Review Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

Doctor Omega

Moderator
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Your thoughts on this movie......

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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Doctor Omega

Moderator
I watched this again a little earlier today. It is really good. Roddy and Kim are excellent, as is the chilling performance of Eric Braeden as Doctor Hasslien with his "Herod lacked our resources" line and his decision to try and alter history if he could.

One of the better Ape films and nudging with the first to be best. (Although I love BENEATH too for simply being mad!)
 

Elliot Thomas

Member: Rank 3
If you put the preposterousness of it to one side, there's plenty to enjoy here. It’s a scathing satire on (then) modern life, riffing many social problems of the time such as nuclear activity, (lack of) women’s rights, race and fashion.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
I very much like the shift in tone that happens in this film about halfway through.

From fish out of water comedy to tragedy.
 

Gavin

Member: Rank 6
VIP
I liked it but nothing can compare to the first and best in the series!
JB
I wouldn't even try to compare the two. They're such different concepts that comparisons are impossible. The only things in common between the first and third are the characters of the apes. Everything else is different. Both are excellent movies in their own way.
 

johnnybear

Member: Rank 6
There was a filmed scene with the apes aboard the ship witnessing the destruction of the earth but for some reason it was excluded from the final print of the film!
JB
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
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Someone has attempted a reconstruction, JB....


Escape from the Planet of the Apes: Pre-title Reconstruction


The shooting script for the third Apes film, Escape, begins with Taylor's ship being re-launched, the Ape-o-nauts witnessing Earth's destruction from orbit and then splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. Although the scenes inside the ship were filmed with Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter and Sal Mineo wearing spacesuits and helmets, they were scrapped and the film begins after the ship had already splashed down. Using rare stills, stock footage and the talents of the wonderful people at BrokenSea, the opening sequence has been reconstructed as it might have appeared in the film.

 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
There has been much fan speculation over the years about the 'missing scene' from the opening of Escape - a scene outlined in the script in which the Ape-onauts witness the destruction of their planet and begin to travel through time. On the basis of the evidence it seems likely this scene was in fact filmed, but cut from the final edit. The evidence being that an elaborate ship interior was constructed specifically for this scene (it wasn't used again in the movie, but the the interiors were re-used for the opening episode of the TV series a few years later, with alterations because the filming was taking place from the front of the ship rather than from the interior). A few photos also seem to show the apes being filmed in the cockpit, but they have their helmets on. Kim Hunter remembered, "I think they just cut it. I think we did that, as I recall. I remember shots inside... not a full ship, but inside shots that they took and I guess just decided to cut, which probably made sense."[5] Information given on the 2008 Blu-Ray release of Escape suggested that the scene was shot but that the producers preferred to hold the element of surprise until the apes removed their helmets on the beach, and that they also felt the scene might lead the audience to anticipate that this would be a standard science-fiction film when, in fact, it was primarily a love story - albeit between two apes.[2] If this scene (and others: see entries for General Brody, Hercules & Brunhilde) was filmed, there is good reason to suppose it may be released eventually, given the recent extended releases of Battle for the Planet of the Apes and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. The Marvel Comics' adaptation of Escape was based on scripts rather than the finished film, and so included the scene. In fact, it inspired one of the best cover illustrations of the Marvel series (by Ken Barr). In the final screenplay (reprinted in the comic adaptation), the dialogue ran:


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Astronaut 1 (Cornelius): "We made it."

Astronaut 2 (Milo): "So far. But one thing is for certain. Whoever wins the war, there'll be no place on Earth for us."

Astronaut 3 (Zira): "Where are we going?"

Astronaut 2: "Probably to our death."

Taylor: "You...bloody bastard..."

Astronaut 2: "The fools...they've finally destroyed themselves."

Astronaut 1: "My God, the Earth is no more."

Astronaut 3: "And we've escaped."

Astronaut 2: "We have, if we survive the shock wave. -- The shock must have unbalanced the mechanism. I don't understand. -- We've been forced out of orbit."

Astronaut 1: "We're descending."

Astronaut 3: "But where?"
 

johnnybear

Member: Rank 6
Crafty how they used the destruction of Praxis from Star Trek:The Undiscovered Country to show earth being destroyed in their film! There are missing scenes to Battle for The Planet of The Apes too and I think they are available either as deleted scenes or added into the film on either Blu-Ray or a special DVD set but i'm not exactly sure, Doc!
JB
 
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