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The Escape Artist is a 1982 film starring Griffin O'Neal and Raúl Juliá. It was based on a book by David Wagoner, and was the directorial debut of Caleb Deschanel. It was the final film of both Joan Hackett and Desi Arnaz.

The Escape Artist
The Escape Artist (1982) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Caleb Deschanel
Produced by Doug Claybourne
Buck Houghton
Fred Roos
Francis Ford Coppola
Written by David Wagoner (book)
Melissa Mathison
Stephen Zito
Music by Georges Delerue
Cinematography Stephen H. Burum
Edited by Arthur Schmidt
Distributed by Orion Pictures Corporation through Warner Bros.
Release date
May 28, 1982 (1982-05-28)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $143,369[1]



Young and self-confident Danny Masters is the teen-aged son of the late Harry Masters, the "greatest escape artist except for Houdini". Danny himself is an accomplished magician and escape artist. He leaves home to join Uncle Burke and Aunt Sibyl in their magic/mentalist act; Sibyl welcomes him, but Burke is unenthusiastic.

Danny soon finds himself embroiled with Stu Quiñones,corrupt son of Mayor Leon Quiñones. The quest for a missing wallet (pick-pocketed by Danny) leads to the comeuppance of the crooked mayor, and separately of his vindictive and out-of-control son. Along the way, Danny comes to terms with the death of his father, the circumstances of which he did not previously know.


Production notesEdit

The cast includes two members of the 1930s troupe the Dead End Kids: Gabriel Dell and Huntz Hall.


The film received fair reviews from fans and critics alike. With a 62% audience rating from review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.2/10 on IMDb.


External linksEdit