Escape at Dannemora

Watch Escape at Dannemora

  • TV-MA
  • 2018
  • 1 Season
  • 7.9  (27,001)

Escape at Dannemora is a gripping seven-episode series from Showtime, released in 2018. The show is based on a real-life prison break that took place in upstate New York in 2015. The showrunner, Brett Johnson along with screenwriters Michael Tolkin and Jerry Stahl weaves an enthralling tale that explores the lives of inmates and prison staff while capturing their motivations and inner conflicts.

The story follows two convicted murderers, Richard Matt (played by Benicio del Toro) and David Sweat (played by Paul Dano), who escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility with the aid of a married prison employee, Tilly Mitchell (played by Patricia Arquette). The series starts in 2014, with a glimpse of the inmates' daily routine, location, and their interaction with the staff. The viewer gets an insight into the claustrophobic nature of their living conditions and the challenges of prison life. Matt is a master manipulator, who creates handmade artwork and uses it to maintain his power and influence over others. Sweat is the opposite, introspective and quiet.

Tilly Mitchell leads a mundane life, working in the tailoring shop within the prison walls and struggling with the monotony of her marriage to her husband Lyle (played by Eric Lange). Her life takes a turn when she starts an illicit affair with Richard Matt, a man she sees as her saviour. Matt charms her with his charisma, promises and manipulates her to the point of convincing her to help him and Sweat escape from prison. Arquette's performance as Tilly Mitchell is exceptional, capturing the character's vulnerability, desperation, and inner turmoil.

The series is not just about the prison break but also provides a glimpse into the hardships of the prison staff. Alongside the escape narrative, the viewer follows the lives of the correction officers who interact with Matt, Sweat, and Tilly. Michael Imperioli plays a prison worker with the disposition of an experienced officer but struggles to maintain his family's financial stability. Bonnie Hunt plays a female correction officer, a rare breed in the male-dominated prison system. She encounters challenges such as sexual harassment from inmates and colleagues.

The direction of the series by Ben Stiller adds another layer of aesthetics to the show's narrative. His work manages to bring out the gritty, realism of the prison setting while capturing its bleakness and the characters’ complexity. The show’s aspect ratio, predominantly in 2.39:1, adds a cinematic scale to the series, elevating it beyond conventional television.

At the crux of Escape at Dannemora is the manipulation that takes place by the perpetrators on Tilly. The show doesn't glorify the escapes; instead, it stays on the ground and explores the reality of the environment the characters operate in. The complexity of the relationships, coupled with the performances by Del Toro, Dano, and Arquette, creates an unvarnished portrayal of the struggles of prison life and the reminder of how the public often overlooks those behind bars.

Although the actual events took place in only 20 days, the series takes the time to explore the inner workings of the prison and the psyche of its inhabitants. It's a character-driven drama that doesn't shy away from displaying the graphic nature of prison life. It shows a side of America that is often ignored, the daily lives of those in prison, their struggles, and the events that may lead to their incarceration.

In conclusion, Escape at Dannemora is a must-watch for anyone looking for a character-driven drama that blends a true story with quality performances from its actors. It's not just the inmates but also the prison staff that gets a voice in this series. The direction and cinematography make the show appealing to the eye, while the story provides a glimpse into the harsh reality of prison life in America. The show has been lauded for its cinematography and performances, with Arquette winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Television Movie. It's a show that is a must-watch for anyone who values good storytelling and the value of quality performances to bring the story to life.

Escape at Dannemora is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (9 episodes). The series first aired on November 18, 2018.

Escape at Dannemora
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Part 8
8. Part 8
January 6, 2019
Die Flucht findet f
Part 7
7. Part 7
December 30, 2018
Matt and Sweat run for their lives as the tension between them is pushed to the extreme. Tilly gets out of the hospital and does her best to evade the authorities. But as the law closes in, all three are confronted with hard truths about who they really are. Limited series finale.
Part 6
6. Part 6
December 23, 2018
In a deep dive into the minds of these individuals, we finally see what Matt and Sweat are capable of outside the prison walls. Tilly's natural instincts aren't much better.
Part 5
5. Part 5
December 16, 2018
On the day of the escape, Matt and Sweat know the smallest mistake can derail their whole plan. But when a stern corrections officer takes over the post in the tailor shop and fellow inmate Murder gets out of the Special Housing Unit, Matt seems attracted to the danger. Tilly and Lyle have a fateful dinner at an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant.
Part 4
4. Part 4
December 9, 2018
Excited by the possibility of a new life, Tilly tries her best to avoid Lyle, who is planning something special for their anniversary. Sweat makes progress on the escape route, but feels like he's doing all the work. Matt likes the arrangement just fine.
Part 3
3. Part 3
December 2, 2018
Matt and Sweat run into walls and other obstacles as they search for a way out, but the power of positive thinking helps keep them on track. Tilly begins to feel guilty about her mounting indiscretions, but she has a funny way of showing it.
Pablo Picasso
2. Pablo Picasso
November 25, 2018
Matt has an idea to get out of Dannemora, but Sweat is not interested in taking the risk. Matt begins to help Tilly with an inmate she doesn't get along with in the shop, while Sweat comes to miss the freedoms that come with Matt's protection.
Girl from the North Country
1. Girl from the North Country
November 18, 2018
After the June, 2015 prison break from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY, Joyce "Tilly" Mitchell is questioned about her involvement with the two men. Months earlier, Tilly enjoys her job at the prison tailor shop, balancing the temptations of David Sweat, a younger inmate, and her obligations to her husband, Lyle. Richard Matt, an inmate with an artistic talent, supplies oil paintings to guards in exchange for special treatment. Ultimately his attentions turn to Tilly.
Audio Commentary Part 1
101. Audio Commentary Part 1
March 18, 2019
A commentary about the creative and filmmaking process from director Ben Stiller (DGA Award winner) and Creators, Brett Johnson & Michael Tolkin.
Where to Watch Escape at Dannemora
Escape at Dannemora is available for streaming on the Showtime website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Escape at Dannemora on demand at Showtime, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, FuboTV, Sling, Google Play, Apple TV and Showtime Anytime.
  • Premiere Date
    November 18, 2018
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (27,001)