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Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

 -  Action | Sci-Fi  -  21 May 1971 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 17,813 users  
Reviews: 84 user | 65 critic

The world is shocked by the appearance of two talking chimpanzees, who arrived mysteriously in a U.S. spacecraft. They become the toast of society; but one man believes them to be a threat to the human race.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
E-1
Jason Evers ...
E-2
...
Harry Lauter ...
...
Aide
Roy Glenn ...
Lawyer (as Roy E. Glenn Sr.)
Peter Forster ...
Cardinal
Norman Burton ...
Army Officer
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Storyline

Following the events in "Beneath the Planet of the Apes", Cornelius and Zira flee back through time to 20th Century Los Angeles, where they face fear and persecution similar to what Taylor and Brent suffered in the future, and discover the origins of the stream of events that will shape their world. Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ape | future | fear | spaceship | spacecraft | See more »

Taglines:

Meet baby Milo who has Washington terrified. See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 May 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secret of the Planet of the Apes  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to popular belief, this is the only one of the 5 "Ape" films that was deliberately written open-ended for a sequel. No sequel discussions for Planet of the Apes (1968) began until after the release. Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) was written to be the final entry. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)'s original ending led to man's downfall without mercy. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) was as deliberately planned as the last. After "Conquest", producer Arthur Jacobs was already considering the TV series; but "Conquest"'s profits were just good enough to justify another (this time) kid-friendly entry. See more »

Goofs

When Cornelius, Zira and Milo are first taken to the zoo, Roddy McDowall's neck is visible underneath his makeup. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Zira: A marriage bed is made for two. But every damn morning, it's the woman who has to make it. We have heads as well as hands. I call upon men to let us use them!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox logo does not appear on this film. See more »

Connections

Followed by Untitled Planet of the Apes Sequel (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971) ***1/2
16 February 2005 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

In a brilliant solution for continuing the storyline after the ending of BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES, three intelligent chimpanzees from Earth's future take off in Charlton Heston's salvaged spacecraft just prior to Earth's destruction; they wind up hurled backward in time to 1973 California and - in an interesting twist on the original theme - now find themselves the strange visitors in a strange world ruled by bombastic human beings.

Lovable simians Zira and Cornelius (expertly played by Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall) lose their friend Dr. Milo (Sal Mineo!) early on in a tragic accident, and find themselves in a strange situation when mankind first welcomes them as celebrities and garnishes them with gifts, but ultimately begins to fear when it is learned that Zira is pregnant with an ape offspring that could grow to overtake humanity.

We really grow to sympathize with the plight of the chimpanzee couple, and we fear along with them and the safety of their child when they become hunted fugitives later in the story. Eric Braeden is very good as the quintessential villain out to kill the ape family at any cost.

Some people enjoy picking on the APES sequels as they continued, but I've always felt this series consistently remained very intelligent and had something powerful to say about race relations and prejudice. People want to know how apes could ever manage to send Taylor's ship into orbit; I say that if you can suspend disbelief long enough to accept the notion of intelligent apes, then it shouldn't be that far a reach to accept that Dr. Milo was the genius of his time who just could pull it off; the Thomas Edision of his type, if you will.

The timeline in the five apes films is often admittedly contradictory, but there are ways that fans of the Apes movies have been able to make them work. For example, in this film Cornelius seems to talk about Ape History and Evolution in a way that actually doesn't follow suit during the next two installments. That's because the very arrival of Zira and Cornelius onto present-day Earth of 1973, and the subsequent birth of their baby, will accelerate the procedure from how Cornelius remembered it, as we'll see in the next two chapters. The circumstances for the future will be sped up and changed, and the apes will evolve at a much quicker rate.

Some of the other dubious complaints are aimed at the "lesser budgets," or supposed "TV Movie Look" of the sequels from this point on -- but this story in ESCAPE does not require mind-numbing special effects or hordes of CGI-rendered ape figures swarming Los Angeles to make it effective. It's got a lot of heart and good writing with characters we care about, and that's all it needs.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Should've been called 'Exposition of the Planet of the Apes' theb1927
Hate the retcon of the backstory keithbalbi
Dr. Zira is pregnant and they give her Alcohol (Grape Juice Plus)! ChristopherDrews
How the heck did he draw that conclusion? TheTitan101
Isn't it obvious that Zira switched the baby?? Valentino55
Makes no sense? Shaunster88

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