Moviedrome Mondays: Escape from Alcatraz (1979) and A Man Escaped (1956)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry is a double bill consisting of two cinematic prison escape classics.

Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

Since I could not find a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Don Siegel’s 1979 prison escape thriller Escape from Alcatraz, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 13, 1993 (read here). Despite not talking much about the film (though I am assuming that he loves it like I do), I really appreciated his in-depth discussion on the cult British television classic The Prisoner (1967-68) – I too am a huge fan of the aforementioned series. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Don Siegel films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

A Man Escaped (1956)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to French filmmaker Robert Bresson’s masterful 1956 POW (prisoner of war) drama A Man Escaped. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 14, 1993 (read here). Not much to add here except that I agree with all of Cox’s sentiments on this undisputed masterpiece of French cinema. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Robert Bresson films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to A Man Escaped

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

16 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: Escape from Alcatraz (1979) and A Man Escaped (1956)

  1. Both good films. I was surprised how much I enjoyed Eastwood’s film at the time. I was also an avid fan of ‘The Prisoner’ when it was shown on TV here. McGoohan should have been chosen to be James Bond, in my opinion.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. My pleasure Peggy πŸ™‚ Even though, I have not seen the recent films you reviewed, I love your write-ups of them πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  3. Robert Bresson is undoubtedly one of (If not) France’s greatest filmmaker and Escape from Alcatraz was the perfect film for both it’s director (Don Siegel) and it’s star (Clint Eastwood) to end their collaboration on. I too agree with everything you said about not only The Prisoner, but about Patrick McGoohan playing James Bond. Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  4. Interesting double feature. I’ve seen Escape from Alcatraz many times. I’d say it is one of the best Eastwood films from that period. It’s currently sitting on my DVR waiting to be watched again. I like the fact Alec Cox felt he’d said more than enough about Clint and Don Siegel previously, thus throwing the spotlight on Patrick McGoohan.
    I haven’t seen A Man Escaped, but I’d like to. I had no idea Bresson didn’t like actors, preferring to populate his films with real people.

  5. Weirdly, got Escape from Alcatraz mixed up for a minute with Papillon. I was like…1979? No, I don’t think it was 1979 in that movie, lol !!
    I haven’t seen either of these, though hubby watched The Prisoner religiously while growing up. πŸ™‚

  6. I too love Escape from Alcatraz and for me, it ranks as my second favorite of director Don Siegel’s five collaborations with lead actor Clint Eastwood. I too loved how Alex Cox noticed the reverse concerning how co-star Patrick McGoohan is no longer The Prisoner (the lead character of the cult British television series), but now the warden.

    I think you will love A Man Escaped and that is an intriguing trademark that director Robert Bresson always (or at least for 99% of his career) employed non-professional actors for his films. Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  7. I saw Papillon and thought it was mediocre. As you could probably guess from the above blog post, I am a huge fan of both director Don Siegel’s Escape from Alcatraz (the fifth and the last of his collaborations with lead actor Clint Eastwood) and director Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped. I bet me, Alex Cox (the host of Moviedrome as you know) and your husband could probably talk hours on end about the British cult television classic The Prisoner πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  8. Yeah, I don’t remember much about Papillon except that Dustin H. was annoying me for some reason.
    And Alex Cox and my husband….yeah, it would be an immediate bromance!
    πŸ™‚
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  9. Prison movies are always powerful. It’s interesting to me how some truly awful people become heroes in these movies. But we are captured by their incredible need and quest for Freedom. Papillon is my all time favorite. At the time of this movie I still wasn’t truly sold on Clint’s Acting skills. Over the years he’s sort of proven me wrong. (Koff!) A pretty good movie.

  10. “Yeah……I mean they weren’t killers or rapists,you could have sort of rooted for them to make it.”

    To The Inner Circle: Gotcha πŸ™‚ And I agree with you completely πŸ™‚

  11. Escape from Alcatraz is a great movie directed by a legendary craftsman – in this case Don Siegel. As for Papillon, it came off as rather uninvolving despite a fine music score by Jerry Goldsmith. The film’s two lead actors (Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman) have been better elsewhere. In fact, I personally feel that Steve McQueen’s finest work as an actor came a year earlier in 1972 in Sam Peckinpah’s excellent Junior Bonner. Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  12. Watched it a few times. Will again. For me, that makes it a Classic. Based on a true story and I’ve read both books as well. I do think there were other actors better suited to the role. That’s all.

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