The Escape Artist 1982
PG | 1h 34min | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 28 May 1982 (USA)
The young and self-confident Danny blufs at the local police-station that he will escape out of prison within one hour. What follows is a flashback about his childhood with his uncle and aunt, which are ‘vaudeville’-artists themselves. We also follow the problems of Danny with the corrupt son of the mayor.
There are some very good performances by Griffin O’Neal (his debut) as Danny and Desi Arnez Sr (Lucille Ball’s husband) as the crooked Mayor…but the best performances are Raul Julia as Stu, the slightly(!) unhinged son of the Mayor and Joan Hackett as Danny’s Aunt Sibyl.
Funny and understated performances by John P Ryan as Stu’s sidekick Vernon and Teri Garr as Stu’s dotty girlfriend Arlene (pure eye-candy) are also worth mentioning.
There’s even a couple of the original ‘Dead-End Kids’ in the mix, Huntz Hall and Gabriel Dell, plus the original Uncle Fester and silent screen kid actor, Jackie Coogan. I’ve just realised all the names I’ve mentioned bar O’Neal and Garr are all gone now. Sad.
M.Emmet Walsh throws in a greasy, smirking performance as the Chief Jailer with corruption oozing from every pore. Walsh never disappoints, even in a cameo role.
The ending just about pulls it all together but not quite, though it doesn’t disappoint. Once again though…beautiful music
Director: Caleb Deschanel
Writers: David Wagoner (based on the novel by), Melissa Mathison (screenplay)
Stars: Raul Julia, Griffin O’Neal, Desi Arnaz
Release Date: 28 May 1982 (USA)
Also Known As: 60 minuti per Danny Masters
Filming Locations: American Zoetrope Studios – 1040 N. Las Palmas Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA