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Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

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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.

Director:

Don Taylor

Writers:

Paul Dehn, Pierre Boulle (based upon characters created by)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roddy McDowall ... Cornelius
Kim Hunter ... Zira
Bradford Dillman ... Dr. Lewis Dixon
Natalie Trundy ... Dr. Stephanie Branton
Eric Braeden ... Dr. Otto Hasslein
William Windom ... The President
Sal Mineo ... Milo
Albert Salmi ... E-1
Jason Evers ... E-2
John Randolph ... Chairman
Harry Lauter ... General Winthrop
M. Emmet Walsh ... Aide
Roy Glenn ... Lawyer (as Roy E. Glenn Sr.)
Peter Forster 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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 July 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Secret of the Planet of the Apes See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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

Quotes

[first lines]
Helicopter pilot: Red Baron Control. Red Baron Five. Orbiting southeast corner of sector Alpha Charlie. We've spotted what appears to be a spacecraft just outside the surf line. Alert rescue. Advise we can remain on station for 45 minutes and we'll squawk 7700 for a radar fix.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in HBO First Look: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971) ***1/2
16 February 2005 | by JoeKarlosiSee 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. ***1/2 out of ****


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