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Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

G | | Action, Sci-Fi | 9 July 1971 (UK)
The world is shocked by the appearance of three 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 overview, first billed only:
Roy Glenn ...
Lawyer (as Roy E. Glenn Sr.)
Peter Forster ...
Army Officer


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


A New Generation Of Incredible Apes In The Most Exciting Suspense Film Of Them All See more »


Action | Sci-Fi


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 July 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Secret of the Planet of the Apes  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The opening scene was filmed on the same beach location where Taylor had discovered the Statue on the first movie. See more »


When Dr. Hasslein opens the trunk of his car to retrieve the binoculars, he is seen removing the keys to the trunk from his pocket (this in itself is an error as he just parked; we're to believe he put the keys in his pocket whilst still seated in the car). In a subsequent shot where he opens the trunk again (to retrieve his revolver), he retrieves no keys from his pocket and the trunk key is already in the trunk lock and clearly visible, having been there when he parked. See more »


Dr. Lewis Dixon: Can you read a map?
Cornelius: I'm an archaeologist. I can even draw one!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Flash Forward: Apeward Bound (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Do I Dare Disturb The Universe?
16 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Escape from the Planet of the Apes" came out in 1971 in the midst of very controversy times. The film is directed by Don Taylor, and stars Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Sal Mineo, Bradford Dillman, Ricardo Montalban, Natalie Trundy, Eric Braeden, William Windom, John Randolph, and M. Emmet Walsh.

It is part III of the Ape Series, however, the film doesn't require the viewer to see the previous other Ape films to understand what's going on, but I think it helps to see the other two so you can fully understand the character's motives and thoughts.

THE PLOT - Three highly intelligent humanoid Chimpanzees from outer space land on planet Earth in the Pacific coast in 1973 via their space ship. They are taken by the authorities to the Los Angeles Zoo. At first, the Apes are seen as a novelty and become famous and loved through out the world, but soon, they are perceived as a threat to all of mankind and planet Earth. The film starts off as being a light family comedy, but takes a very dark turn.

MY THOUGHTS - Like the previous Ape films, "Escape" has parables that address social issues that were going on in the world at that time. The year was 1971 when the film was released, right when racial segregation was ending, and Black and White people were starting to live and work amongst each other as equals. I believe the film is suggesting to the audience that accepting those who are different from you and giving them a chance might not be a bad idea, and that you shouldn't believe everything you hear about people.

The film is anti-racist, and also has an anti-abortion theme to it, and has somewhat of an anti-government theme to it as well, and addresses the issue of government intrusion. Some of the other topics include scientific experimentation on animals, and nuclear war.

One of the many reasons why I like this film because it makes me appreciate what I have. The chimps come to 1973 and our just amazed at the technology. It makes me not take for granted what we have. I sometimes think how someone from the 1860's would react to the things we have in 2016, and they'd most likely be highly impressed, and their reaction makes me realize how lucky we have it, and that we shouldn't take what we have for granted, and enjoy it to the fullest. We really have no excuse for ever being bored.

In this film, Cornelius and Zira take center stage, and become the stars, which I enjoyed because I liked both characters a lot in the first two Ape films. The film is a bit of a love story as well, because what Cornelius and Zira are going through in this film is not easy, and only their love for each other is what keeps them going strong.

Another cool thing about this film is the reverse it took - In the first two Ape films, we see human beings land on a Planet of Apes where Apes rule, and humans are treated like animals, and we see how those men respond to it. In this film, we see Apes from that same planet land in the U.S.A. in 1973 where humans rule, and Apes are kept in cages, and we see their responses to it.

I think the film and the whole Ape series is making a point that any corrupt system - whether run by White or Black people or anyone else of any color is wrong. That no group is superior to the other, and that we are all equal, and if peace is really desired, we should learn to accept one another, and not abuse any power we are given, and that only suffering will lead to any abuse of power.

FINAL THOUGHTS - This is one of those films that get different responses from different people. It presents hard questions of morals such as "If you could go back in time and kill Adolf Hitler's mother while she was pregnant with him, would you?"

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