Escape from Alcatraz

Question: When Frank is delivering books to inmates' cells, he reaches D block, but a guard stops him, and tells him they are not allowed in those cells. Were books really disallowed in D block cells?

Answer: Those were the solitary confinement cells, with no light and no luxuries of any kind. So yes, they did not allow inmates on that block to have books.

Question: Could you really modify a fan into a drill, like Frank does in the movie?

Answer: It is possible and there is even a YouTube video showing how to do it.

raywest Premium member

Could you tell me the name of the video please?

Question: Why was Wolf such a bully to Frank Morris?

Answer: This is a fictional account of a real-life event and the people depicted in it. Frank Morris was a vicious and dangerous criminal who, played by movie-hero Clint Eastwood, is made into a sympathetic figure. The Wolf character, who was probably not real or highly fictionalized, is contrived solely to create conflict in the plot by making him Morris' enemy. It also shows the constant danger and abuse from other prisoners.

raywest Premium member

Question: The warden tells Frank Morris he is not permitted to have newspapers, or magazines carrying news. Why not?

Answer: In part, to break inmates. Alcatraz was notoriously tough on inmates, psychologically (although they did relax some of the strict rules by the 50s). In general, inmates had very little contact with the outside world, and many even had little contact with other inmates. In the film, the warden tells Frank the only news inmates get is what the warden tells them is the news.

Bishop73

Question: Why didn't the tower guards spot Frank, and the Anglin brothers while they were in the water?

Answer: Because, in the context of the story, they are in pitch blackness. It is common film practice to illuminate night scenes that would otherwise be in total darkness, for the obvious reason that the audience needs to see what is happening; however, as far as the characters are concerned, there is no such light.

I meant during the real escape.

Same reason - it was dark.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Question: Why did the warden hate the fact that Doc painted a picture of him? Did he think he was mocking him?

Answer: The portrait was deliberately done as an unflattering caricature to mock the warden, thus offending him.

raywest Premium member

Answer: There is no specific reason, the warden took away Doc's paintings. When he was in Doc's cell, retrieving his nail clippers, he saw the portrait of himself and had an amused smile, meaning he though it was pretty good.

Question: In the beginning of the movie when we see Frank Morris(Eastwood) getting out of the car and onto the boat,why wasn't he cuffed? The guards later cuff him when he is on the boat and would be difficult for him to escape.

Answer: I believe the director is trying to lure us into thinking that Eastwood is a good guy as he usually plays the hero. However that myth is shattered when he is cuffed.

Visible crew/equipment: In the non-widescreen version, a hole in the ceiling and a microphone can be seen picking up the dialogue between Patrick McGoohan and Clint Eastwood in the warden's office.

More mistakes in Escape from Alcatraz

Prison Guard: Your painting privileges have been removed.
Doc: Why?
Prison Guard: I don't know.

More quotes from Escape from Alcatraz

Trivia: Fred Ward, who played John Anglin in this film, would later go on to play a character in Naked Gun 33 1/3rd who escapes from prison as well.

manthabeat Premium member
More trivia for Escape from Alcatraz

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