Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

"The savage must be shackled in chains. You are that beast, Caesar."

J. Lee Thompson was meant to direct the original Planet of the Apes film but wasn’t able to due to project conflicts. By the time the franchise got to the fourth film, Thompson was invited back to finally make his mark. The budget was lower than it had been previously, but he still did his best with what he had, and he made the darkest of the franchise. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our series on the original Planet of the Apes films with Thompson’s 1972 film Conquest for the Planet of the Apes.

We talk about the social commentary existing within this film and how well it works compared to the previous films. We look at the return of Ricardo Montalban and Roddy McDowall and the heart the two of them bring to this story, not to mention the frightening transition from innocent ape to revolutionary leader. We touch on the nature of the story here with the ape training montages and the big battle sequence near the end and debate how effective they are. We hit on the darkness of the film and discuss the two different cuts and how that darkness changes so much between versions. And we look at why the film ended up being made so cheaply but how well it did in the box office.

It’s a dark film but a fantastic entry to this franchise, and we have a great time talking about it. Tune in to this week’s show to find out more! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

Film Sundries