Escapes blazes a path through mid-20th-century Hollywood via the experiences of Hampton Fancher – flamenco dancer, actor, and the unlikely producer and screenwriter of the landmark sci-fi classic Blade Runner. Fancher recounts episodes from his life — romantic misadventures with silver-screen stars, wayward acts of chivalry, jealousy, and friendship — matched with a parallel world of film and TV footage wherein Fancher plays cowboys, killers, fops, cads, and the occasional hero. Escapes shows how one man’s personal journey can unexpectedly shape a medium’s future.
Yale University, 1961. Stanley Milgram designs a psychology experiment that still resonates to this day, in which people think they’re delivering painful electric shocks to an affable stranger strapped into a chair in another room. Despite his pleads for mercy, the majority of subjects don’t stop the experiment, administering what they think is a near-fatal electric shock, simply because they’ve been told to do so. With Nazi Adolf Eichmann’s trial airing in living rooms across America, Milgram strikes a nerve in popular culture and the scientific community with his exploration into people’s tendency to comply with authority. Celebrated in some circles, he is also accused of being a deceptive, manipulative monster, but his wife Sasha stands by him through it all.