Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story 40 years old

At 18, Carnes is the youngest man to be sent to The Rock, yet he vows he'll create the ultimate escape plan -- or die trying!

Filmed on location at Alcatraz Island, this two-part "whole story" actually concentrates on a handful of the denizens behind the cold grey walls of "The Rock". Michael Beck plays the real-life Clarence Carnes, an Oklahoma Choctaw Indian said to be the youngest man ever incarcerated in the notorious maximum security prison. Serving a 99-year sentence for a gas station holdup and murder, Carnes makes periodic attempts to escape, the final attempt being the most violent. Many of the subordinate characters are fictional (as are most of the details concerning Carnes' escape efforts); the one exception is Robert Stroud, the "Birdman of Alcatraz", here portrayed by Art Carney as a gentle, kindly philosopher. Telly Savalas, a costar of the Burt Lancaster vehicle Birdman of Alcatraz, also guest starred in the 1980 film. Originally titled Alcatraz and Clarence Carnes, this made-for-TV movie wavers between gritty realism and "I'm bustin' outta here!" artifice.

Credits

Michael Beck
Michael Beck

Clarence Carnes

Peter Coyote
Peter Coyote

Courtney Taylor

Joe Pantoliano
Joe Pantoliano

Ray Neal

Ronny Cox
Ronny Cox

Bernard Coy

Jeffrey Tambor
Jeffrey Tambor

Dankworth

G. W. Bailey
G. W. Bailey

Holfield

All Cast

Name Character
Joe Pantoliano He was 29, now 69 years old as Ray Neal
Ronny Cox He was 42, now 83 years old as Bernard Coy
Robert Davi He was 27, now 68 years old as Hubbard
Jeffrey Tambor He was 36, now 77 years old as Dankworth
Peter Coyote He was 39, now 79 years old as Courtney Taylor
Telly Savalas He was 58, 72 years old when he died as Cretzer
Ed Lauter He was 42, 74 years old when he died as Frank Morris
John Amos He was 40, now 81 years old as Bumpy Johnson
G. W. Bailey He was 36, now 76 years old as Holfield
Michael Beck He was 31, now 72 years old as Clarence Carnes
Art Carney He was 62, 85 years old when he died as Robert Stroud
Paul Mantee He was 49, 82 years old when he died as Ordway
Will Sampson He was 47, 53 years old when he died as Clarence's Father
Alex Karras He was 45, 77 years old when he died as Jughead Miller
James MacArthur He was 42, 72 years old when he died as Walt Stomer
Stack Pierce He was 47, 82 years old when he died as Presser
Hoke Howell He was 51, 67 years old when he died as Store Owner
Richard Lynch He was 40, 72 years old when he died as Sam Shockley
Louis Giambalvo He was 35, now 76 years old as Clarence Anglin

Crew

Name Department
Ernest Tidyman as Teleplay. He was 52 (56) years old when He died Writing
James H. Brown as Producer. He was 50 (80) years old when He died Production
Paul Krasny as Director. He was 45 (66) years old when He died Directing
Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story poster
Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story (40 years)

At 18, Carnes is the youngest man to be sent to The Rock, yet he vows he'll create the ultimate escape plan -- or die trying!

  • Release day: Wednesday, November 05, 1980
  • Runtime: 196 minutes