The Snake Plissken Chronicles
"The Bank Robbery"
Deleted scene from the beginning of Escape from New
Written by John Carpenter and Nick Castle
Directed by John Carpenter
Originally filmed in 1980
Released as a deleted scene bonus feature on
the Special Edition DVD Collector's Set in 2003
Former U.S. war hero turned criminal Snake Plissken robs the
Bank of the United States.
Watch "The Bank Robbery" deleted scene at YouTube
Notes from the Snake Plissken chronology
This story takes place on October 21, 1997 immediately before the events of
Escape from New York.
(The year is given in
Escape from New York,
and the novelization reveals the full date of the bank heist.)
This would place it on a Tuesday according to the calendar.
Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode
George Moropy (novelization, mentioned only)
(novelization, mentioned only)
Captain Berrigan (novelization, flashback)
I have chosen to title this episode
"The Bank Robbery" because John Carpenter
refers to the sequence by that name in his "Message from John
Carpenter" on the inner flap that covers the bonus features disk
on the Special Edition DVD Collector's Set.
"The Bank Robbery" is an ~9.5-minute sequence shot for Escape
from New York which was removed from the film after the
filmmakers found that test audiences were confused by the
sequence. In Carpenter's audio commentary for the deleted scene,
he says he has also come to realize the sequence was never
needed to set up Snake's pending incarceration on Manhattan
Island. Still, the film does have mention of the fact that
former war hero Snake has become a notorious criminal, finally
captured during a bank robbery, so it seems reasonable to
include this deleted bank robbery footage as an actual incident
in the chronicles of Snake Plissken.
The music for this sequence was newly-written by John Carpenter
for the DVD because it was never scored after being cut from the
original test screening in 1980.
An announcement over the bank's P.A. system reveals that the
bank Snake has robbed is the Bank of the United States. This is
a fictitious bank.
Escape from New
York implies that it is a
government-run bank rather than a commercial one.
The novelization of
Escape from New
York reveals that this particular branch of
the Bank of the United States is the Colorado Federal Reserve.
The female voice on the bank's P.A. system is provided by
actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who previously worked with John
Carpenter on Halloween.
The back of Snake's coverall at the bank and the bag he carries
has the logo of Colorado Solar printed on it. Presumably, this
is a fictitious solar power company.
The novelization reveals that the device Snake uses to open the
electronic door at 3:38 on the DVD is called a Slotprick.
As Snake is making his way out of the bank building, an
announcement suddenly comes on over the P.A. system that there
is a bank robbery in progress. It's not revealed how bank
security realized the place was being robbed. It's also not
revealed how Snake got a hold of the credit cards (the loot) in the bag; did he have
to interact with or kill anybody to get it?
At 4:49 on the DVD, the eagle head emblem of the United States
Police Force can be seen on a phone unit next to the turnstiles as Snake
flees. The emblem is also seen on one of the turnstiles and
inside the subway car Snake and his partner ride in and on the
stolen credit cards; the USPF seems to be an ubiquitous presence
in this world.
In Carpenter's audio commentary for the deleted scene, he says
the subway scenes were shot at the Peachtree Plaza station in
The novelization states that Snake traveled to Atlanta on the
subway after the bank robbery to meet Taylor, then the two of
them doubled back west to throw the police off their scent. A
poster for Atlanta can be next to Snake's seat on the subway
car. Another poster for Bowling Green (probably
Bowling Green, KY)
is seen behind Taylor's seat.
Snake's partner in the heist is named Taylor. The
novelization reveals Taylor's first name as Bill.
Notice that Taylor walks with a limp. The novelization indicates
(page 11) that Taylor's knee had been shattered during a crash
landing in Helsinki in the escape from Leningrad.
Once on the subway, Snake asks Taylor if they're wired into
Seattle and Taylor responds he can't tell, "Maybe
They finally arrive in San Francisco. These are cities separated
by hundreds of miles; the implication is that the subway system
runs all over the country, a much more complex and wide-ranging
system than exists in the real world.
At 6:23 on the DVD, notice that the stolen credit cards do not
appear to have magnetic stripes (or any printing at all!) on the
back of them.
Surprisingly, Snake tells Taylor he trusts him to split up the
credit cards evenly. Snake is not depicted as a particularly
trusting person in his other adventures with other individuals.
Snake also gets himself caught by the U.S. Police Force in an
attempt to save Taylor when they get to San Francisco.
Some maps on the walls of the subway car at 7:15 on the DVD
appear to show the subway routes and regions across the country.
