Morgan Freeman, Oscar nominated as inmate Red in the 1994 great-escape classic The Shawshank Redemption, hosts Great Escapes With Morgan Freeman, a look at the world’s most elaborate prison breaks. Up first? Alcatraz, 1964.
Each hour of the History Channel series features reenactments (some weaving in historical footage), maps of getaway routes, and manhunts. “These things take an enormous amount of time [to plan], but if you’re in prison, what have you got?” Freeman tells us.
He shares more below and in the video above!
What traits do all escapees have in common?
Morgan Freeman: Perseverance and just having the idea. Everybody says, “There’s no way out.” But one day: epiphany! Like Andy Dufresne [Tim Robbins] in Shawshank. He had that rock ax in his hand, started to carve his name in the [cell] wall, and it crumbled. It’s like, “Oh, wait a minute.”
What made your jaw drop?
The tunneling that went on for El Chapo’s escape. [The drug kingpin’s episode airs November 23.] He had a huge amount of money. They had to pinpoint a position under that prison and bore up into his cell and in a shower drain.
Did you ever find yourself cheering these bad guys on?
You’re always rooting for them. Whenever someone undertakes an impossible task, your fascination grows with each step. So yeah, I think these escapes could be put in terms of heroic.
If I’m ever incarcerated, will the fact that I watched this help me get out?
It’s not like we’re broadcasting a blueprint for prison escapes. But I have to admit, it does say to whoever is interested, it can be done.
Great Escapes With Morgan Freeman, Series Premiere, Tuesday, November 9, 10/9c, History