|The Escape Artist|
|Directed by||Caleb Deschanel|
|Produced by||Doug Claybourne|
|Screenplay by||Melissa Mathison|
|Based on||The Escape Artist|
by David Wagoner
|Music by||Georges Delerue|
|Cinematography||Stephen H. Burum|
|Edited by||Arthur Schmidt|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|May 28, 1982|
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 Joan Hackett, Desi Arnaz, and Gabriel Dell.
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.
- Raúl Juliá – Stu Quiñones
- Griffin O'Neal – Danny Masters
- Desi Arnaz – Mayor Leon Quiñones
- Teri Garr – Arlene
- Joan Hackett – Aunt Sibyl
- Gabriel Dell – Uncle Burke
- John P. Ryan – Vernon
- Elizabeth Daily – Sandra
- M. Emmet Walsh – Fritz
- Jackie Coogan – Magic Shop Owner
- Hal Williams – Cop at Mayor's Office
- Helen Page Camp – Neighbor
- David Clennon – Newspaper Editor
- Huntz Hall – Turnkey
- Harry Anderson – Harry Masters
- Carlin Glynn – Treasurer's Secretary
- Margaret Ladd – Reporter
- Doug McGrath – Photographer
- Richard Bradford – Sam City Treasurer (uncredited)
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.