Conquest of the Planet of the Apes


1h 27m 1972

Brief Synopsis

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.

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Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jun 1972
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 14 Jun 1972; New York opening: 29 Jun 1972
Production Company
Apjac Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Century City, California, United States; Irvine, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based upon characters created by Pierre Boulle.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

After a plague wipes out Earth's dog and cat population, pet-starved people grow attached to monkeys, which are soon bred to be human-sized with a highly developed intellect. By 1991, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans are trained to do a multitude of public service tasks and office support work. Late one afternoon in a major city in North America, circus owner Armando arrives in the city center to arrange advertising for his show, accompanied by the star, young adult chimpanzee Caesar. Unknown to everyone, Caesar is the only offspring of scientist chimpanzees Cornelius and Zira, who lived on Earth in the future year of 3955, the year when the planet was destroyed by a nuclear blast. Hurled back through time by the blast, the scientists arrived on Earth in the year 1973. Brutally murdered by the human bureaucracy that grew to fear the intellectual, speaking chimps, Cornelius and Zira secretly left their baby with the kindly Armando, who raised him in anonymity. Upon arriving in the city with Armando, Caesar is surprised to see numerous monkeys roughly treated by their human handlers, and listens to a litany of animal restrictions called out over speakers. When Caesar asks about the situation, Armando cautions him to remain silent. Proceeding through the plaza, Caesar is amazed to see monkey messengers, hairstylists and waiters, the latter of which have spawned a protest by human waiters. The pair stops to witness a brutal beating of an excited ape by guards until the intervention by a black man, MacDonald, an aide to the governor. Agitated by the callous attack, Caesar cannot resist shouting out "Lousy human bastards!" as a crowd gathers. Startled, the guards turn to Armando, who immediately claims to have made the remark. Frightened when Armando is questioned, Caesar flees and moments later Armando is able to slip through the crowd and follow. Realizing that their flight will bring more suspicion on them, Armando tells Caesar he will voluntarily go to the police to answer all questions and then return for Caesar. If he does not return by a specified time, Armando insists that Caesar go to an unloading dock where foreign apes are delivered so that he can safely mingle with one of the shipments. Horrified at the thought of having to remove his clothes, Caesar nevertheless agrees. Upon reporting to the police, Armando is taken before the ruthless, anti-simian Governor Breck in the company of MacDonald, aide Hoskyns and security head Kolp, who all know of the circus owner's friendship with Cornelius and Zira. Wondering if the chimp scientists' baby was truly killed with its parents and fearful that the monkey population will revolt if guided by a superior leader, the suspicious Breck orders Armando held for further questioning. When Armando fails to return as planned, Caesar sadly complies with his orders and, mingling with a shipment of Borneo orangutans, is processed and taken to a monkey conditioning center for training. Over several days, Caesar carefully observes the center's training methods and quickly demonstrates little need for instruction. Caesar is then rapidly passed on to auction where, impressed by the description of his skills, Breck purchases him for private use. When Caesar intentionally makes a mistake in Breck's office to downplay his abilities, Breck orders him put to work in the Communications Command Center. Meanwhile, an exhausted, disoriented Armando is brought to Kolp and claims that he has no knowledge of a speaking ape. When Kolp reveals his intention to use an "authenticator" ray on Armando to confirm his statement, however, Armando refuses and while struggling with a guard, accidentally crashes through a window and falls to his death. At the center, hearing the news of Armando's death, Caesar is grief-stricken and embittered. Over the next several days, Caesar encourages small displays of public rebellion at their jobs, as well as various thefts from monkeys all over the city. Soon, Caesar meets groups of monkeys at an abandoned cellar where they turn in the stolen goods that include ropes, silverware, knives, a gun and ammunition. Several monkeys, given purchase orders by their masters, bring the forms to Caesar who augments them to enlarge their stash. Concerned over the increasing displays of monkey aggression, Breck suggests the offenders be put through reconditioning, but MacDonald cautions that that will only heighten the agitation. When Kolp discovers that a chimpanzee was checked in with a group of Borneo Orangutans although the island has no chimpanzees, he traces the trail to Caesar. Certain that Caesar must be the speaking chimp they all fear, Breck orders him arrested. When the order comes through to the Communications Center, however, MacDonald lies about Caesar's location and spirits him away. Grateful for MacDonald's protection, Caesar takes a chance and speaks to him, admitting his identity. Although startled, MacDonald pleads with Caesar not to lead a revolt, but Caesar insists that continual cruelty and enslavement forces the monkeys to make a bid for their independence and keep trying until they succeed. Although MacDonald attempts to mislead Kolp and security, Caesar is arrested shortly thereafter. Determined to verify that Caesar has the ability to speak, Breck orders him tortured until he does. Pretending to be overly disturbed by the scene, MacDonald leaves the torture area, only to cut the power to the electric shock table just as Breck orders Caesar electrocuted. Noticing the power gauge behind the guard is not moving, Caesar feigns death, and after Breck and the others depart, he overpowers the guard and escapes to the cellar and waiting monkeys. Leading this large group of monkeys and picking up more in the streets, Caesar heads to the Ape Management building where they confront a group of police. Using the strategies Caesar observed in the training center, the monkeys are able to subdue the armed guards and police, take their weapons and eventually arrive at the plaza Command Center where a horrified Breck watches on monitors. Caesar directs the attack into the Command Center, but orders MacDonald spared while seizing Breck. Demanding to know why humans have enslaved animals intended as pets, Breck says monkeys are too close to humans, who loath the "beast" within themselves. Although outraged, Caesar refrains from striking Breck and orders him carried outside as the Center is set on fire. Although a large group of apes clamor to kill Breck, Caesar hesitates when MacDonald, describing himself as the descendent of slaves who empathizes with the simians' abuse, pleads for him to spare Beck. Noting that chimpanzees are discomforted by the gorillas' preference for violence, Caesar declares that their rebellion will signal a worldwide revolt among monkeys against their servitude, but they will wait for mankind to destroy themselves, heralding an inevitable planet of apes.

