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Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Character error (1) | Continuity (2) | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (1) | Plot holes (1) | Revealing mistakes (4) | Spoilers (3)

Character error 

Cornelius and Zira are both doctors, scientists and yet they both say "orangutangs". The correct word is orangutan.
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Continuity 

(at around 14 mins) During the intelligence test that Lewis conducts on Zira with the blocks, the position on the blocks shifts between shots, even when Lewis isn't jumbling them.
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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.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The ship the apes arrive in has no engines or tail section as it did in the first film (it was under water) or Brent's in the second one (it was burnt up).This is because the ships were designed to land on their destination planet, then lift off again. Once back in Earth orbit, the rear section is automatically jettisoned before re-entry.
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Plot holes 

(at around 27 mins) Whilst in captivity, Cornelius explains that Dr. Milo salvaged Taylor's space ship (which crashed and then sank in the first film) and rebuilt it, which allowed the three apes to escape from the Earth before it was destroyed and travel backwards in time. The apes in the 40th century did not have the technology to salvage the ship from the bottom of the ocean, let alone the knowledge to rebuild it and learn how to fly it.
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Revealing mistakes 

(at around 5 mins) During the opening titles of the movie, when the helicopter is "lifting off" from the beach, it is the same footage of the landing, played backwards.
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(at around 6 mins) When Cornelius, Zira and Milo are first taken to the zoo, Roddy McDowall's neck is visible underneath his makeup.
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(at around 51 mins) In a close-up during the interrogation scene, Kim Hunter's own mouth and teeth are visible beneath the make-up of Zira's face.
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At the beginning of the film, when the "astronauts" emerge from the capsule in full spacesuits and helmets, they are walking fully erect, unlike the hunched over gait of the apes in previous films.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

(at around 17 mins) When Dr. Milo is killed, Dr. Dixon orders an "autopsy." An examination of a non-human body is a "necropsy."
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Revealing mistakes 

(at around 1h 35 mins) The ending shot of baby Milo talking is played first forwards, then backwards. This forward/backward sequence is repeated several times in a clumsy attempt to extend the shot.
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When Dr. Hasslein is shot at the end of the film, blood from a bullet-squib hits the camera lens (or a protective shield). It leaves a dim smear in the upper left quadrant of the screen.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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