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Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story

Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story is a 1980 American miniseries about Clarence Carnes, the youngest ever inmate of Alcatraz Prison. It screened over two nights on NBC. It was written and co-produced by Ernest Tidyman.

Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story
Based onClarence Carnes (based on a story by)
Don DeNevi (based on a story by)
Written byErnest Tidyman
Directed byPaul Krasny
StarringMichael Beck
Art Carney
Alex Karras
Telly Savalas
Theme music composerJerrold Immel
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Pierre Cossette
Producer(s)James H. Brown
Ernest Tidyman (co-producer)
Production location(s)Alcatraz
San Francisco
CinematographyRobert B. Hauser
Editor(s)Les Green
Donald R. Rode
Running time196 min.
Production company(s)Pierre Cossette Enterprises
Original networkNBC
Original releaseNovember 5, 1980


Part one details the early life and imprisonment of Clarence Carnes, climaxing with the Battle of Alcatraz. Part two focuses on Carnes as a veteran prisoner, his friendship with Robert Stroud, and his involvement in the escape attempt of Frank Morris.



The production was partly shot on location in Alcatraz.[1]


The Los Angeles Times called it "the prison story to end all prison stories".[1]

The New York Times was harsher saying "ordinarily foolproof material is presented at such length that dramatic tension drains away... Mr. Beck is adequate... Mr. Savalas is almost the only member of the large cast who looks even a little like the sort of case-hardened criminals that used to end up at Alcatraz. The others look like tourists who caught the wrong ferry at Fisherman's Wharf... the writing... and the direction... are dedicated more to simplicity and economy than to drama."[2]


  1. ^ a b Smith, C. (1980, Nov 05). 4-HOUR 'ALCATRAZ' BEGINS TONIGHT. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  2. ^ Buckley, T. (1980, Nov 05). TV: THE ALCATRAZ STORY. New York Times Retrieved from

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