Escape from the Planet of the Apes [1971]

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Meet baby Milo who has Washington terrified.

Directed by Don Taylor

Reviewed by Deep Red

Aka Flykten från apornas planet

OK, it’s ‘Apes’ time again. Brilliant! Three apes survive the end of the last film by repairing Taylor or Brent’s spaceship (answers on a postcard please) and piloting it straight into the ocean in 1973. These apes, chimps, are Zira (Kim Hunter), Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) and Milo (Sal Mineo).

Milo is killed by a gorilla at the zoo where they’re held. Zira and Cornelius befriend the scientists there, Dr. Lewis Dixon (Bradford Dillman) and Dr. Stephanie Branton (Natalie Trundy). They appear before a presidential commission, they even become celebrities. Zira is pregnant and she tells Dr. Otto Hasslein (Eric Braeden) who, concerned, relays the information back to the president (William Windom). Hasslein has Zira put under hypnosis and she discloses the truth about her work. The commission orders that Zira’s unborn be terminated and that they be prevented from bearing offspring. Cornelius accidentally kills an orderly in temper. Zira and Cornelius escape and are taken to a circus run by a man called Armando (Ricardo Montalban), by Lewis and Stephanie. With baby Milo, Zira and Cornelius leave the circus but Hasslein pursues them to the harbour….

This one is obviously different to the first two films as it’s set in the U.S. in the 1970s and to be honest it’s pretty barmy in places, in a good way. The makeup is as excellent as ever and it’s an involving film that is a classic in its own right. The humour hasn’t aged too well so it does come across as a bit crazy but it’s well-plotted and the finale is the strongest of all the ‘Apes’ films in my opinion. Of the five films in the original series it’s probably the second best, behind the original, although I do love ‘Conquest’, the next film. It’s certainly the most emotive and I’m a big, big fan of ‘Escape’ personally. What a great series of films! Can’t wait to rewatch ‘Conquest’. Highly recommended as an ‘Apes’ fan.