Kurt Russell - Escape from New York

In the future, crime is out of control and New York City is a maximum security prison. Grabbing a bargaining chip right out of the air, convicts bring down the President's plane in bad old Gotham. Gruff Snake Plissken, a one-eyed warrior new to prison life, is coerced into bringing the President, and his cargo, out of this land of undesirables. Kurt Russell put his Disney days behind him as the nicest bad guy in the picture. 

All comic-book sensibilities and macho posturing, this is one of writer-director John Carpenter's better brainless escapes. There are snappy one-liners and explosive action scenes. However, the film lacks tension and some believability even within the realm of SF fantasy. Even when it fails to gel, though, it always manages to amuse, thanks in great part to a varied and unusual supporting cast (watch for Ernest Borgnine as a cabdriver). Followed in 1996 by Carpenter's overdone and campy Escape from L.A.

Kurt Russell landed a part in the Elvis movie, "It Happened at the World's Fair", when he was 10 years old. In 1960, Walt Disney himself signed Russell to a 10 year contract. Once his stint as a child actor ended, Russell spent the early 1970's playing minor league baseball. In 1979, he gave a classic performance as Elvis Presley in John Carpenter's ABC-TV movie. He followed with roles in a string of well-received films: "Used Cars", "Escape from New York", "The Thing" and "Silkwood". In 1983 he met Goldie Hawn when they worked together on "Swing Shift". The two have lived together ever since. The movie was a failure - as was their next one together, "Overboard".

During the 1980's, Russell starred in a rash of disappointments: "The Best of Times", "Big Trouble in Little China" and "Winter People". Finally, his career seemed to be seriously stalled. He only landed "Tango and Cash" after Patrick Swayze dropped out; Dennis Quaid was the first choice for the part in "Backdraft". In the end, these two roles were key in re-establishing him as a box-office draw.

Interesting fact about Kurt Russell: 

  • Salary for the movie Soldier was $12 million.