Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

35mm film, Panavision (anamorphic), colour, 2.35:1
mono, English

An American science fiction film directed by Don Taylor. It was the third in the Planet of the series of films.

Plot Summary

Three of the highly evolved apes travel back in time in a recovered spaceship to 1970s California. At first, they are treated like royalty, but when the truth about the world they left behind comes out, the authorities start to get panicky. To make matters worse, Zira reveals that she's pregnant…


Directed by: Don Taylor
© MCMLXXI by APJAC Productions, Inc. and Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Twentieth Century Fox presents an Arthur P. Jacobs production. Produced by APJAC Productions, Inc. Released by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Produced by: Arthur P. Jacobs
Associate Producer: Frank Capra Jr
Unit Production Manager: Francisco Day
Written by: Paul Dehn
Based Upon Characters Created by: Pierre Boulle
Assistant Director: Joseph ‘Pepi' Lenzi
Director of Photography: Joseph Biroc
Filmed in Panavision
Film Editor: Marion Rothman
Color by DeLuxe
Music: Jerry Goldsmith
Orchestration: Arthur Morton
Sound: Dean Vernon, Theodore Soderberg
Makeup Supervision: Don Striepke
Makeup Artist: Jack Barron
Hair Stylist: Mary Babcock
Creative Makeup Design: John Chambers
Special Photographic Effects: Howard A. Anderson Co.
Art Directors: Jack Martin Smith, William Creber
Set Decorators: Walter M. Scott, Stuart A. Reiss
Art Illustrator: Bill Sully
Unit Publicist: Jack Hirshberg
Animal Furnished by: Roy Kabat
Locations: Los Angeles Harbor, San Pedro, California, USA; Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, California, USA; south of San Clemente, California, USA

Roddy McDowall (Cornelius)
Kim Hunter (Dr Zira)
Bradford Dillman (Dr Lewis Dixon)
Natalie Trundy (Dr Stephanie Branton/Stevie)
Eric Braeden (Dr Otto Hasslein)
William Windom (The President)
Sal Mineo (Dr Milo)
Albert Salmi (E-1)
Jason Evers (E-2)
John Randolph (Chairman of the President's Committee of Inquiry)
Harry Lauter (General Winthrop)
M. Emmet Walsh (General Winthrop's aide)
Peter Forster (cardinal)
William Woodson (naval officer)
Gene Whittington (marine captain)
Roy E. Glenn Sr (lawyer)
Norman Burton (army officer)
Tom Lowell (orderly)
Donald Elson (curator)
Ricardo Montalban as Armando
Bill Bonds (TV newscaster)
Army Archerd (referee)
James Bacon (General Faulkner)
John Alderman [corporal – uncredited]
Stephen Roberts [General Brody – uncredited]
James Sikking [control room officer – uncredited]
Bob Black [extra – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Escape del planeta de los simios – Venezuelan title
Les évadeés de la planète des singes – French, French Canadian title
Flucht vom Planet der Affen – West German title
Flykten från apornas planet – Swedish title
Fuga dal pianeta delle scimmie – Italian title
Fuga do Planeta dos Macacos – Portugese title
A Fuga do Planeta dos Macacos – Brazilian title
Huida del planeta de los simios – Spanish title
Majmok bolygója 3 – A menekülés – Hungarian title
Pako apinoiden planeetalta – Finnish title
Truslen fra abernes planet – Danish title
Ucieczka zplanety malp – Polish title

Sequel to
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

Extracts included in
Behind the Planet of the Apes (1998)


Cinefantastique vol.1 no.4 (1971) p.28
While critical reception of succeeding films in the series has taken at complete turnabout after having shown much enthusiasm for the first film Planet of the Apes (1968), my interest has grown with each new episode. I cannot think of any fantasy film series that has evolved as dynamically or as inventively as these three films while maintaining so convincingly a continuous and consistent storyline. The key to my fascination in these films is that they have evolved, and this, too, leads to my bewilderment at their being dismissed so offhandedly. While they all subsist of the same broad thematic character, consisting in the coolly satirical examination of humankind, each has done so on its own level; the first film, by utilizing apes that act like humans: in the second, by using future man refined from the worst elements of our character to his ultimate and logical absurdity; and in this new, and third film, by using humans who act like apes, a clever reversal of the motif of the original film. […] Don Taylor has directed the screenplay's very difficult turnabout in mood, from comedy to tragedy, smoothly and with a gradual ease that evens out the harsh contrasts yet deepens the impact of the concluding portion, However, the chief credit for the success of this film and the entire series must go to Paul Dehn, the scripter of both sequels, who has so imaginatively expanded the original concept until it has gone full circle, from the future into the present and now promises to lead us back into the future again for its, we hope, fantastic conclusion. What we have here is not just three separate films, but one great work that has the promise of being the first epic of filmed science fiction. – from an illustrated review by Frederick S. Clarke

Today's Cinema no.9921 (9 July 1971) p.8
After the grimness and wholesale slaughter of Return to the Planet of the Apes [sic], this third instalment of the saga marks a welcome resurgence of style, wit and imaginative writing. If the ingenuity of the plot sags a bit in the middle when the chimpanzees are sampling the flesh pots of Los Angeles this can be excused as providing easily understandable comedy for smaller children. The only hurdle that disbelief has to overcome is that the space capsule should so fortuitously and conveniently have arrived at the right place and in the right year. From then on the story develops with the satisfying logic that integrates fantasy with the commonplace to make the impossible seem more than probable. – from a review by Marjorie Bilbow



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.16 p.46
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.18 p.56
  • Cinefantastique vol.1 no.4 (1971) p.28 – illustrated credits, review (by Frederick S. Clarke)
  • Cinefantastique vol.33 no.4 (August 2001) pp.34-37 – production notes (Planet of the Apes: the original series by Mark Phillips)
  • Empire no.203 (May 2006) p.165 – DVD review (At Home/Reissues on DVD: Box sets by Sam Toy)
  • Film Bulletin vol.40 no.10 (June 1971) p.36 – review
  • Film Comment vol.31 no.5 (September/October 1995) pp.62-66 – article (Son of Apes by Michael Atkinson)
  • Filmfacts vol.14 no.9 (1971) p.203 – reprinted reviews
  • Films and Filming vol.18 no.205 (October 1971) p.64 – review
  • Halls of Horror no.27 p.20 – video data
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.214 no.1 (4 December 1970) p.10 – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.216 no.16 (19 May 1971) p.3 – review
  • Kine Weekly no.3326 (10 July 1971) p.10 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.38 no.451 (August 1971) pp.163-164 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.241 no.7 (16 June 1971) p.567 – review
  • Starburst no.356 (November 2007) p.114 – article (In Numbers: Planet of the Apes)
  • Today's Cinema no.9921 (9 July 1971) p.8 – review (by Marjorie Bilbow)
  • Today's Cinema no.9928 (3 August 1971) p.7 – note (General releases)
  • Total Film no.75 (April 2003) pp.76-77 – illustrated interview with Bob Black (Extra! extra! by Kevin Murphy)
  • TV Times 20-26 August 1983 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Variety (26 May 1971) p.23 – review


  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.298
  • Escape Velocity by Bradley Schauer pp.147
  • Film Review 1972-73 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.219
  • Hoffman's Guide to Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.123 – credits, short review
  • Nuclear Movies: A Filmography by Mick Broderick p.80
  • by Walt Lee p.125 – credits
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.382-383
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) p.40 – credits, review
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.18