Escape from New York is a 1981 American science fiction action film directed and scored by John Carpenter. He co-wrote the screenplay with Nick Castle. The film is set in the near future 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 24 hours to find the President of the United States, who has been captured after the crash of Air Force One. Attendance is free.