Rock, The (film)

Rock, The (film)  Brigadier General Francis X. Hummel, a legendary military hero, and his crack team of commandos seize control of Alcatraz, taking a group of tourists hostage, threatening to launch poison gas missiles on San Francisco if their demands of restitution for the families of his men who lost their lives during highly covert military operations are not met.  The city’s only chance for survival is a young FBI chemical weapons expert, Stanley Goodspeed, and a federal prisoner, John Patrick Mason, who also happens to be the only known convict to have escaped the island prison.  With the clock ticking, they embark on a desperate bid to sneak onto the island and detoxify the weapons before disaster strikes.  A Hollywood Picture.  Directed by Michael Bay.  Released on June 7, 1996.  Stars Sean Connery (Mason), Nicolas Cage (Goodspeed), Ed Harris (Hummel), Michael Biehn (Anderson), William Forsythe (Paxton).  Filmed in CinemaScope.  136 min.  The production company filmed extensively on almost every area of Alcatraz Island, for both interiors and exteriors.  In fact, some areas, such as the laundry and industries building, had been closed to public tours for years because they contained hazardous materials.  The moviemakers undertook the expense and effort to clean up the hazardous waste, and in so doing, enabled the National Park Service to expand their public tour into areas that were once restricted.  The tunnels of Alcatraz were built in the huge, 30-foot deep tank under the floor of Stage 30 at Sony Studios; this was the tank, when the studio was the MGM Studios, where Esther Williams did much of her swimming and diving work for the MGM musicals.  Five hundred invited guests attended a world premiere of the film on Alcatraz Island on June 3, 1996.  Released on video in 1996.