Produced in Chicago by Essanay, The Escape of the Ape stars an anonymous actor in a reasonably convincing gorilla costume. Anticipating King Kong by 25 years, the surly ape escapes from a circus and goes on a rampage. The big simian "borrows" an automobile, interrupts a poker game, and frightens off a flirtatious cop and his nursemaid sweetheart. By the time the ape has been subdued, half of Chicago (and the Essanay studios) has been laid to waste. A typical "chase" comedy of the era Escape of the Ape was distinguished by its unusual (to say the least) leading man.
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