Don Siegel’s dark, hushed film (1979) emphasizes atmosphere over suspense; the plot—spelled out in the title—is played out with smooth inevitability. Clint Eastwood’s loner hero draws on the mythic side of his screen personality: The Man With No Name becomes the Man With No Past. And, apparently, no future—the escapees simply disappear, fading into the darkness that hangs over the movie. A rigorous, accomplished formal exercise, beautifully sustained and daringly low key.
Escape From Alcatraz
PG • 1 hour 52 min