In a futuristic world that has embraced ape slavery, Caesar, the son of the late simians Cornelius and Zira, surfaces after almost twenty years of hiding out from the authorities, and prepares for a slave revolt against humanity.
Ten years after conquering the Earth, ape leader Caesar wants the ruling apes and enslaved humans to live in peace. But warring factions of apes led by a militant gorilla general as well as various human groups threaten the stability.
J. Lee Thompson
In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.
A futuristic prison movie. Protagonist and wife are nabbed at a future US emigration point with an illegal baby during population control. The resulting prison experience is the subject of ... See full summary »
Cornelius and Zira's son Caesar leads apes to revolution in this installment of the apes saga. Dogs and cats have been wiped out by a plague and now apes are household pets that are treated like slaves. Caesar has the intelligence to fight this oppression. Written by
Josh Pasnak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An original script draft showed more of the rapid evolution of the apes from primitive to intelligent and showed the progression of apes from pets to slaves. See more »
Throughout the film, the supposedly wireless telephones are simply standard telephones with the wires removed and the wire outlets taped over. This is most noticeable when Mr. McDonald is talking on a red phone and the tape color does not match. See more »
The King is dead. Long live the King! Tell me Breck, before you die - how do we differ from the dogs and cats that you and your kind used to love? Why did you turn us from pets into slaves?
Because your kind were once our ancestors. Because man was born of apes, and there's still an ape curled up inside of every man. You're the beast in us that we have to whip into submission. You're the savage that we need to shackle in chains. You taint us, Caesar. You poison our guts. When we hate you, we're...
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Conquest is the least remembered Apes film, and the one that receives the least amount of TV screenings. There's the original, of course, followed by the one with the mutants, the one on present-day Earth and Battle, the rubbish one. To this end a subtler, low-key picture set in a future Earth 1990s doesn't seem as instantly memorable.
Yet in a period where disease has caused the widespread slaughter of farm livestock, Conquest has taken on a fresh relevancy. Escape details "dog bonfires" that purged the land, and Conquest takes up this strand.
It's superb science fiction. Making a virtue out of its low budget, Conquest is carved as a grimy, low-key thriller, minimal sets being used to their optimum advantage. Apes only have menial jobs in this time period painters, cleaners, shoeshines and face regular police brutality, often for just sitting on the wrong seat, or walking on the wrong patch of grass. The parallels are clear to see. Holding up a mirror to the Watts riots of 1965, it comments on the racial situation in a way that a Hollywood movie doing so directly would not have been allowed. This is exactly what science fiction is for, using its fantasy trappings to make political statement.
Items like the authenticator lean slightly towards pulp SF, though generally this is the most mature, bleak and realistically coded Apes film. Long has the myth that the sequels are worthless reigned, a rumour clearly untrue by the fact that the series lasted for five films. If all the sequels were terrible then they wouldn't have kept on getting made. I put this belief down largely to the awful concluding movie and the lacking TV series, because artistically and conceptually Conquest is arguably the greatest Apes film ever made.
Definitely the greatest of the sequels, any quibbles are minor ones. There's some clunky, yet necessary exposition from Ricardo Montalban in the first five minutes, and some of the speech making towards the climax is a little trite. "When we hate you, we're hating the dark side of ourselves", Caesar is told. Yet even with a studio-enforced overdub of McDowall's final lines to carve a more hopeful ending, this is still unsettling, powerful and unashamedly violent. It's often difficult to watch, which is praise, and one can only wonder how much more disturbing it would have been with the intact dialogue and the full riot unedited. Playing the embittered son of Cornelius, McDowall really comes into his own, with Hari Rhodes's Martin Luther-King persona acting as a counterpoint to Caesar's Malcolm X.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes was set in 1991. In the real world, 1991 saw the police beating of Rodney King. Two decades had passed, yet little or nothing had changed.
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