The U.S. police appear to shoot Taylor for no good reason. He
wasn't fleeing at the moment and did not have a weapon in his
According to the novelization, the police are carrying AR-15s;
the AR-15 is a semi-automatic assault rifle (what the U.S.
military calls an M16), and that does appear to be the weapon
Notes from the
novelization of Escape from New York by Mike
Chapters 1-2 cover the events of "The Bank Robbery"
numbers come from the 2nd printing, paperback edition,
published July 1981)
Notice that the cover of this book mistakenly depicts Snake with
his eye patch over his right eye instead of his left! It seems
the image was flipped.
Page 1 reveals that nerve gas occasionally dips down from
the sky to touch everyone's lives. This may be due to the war
the President is trying to end in
from New York.
Page 1 reveals that Snake has constant pain from his bad eye
under the eye patch. Page 11 indicates that the eye was damaged
by nerve gas due to a cracked goggle during the Leningrad
Feeling the pressure of making his escape from the bank, page 3
has Snake reflecting on how Uncle taught him about pressure at
Leningrad. "Uncle" is presumably a reference to Uncle Sam, a
common personification of the United States government.
from New York gives a bit more information about
Snake's experience in Leningrad as part of the U.S. military. At
from New York was written, Leningrad was the second
largest city in Russia; in the real world the city's name was
changed back to it's original name of Saint Petersburg in 1991.
Obviously, Snake Plissken's Earth took quite a different path
from probably 1980 onward.
On page 4, Snake has to run through a hallway that begins to
fill with nerve gas as he dashes through the bank building; this
does not occur in filmed version.
On page 5, Snake emerges onto the bank rooftop during the day
(about 3:35 p.m. on page 1); in the filmed version, it is dusk.
Page 5 also describes the heat of the Colorado desert; this
presumably refers to desert in the state of Colorado and not the
Colorado Desert of southern California.
Snake thinks of the police force as "blackbellies" on page 5,
presumably for their black uniforms.
Snake has to flee from police who come up to the rooftop in the
elevator; this is not seen in the filmed version.
The subway trains are referred to as hummers.
On page 6, Snake books passage on a hummer to
Oregon with one of the stolen credit cards in hopes of
fooling the police into thinking he went there instead of
Atlanta. Page 7 states the hummer to Eugene also has stops in
two other cities in Oregon.
Page 6 reveals that the war is still being fought heavily in the
western U.S. and that the western badlands are a good place for
Snake and Taylor to hide out.
Chapter 2 gives a few details of Snake Plissken's past. He
picked up the nickname Snake (or "the Snake") in the service
because he had a knack for slithering out of trouble and nobody
left alive now knows his real first name. He had been a college
boy recruited by the military (page 65 reveals it was the Army), commissioned as a lieutenant, and
sent to the Russian front. The war had started slowly in the
Middle East and a conference in
prevented the use of nuclear weapons, but chemical ones were
used instead, contaminating Earth's atmosphere and slowly
poisoning the planet's entire population and driving people
crazy before it killed them. Snake was the commander of a search
and destroy squad with the best success record in the Russian
campaign. Taylor served under him as a sergeant. Their squad was
sent into Leningrad in Gulffire gliders to rescue a captured
Intelligence officer as part of the "Leningrad Ruse". During the
operation, the entire squad was killed except for Snake and
Taylor, who later learned that the whole thing was a ruse; the
so-called Intelligence officer was deliberately planted to
deliver false information to the enemy, and the trick didn't
even work. Snake felt betrayed and was never the same again.
The Gulffire glider is a fictitious aircraft.
Pages 9-10 describe Snake's squad being given the Leningrad
mission by a Captain Berrigan in
As described on page 10, Leningrad/St. Petersburg lies on the
On page 10, "Ruskie" is a slang term for "Russian".
On page 13, Taylor names a few of the stolen credit cards as
being for the U.S. National Bank, U.S. Port Authority, and the
U.S. Tobacco Reserve. These are all largely fictitious entities;
even U.S. port authorities are essentially run by a commission
from the local region, not a national bureau.
On page 14, Snake thinks of the U.S. Police as "Kevlarred
killers, crazies with badges."
Kevlar is a real world type of bulletproof
body armor, developed in 1965 by the DuPont corporation.
Page 15 states that Snake goes back to help Taylor, basically
giving up his chance to escape with the loot, because Taylor was
the last friend he had left, "...everyone else who knew Snake
Plissken as a real human being...all dead."
As Taylor dies, he takes "a good chunk of Snake Plissken with
banking hours are over.wav
the Bank of the United States.wav
can't spend it in Barstow.wav
Snake Plissken Chronicles Episode Studies