Conquest of the planet of the apes

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1972

Who’s in this?

Roddy McDowall as Caesar son of talking apes from the future who grows up in a wordl where apes don’t talk and are slaves. Roddy was a child actor who easily transitioned into acting as an adult. Was in tons of tv and movies in the 60’s and 70’s plus did a number of voices on cartoons in his later years. Was in four of the five apes films and the tv series.

Natalie Trundy as Lisa the chimp with eyes for Caesar. Trundy was a model as a teen and got into acting shortly after that. She married Apes produced Arthur Jacobs and ended up being in four of the five Apes films.

Don Murray as Breck the governor and tyrannical ruler over the apes. Murray had a promising career in the 50’s and still worked fairly regularly for decades after that. He is listed as being in a project this year which would be his first credit in eight years. Maybe best known for being in Bus Stop with Marilyn Monroe.

Hari Rhodes as MacDonald assistant to Breck, but he sympasizes with the apes. A regular in films and tv in the 60’s and 70’s, was working fairly steady until he died from a heart attack at 59 in early 1992.

Ricardo Montalban as Armando circus owner, friend of Caesar’s and he knows the apes talks so he tries to hide that fact. Born in Mexico he was in acting by his early 20’s and worked regularly for decades. Best know for Fantasy Island and being Khan in the Star Trek episodes Space Seed and Star Trek 2 the wrath of Khan.

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What’s this about? So 20 years ago some talking apes went back into the past to avoid dying because the earth blew up in their time ka-blam the humans blew it up. When they went back all the 20th century fools said “whoa, talking monkeys”. Some nervous jittery high up guys with ties tied too tight decided to try and kill the talking apes to prevent the earth from blowing up. However the apes had a wee little baby monkey who survived, talked and was given to circus people and that’s how the previous film ended. Fast forward 20 years and the little ape is big, still talking and still hanging out with Armando of the circus. Cats and dogs were wiped out so monkeys were used as pets but later as they got bigger they became slave labor because human. The talking monkey soon to be Caesar is eventually bought by Breck at the monkey auction to serve the Governor. Meanwhile the Governor is convinced that the talking monkey baby from 20 years ago is still alive and has agents searching for him. Armando is questioned, but then falls out a window yeaaaaaaahh! Eventually Caesar has had enough and the apes are revolting…and they don’t smell too nice either. Oh, wait not that kind of  revolting but rather a full blown revolution with whatever weapons they have been collecting behind the backs of the humans. A big night time battle happens with the apes stomping all over the humans. Caesar declares the apes will rule and apes grunt in agreement while the city burns. Roll the credits.

The negatives-The only real negative I had was although Caesar’s motives and background fit in with him leading a revolution I am not sure about the other apes following him so quickly. He gives them a look and bam they go against the humans. Maybe the implication is they all had that desire but just needed a leader to give them a push. It just seemed to happen very fast.

The positives-They make good use of the location and it seems like a bigger budget film than it really was. The acting from the main characters are all strong. The first film is the best of the series, but this was probably McDowall’s best performance in the series.  This is easily the second best film of the original five film run.