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.
The world is shocked by the appearance of three talking chimpanzees, who arrived mysteriously in a U.S. spacecraft. They become the toast of society; but one man believes them to be a threat to the human race.
One decade after a worldwide series of ape revolutions and a brutal nuclear war among humans, Caesar must protect survivors of both species from an insidious human cult and a militant ape faction alike.
J. Lee Thompson
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 <email@example.com>
On a scale of one to ten, this is one of the few perfect tens I've ever given.
Roddy McDowell returns to the Planet of the Apes franchise as Caesar, known in the previous film, albeit briefly, as Milo, newborn son of Zira and Cornelius.
This is the apocalyptic tale of the slavery that eventually leads to man's final end.
The cruelty in this film is so harsh, so harshly real. This film was returned again and again from the censors. They refused to release it without cuts. The cuts were made and yet still this film feels to me to be one of the most harshly realistic films I've ever seen. I pride myself on my inability to be shocked. Yet this film struck right through all the layers of protection my life has wrapped me in.
The riot scenes were so stunningly authentic. One needs not change much to find oneself staring at our own violent past. Let us hope that it will not be, as some have feared, our future as well.
It inspired me.
In a very Shakespearean way.
The reconditioning camps... the men dressed like soldiers of the Reich... the cruelty... the electrocutions... the conspiracies of men in power...
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes was made with a very limited budget. Caesar's prosthetics works were the only high grade appliances in the film. But it works very much with what it had. And it has a finely crafted story. Several steps removed from the rampant idealism of Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest deals with the rage that was bound to result from those events. This is a most important metaphor. A most important film.
If all films were made with such unrestrained passion, with such verve, we would all be better off.
Also it was interesting to me to watch this film because I as able to see inspiration and how it works between peers. Recently I had the oppurtunity to read George Romero's first draft to Day of the Dead -DRASTICLY different from the project that culminated. There were many scenes of the undead legions separated into units, red overalls and green overalls, learning different skills. Being taught. Very similar in every respect to the ape conditioning sequences in this film.
In the end, Romero's film works better WITHOUT those sequences, but still it is quite interesting to be able to see from whence some ideas spring.
Digression aside, this is a very potent film. One that teaches us, if allowed, much about our humanity.
Excellent reprisal performance by Ricardo Montalban. Performance by Roddy McDowell of such a high calibre that it makes up for his relative absence in the previous feature.
Wonderfully adept script by Paul Dehn. Visionary direction by J. Lee Thompson, known for his excellence in his field. Thompson has also been responsible for such highly regarded films as the original Cape Fear and The Guns of the Navarone.
I wish there were more films like this, more films that just go balls to the wall and are so unabashedly free. This movie is not afraid to be what it is. It makes no apologies for the violence it's heroes are forced to resort to. Nor should it. Sometimes bad things happen. And sometimes good men must take to arms to stop the bad men from taking over.
I fear, knowing the result. Knowing the new regime is no better than it's predecessor. The true fear of any freedom fighter.
This will be a film that I watch over and over and over again.
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