Escape from the Planet of the Apes

"I did it because I like chimpanzees best of all apes, and you the best of all chimpanzees."

Twentieth Century Fox had found that cheap sequels could turn healthy profits so immediately booked Paul Dehn, the writer of Beneath the Planet of the Apes, to write a third in the series. Unfortunately, the second film ended with the planet being blown up. For Dehn, that was just a thrilling challenge to overcome, and overcome it he did. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Planet of the Apes series with Don Taylor’s 1971 film Escape From the Planet of the Apes.

We talk about the tonal shifts all through the film as well as many of the story problems, yet how it still provides an incredibly fun experience. We look at the wonderful performances by Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter as our two lead chimpanzees and give them credit for how affecting the film (and particularly the ending) is. We ponder some of the screenplay choices they used to retcon the series but find ourselves forgiving them because they end up working out pretty well. We touch on Jerry Goldsmith and his funky 70s score. And we marvel at the strength of the film’s ending and how well it works.

It’s a film that feels like it’s all over the place but is still an absolute joy to watch. We have a great time talking about it on this week’s show, so check it out then tune in! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

Film Sundries

Pete Wright