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Thursday, 16 August, 2001, 10:37 GMT 11:37 UK
Apes surprises Edinburgh film-goers
Tim Roth
Tim Roth plays the ruthless ape General Thade
Planet of the Apes star Tim Roth has introduced the film at Edinburgh Festival's surprise movie event, but several audience members walked out before it was screened.

His visit had been shrouded in secrecy at the Wednesday screening, where the audience had no clue as to what they would watch.

Billed by the festival as "nothing short of a revelatory experience", the surprise movie usually whips up great interest beforehand, and has shown movies such as Pulp Fiction and LA Confidential.

Roth, 40, who has appeared in Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, introduced his new science-fiction film to the 800-strong audience.

Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes is a remake of the 1968 classic
However the BBC's Neil Smith, who was at the event, said a sizeable number of audience members walked out before the film started, perhaps because they had already seen the film at a preview screening.

The festival's website emphasises the fact that the surprise movie is usually one which the audience do not have a great deal of prior knowledge about.

It says: "How much more would you have enjoyed LA Confidential if you had no inclination of the plot twists and turns? This is the experience afforded you by the surprise movie."

But the much-publicised Planet of the Apes, which is already out in the US, had its UK première earlier this week, and comes out on Friday.

Record takings

The BBC's Neil Smith said that Roth, who also left the cinema before the film was shown, told the audience: "The film requires no thinking matter. It's a big thrill ride."

Although it has had a generally poor reception from film critics, it has done well so far at the US box office, breaking America's record as its biggest non-holiday opener with $69.9m (£49.1m).

The previous night the English actor had been in London for the Planet of the Apes première, alongside co-stars Helena Bonham Carter and Mark Wahlberg.

Planet of the Apes is a remake of the 1968 classic movie starring Charlton Heston and the late Roddy McDowell.

Roth plays the ape-role of ruthless, evil General Thade.

It sees Wahlberg as an astronaut land on a strange planet inhabited by hostile talking apes.

Bonham Carter's ape character and a band of human rebels try to help Wahlberg evade the ape warriors and discover the secret of the enslaved humans.

See also:

14 Aug 01 | Film
Stars attend Apes UK premiere
15 Aug 01 | Film
In Pictures: Apes UK premiere
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