Based on a true story but obviously a lot of Hollywood poetic license was used.
Frank Morris is sent to Alcatraz a man with a genius IQ, he is introduced to the governor who informs him that no has ever escaped from Alcatraz, he is stripped and sent to his cell.
He immediately makes friends of Doc a inmate who likes to paint and Litmus a man who can lay his hands to almost any contraband in the prison, he also makes an enemy of prisoner called Wolf who essentially wants Frank to be his "bitch", Frank defends himself and beats Wolf where they both get sent to isolation, he also makes a friend of a man called "English" a black man sentenced to 2 life sentences for the self defense killings of 2 white men.
During time in his cell he discovers the concrete around the grill in his cell has softened and starts planning his escape, he also meets a pair of brothers who are escape artists and uses them to help him in his plan and also enlists the help of new cellmate Charlie, they use litmus to get them supplies to aid with their escape which he asks for their desserts in payments, around this time the Governor does a usual inspection of the cells where he discovers Doc's painting of him and the various prison staff he revokes his painting privileges and the next day in wood-shop Doc cuts his fingers off feeling he as nothing left to live for.
The escape plan progresses and it gets very involved with the characters.
A Well shot and a very enjoyable film.