles can fire without the handguards, they are unable to fire with the gas tube removed (at least in real life) Actually, the M16 can fire single shots, cocking manually, even with the gas tube removed, but would not work in semi-auto, full auto or burst (M16A2) mode.
- Joe Unger is listed in the end credits as playing the character of Taylor. In the film as it is, his character is not in it. His scenes, (the bank robbery/escape prologue) were deleted but his name remains at the end.
- Kurt Russell's then wife Season Hubley who played the girl in the Chock Full O' Nuts had just given birth to their son Boston prior to doing this film. It was her first role after Boston's birth.
- Isaac Hayes's '77 Cadillac Fleetwood sedan with the fender-mounted chandeliers is the first art car in a feature film.
- The running gag used in the film about everybody thinking Snake Plissken was dead was also used in the western, Big Jake (1971).
- "Everyone's Coming To New York" is the song sung by the men in drag at the stage show scene where Snake first meets Cabbie. The lyrics are as follows: Shoot a cop With a gun The Big Apple is plenty of fun Stab a priest With a fork And you'll spend your vacation in New York Rob a bank Take a truck You can get here by stealing a buck This is bliss It's a lark Honey, everyone's coming to New York! No more Yankees Strike the word from your ears Play the roulette There's no more opera at the Met This is hell This is fate But now this is your home and it's great So rejoice Pop a cork Honey, everyone's coming to New York!
- John Carpenter had a friend who knew a guy in Cleveland named Snake Plissken that everyone thought was dead. This is where Carpenter got the name from and explains why everyone in the movie heard Snake was dead.
- The final credit is a reference to a strip club and the dancers across the river from St Louis.
- The studio also wanted Charles Bronson for the role of Snake Plissken but John Carpenter refused on the grounds that he was too old.
- The main character of the Metal Gear series, Solid Snake, is inspired by Snake Plissken. In the game Metal Gear Solid 2 and MGS2:Substance Solid Snake lies about his name when speaking to Raiden, calling himself "Iroquois Pliskin". Hideo Kojima himself has volunteered the information that Escape From New York is one of his favourite films, and that Solid Snake is based on Plissken.
- The opening narration is provided by an uncredited Jamie Lee Curtis.
- The original German one-sheet poster prominently misspells Snake's last name as "Plessken".