Double Feature

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

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Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

The fourth in the Apes series looks at the seeds of rebellion from the end of Escape blossoming into full flower. Armando (Ricardo Montalban), a circus owner and protector of Cesar (Roddy McDowell), the son of the time-traveling apes, Cornelius and Zira, arrive in a big city under heavy police surveillance. When Cesar blurts out curses at humans mistreating ape slaves, Armando has to scramble to cover up what could be a fatal slip. Interrogated by Inspector Kolp (Severn Darden), Armando jumps out a window to his death rather than divulge Cesar’s true identity. Cesar ends up bought at auction by dictatorial Governor Breck (Don Murray), secretly begins his insurrectionist activities, but is soon discovered to be the talking ape. Breck orders his death but a sympathetic human (Hari Rhodes) helps Cesar escape. Cesar then ignites his revolution in earnest, with dire consequences for the oppressors.

“J. Lee Thompson’s direction furiously propels the action in a compact chromium-and-glass setting – and wait till you see that last battle royal.” – Howard Thompson, The New York Times

“An allegorical fable of fascism and slavery, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is the best of the four sequels in the hugely successful APES series, as well as being the darkest and most violent.” – TV Guide

Read about Conquest of the Planet of the Apes filming on the UC Irvine campus and see a collection of rare behind-the-scenes photos here.

Chris D explores director J. Lee Thompson’s extensive career on the New Beverly blog.

See a collection of UK lobby cards on the New Beverly forum.

Director
J. Lee Thompson
Starring
Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Natalie Trundy, Ricardo Montalban
Year
1972
Rated
PG
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
88 minutes

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

The final Apes entry unfolds as a flashback, as the orangutan Lawgiver (John Huston!) relates the history of how a nuclear war destroyed most life on earth, but the surviving humans and apes kept an uneasy truce. An enclave of human mutants led by human supremacist Governor Kolp (Severn Darden) wished to exterminate the intelligent simians. On the apes’ side, leader Cesar (Roddy McDowell) was plagued with Kolp’s gorilla counterpart, General Aldo (Claude Akins), who believes all humans should be killed. Despite Cesar’s efforts, all-out war was declared.

“There’s a lot of action and the usual political parallels (at one point Caesar says ‘Let us reason together,’ just like LBJ). John Landis can be seen as a human slave. Landis got to know Apes make-up designer John Chambers, who later appeared in Landis’ directing debut, Schlock.” – Rob Gonsalves, ecritic.com

John Landis talks Battle for the Planet of the Apes for Trailers from Hell.

Chris D explores director J. Lee Thompson’s extensive career on the New Beverly blog.

Director
J. Lee Thompson
Starring
Roddy McDowall, Claude Akins, Natalie Trundy, Severn Darden, Lew Ayres, Paul Williams, John Huston
Year
1973
Rated
G
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
93 minutes

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