Escape at Dannemora

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Escape at Dannemora
Escape at Dannemora poster.jpg
Created byBrett Johnson
Michael Tolkin
Directed byBen Stiller
Composer(s)Edward Shearmur
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes7 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Ben Stiller
  • Brett Johnson
  • Michael Tolkin
  • Bryan Zuriff
  • Michael De Luca
  • Nicky Weinstock
  • Bill Carraro
CinematographyJessica Lee Gagné
Running time51–98 minutes
Production company(s)Michael De Luca Productions
Red Hour Productions
Original networkShowtime
Original releaseNovember 18 (2018-11-18) –
December 30, 2018 (2018-12-30)
External links

Escape at Dannemora is an American television limited series that premiered on Showtime on November 18, 2018. It is based on the 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility escape. The seven-episode series was created and written by Brett Johnson and Michael Tolkin and directed by Ben Stiller. It stars Benicio del Toro, Patricia Arquette, Paul Dano, Bonnie Hunt, Eric Lange, and David Morse.[1][2][3]


The series is based on the true story of the 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility escape in upstate New York. The escape prompted a massive manhunt for the two convicted murderers, who were aided in their escape by a married female prison employee with whom they both became sexually entangled.[1]




  • Jeremy Bobb as Dennis Lambert, a corrections officer and friend of Lyle[6]



Principal production commenced in Upstate New York in the fall of 2017.[1][8] For their roles, Patricia Arquette and Eric Lange each gained 40 pounds.[9] Episode 6, the flashback episode, was filmed on 16 mm, unlike the rest of the series. Episode 6 was also the final episode filmed, so Arquette and Lange could lose the excess weight gained over the course of production. Director Ben Stiller decided to shut down production for a month and resume filming the episode once Arquette and Lange lost the weight. However, production was further delayed three weeks to accommodate the birth of Lange's son.[10]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
1"Part 1"Ben StillerBrett Johnson & Michael TolkinNovember 18, 2018 (2018-11-18)0.397[11]
2"Part 2"Ben StillerBrett Johnson & Michael TolkinNovember 25, 2018 (2018-11-25)0.487[12]
3"Part 3"Ben StillerJerry StahlDecember 2, 2018 (2018-12-02)0.559[13]
4"Part 4"Ben StillerBrett Johnson & Michael TolkinDecember 9, 2018 (2018-12-09)0.541[14]
5"Part 5"Ben StillerBrett Johnson & Michael TolkinDecember 16, 2018 (2018-12-16)0.664[15]
6"Part 6"Ben StillerBrett Johnson & Michael Tolkin & Jerry StahlDecember 23, 2018 (2018-12-23)0.586[16]
7"Part 7"Ben StillerBrett Johnson & Michael TolkinDecember 30, 2018 (2018-12-30)0.719[17]


Critical response[edit]

The series was met with acclaim upon its premiere. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 88% with an average rating of 7.16 out of 10, based on 52 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Escape at Dannemora's slow pace demands patience, but those willing to wait will be rewarded with a chilling mystery that provides the perfect showcase for its talented cast -- especially a nearly unrecognizable and unbearably moving performance from Patricia Arquette."[18] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 78 out of 100 based on 27 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[19]

Response from Joyce Mitchell[edit]

In a December 2018 interview at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Joyce Mitchell criticized some events portrayed in the miniseries. She claimed, "I never had sex with them", referring to Richard Matt and David Sweat. She also criticized director Ben Stiller, calling him "a son-of-a-bitch liar just like the rest of the world. He doesn't care about the truth. All he cares about is making millions off me. He's an idiot."[20]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
9th Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Limited Series Escape at Dannemora Nominated [21]
Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television Paul Dano Nominated
Benicio del Toro Nominated
Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television Patricia Arquette Won[a]
Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television Eric Lange Nominated
76th Golden Globe Awards Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Escape at Dannemora Nominated [22]
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television Patricia Arquette Won
25th Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie Patricia Arquette Won [23]
71st Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directing – Miniseries or TV Film Ben Stiller Won [24]
  1. ^ Arquette shared the award in a tie with Amy Adams for Sharp Objects.


  1. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (June 2, 2017). "Paul Dano Joins Benicio del Toro & Patricia Arquette As Ben Stiller's Prison Break Limited Series Gets Showtime Green Light". Deadline. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  2. ^ Pergament, Alan (September 20, 2018). "Dannemora prison break series coming soon". The Buffalo News. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  3. ^ Evans, Greg (August 6, 2018). "Showtime Sets Date For Ben Stiller Prison Drama 'Escape At Dannemora', Releases Trailer – TCA". Deadline. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Wagmeister, Elizabeth (June 2, 2017). "Ben Stiller's Prison Escape Series Starring Benicio del Toro, Patricia Arquette, Paul Dano Greenlit at Showtime". Variety. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  5. ^ Petski, Denise (September 13, 2017). "'Escape At Dannemora': Bonnie Hunt To Co-Star In Showtime Limited Series". Deadline. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  6. ^ Petski, Denise (August 17, 2017). "'Shut Eye' Casts Rowena King; Jeremy Bobb In 'Escape At Dannemora'". Deadline. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Otterson, Joe (November 15, 2017). "Michael Imperioli to Guest Star in Showtime's 'Escape at Dannemora' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  8. ^ McGovern, Joe (October 10, 2017). "Ben Stiller takes on true crime in Escape at Dannemora — first look". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  9. ^ Giannotta, Meghan (November 15, 2018). "'Escape at Dannemora' actor transformed to become prison break's 'victim'". AM New York. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  10. ^ Matthews, Liam (December 23, 2018). "Escape at Dannemora's Eric Lange Lost 35 Pounds for a Single Episode". TV Guide. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  11. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (November 20, 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.18.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  12. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (November 28, 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.25.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  13. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (December 4, 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 12.2.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  14. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (December 11, 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 12.9.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  15. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (December 18, 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 12.16.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  16. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (December 27, 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 12.23.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  17. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (January 2, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 12.30.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  18. ^ "Escape at Dannemora (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  19. ^ "Escape at Dannemora reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  20. ^ Dorn, Sara (December 22, 2018). "Infamous 'Shawskank' prison seamstress: Showtime series is 'lies'". New York Post. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  21. ^ Crist, Allison (January 13, 2019). "Critics' Choice Awards: 'Roma,' 'Americans,' 'Mrs. Maisel' Top Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  22. ^ Snierson, Dan (January 6, 2019). "Golden Globes 2019: See the full winners list". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  23. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (January 27, 2019). "SAG Awards: 'Black Panther' Nabs Top Film Prize; Rami Malek, Glenn Close Among Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  24. ^ "DGA Awards: Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. February 2, 2019. Retrieved February 3, 2019.

External links[edit]