Photo Collections

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes - Novelization
Here is the Award Books novelization of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) by John Jakes.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jun 1972
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 14 Jun 1972; New York opening: 29 Jun 1972
Production Company
Apjac Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Century City, California, United States; Irvine, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based upon characters created by Pierre Boulle.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

TCM Remembers - J. Lee Thompson


TCM REMEMBERS J. LEE THOMPSON, 1914 - 2002

Oscar-nominated director J. Lee Thompson died August 30th at the age of 88. Though he worked in several genres, Thompson was best-known for his action films. Thompson was born in Bristol England on August 1, 1914. After graduating from college he became a playwright and it was the appearance of one of his plays on London's famous West End that got him noticed by the British film studio, Elstree. His first filmed script was The Pride of Folly in 1937 and others appeared sporadically until his career was side-tracked during the war when Thompson served in the RAF as a B-29 tail gunner. (He also reportedly worked as a dialogue coach on Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn, 1939.) Thompson's directorial debut came in 1950 when he adapted his own play Double Error to the screen as Murder Without Crime. Throughout the decade he directed a variety of dramas and comedies until hitting it big in 1958 with Ice Cold in Alex (released in the US minus 50 minutes under the title Desert Attack). It was nominated for three BAFTAs and was enough of a commercial success that Thompson landed the film that made his career: The Guns of Navarone (1961). This enormous international hit snagged Thompson an Oscar nomination for Best Director. He immediately followed that with the original Cape Fear (1962) and his reputation was set. Though Thompson remained active almost three more decades he didn't reach that level again. He worked on Westerns (Mackenna's Gold, 1969), horror films (Eye of the Devil, 1967), literary adaptations (Huckleberry Finn, 1974) and others. During this time, Thompson directed two Planet of the Apes sequels but was kept most busy working with Charles Bronson, for whom he directed nine films. Thompson's last film was in 1989.

KATRIN CARTLIDGE, 1961 - 2002

The news of actress Katrin Cartlidge's death at the age of 41 has come as a shock. It's not just the age but the thought that even though Cartlidge was already a major actress--despite a slender filmography--she held out the promise of even greater work, a promise that so few artists of any type can make. "Fearless" is perhaps the word most often used to describe Cartlidge but emotions are never enough for an actor; much more is required. Director Mike Leigh said she had "the objective eye of an artist" while remarking on her "her deep-seated suspicion of all forms of woolly thinking and received ideas."

Cartlidge was born in London on May 15, 1961. Her first acting work was on the stage, in tiny independent theatres before she was selected by Peter Gill for the National Theatre. Cartlidge also worked as a dresser at the Royal Court where she later made one of her final stage appearances. She began appearing in the popular British TV series Brookside before making her first film in 1985, Sacred Hearts. A small role in the Robbie Coltrane-Rik Mayall vehicle Eat the Rich (1987) followed before Cartlidge had her first leading role in Mike Leigh's scathing Naked (1993).

Cartlidge never took a safe approach in her films. She told The Guardian that "I try to work with film-makers who I feel will produce something original, revealing and provoking. If something provokes a reaction, it's well worth doing." You can see this in her choice of projects. Before the Rain (1994) dramatized violence in Macedonia in the wake of the Yugoslavian break-up and made Cartlidge something of a star in the area. She appeared in Lars Von Trier's controversial look at redemption, Breaking the Waves (1996), Leigh's sharply detailed story of aging friends Career Girls (1997), as one of Jack the Ripper's victims in From Hell (2001), as a call girl trying to leave the business in Clair Dolan (1998) and in the Oscar-winning film about Bosnia-Herzegovina, No Man's Land (2001). Her last work included a BBC adaptation of Crime and Punishment (2002), playing Salvador Dali's wife Gala in the BBC comedy-drama Surrealissimo (2002) and an appearance in Rosanna Arquette's directorial debut, Searching for Debra Winger (also 2002), a documentary about women in the film industry.

Cartlidge died September 7th from septicaemia brought on by pneumonia.

TCM REMEMBERS LEO MCKERN, 1920-2002

The recent death of Leo McKern, 82, marked the passing of one of Britain's finest and most respected character actors. He was suffering from ill health in recent years and was moved to a nursing home a few weeks before his death on July 23 2002 in Bath, England. An actor of commanding presence with a deep-throated voice, the portly, bulbous-nosed McKern had a long, distinguished career spanning more than half a century, earning numerous plaudits along the way in all major mediums: theatre, film and television.

Born Reginald McKern on March 16, 1920 in Sydney, Australia; he served with the Australian Army during World War II and worked in regional theatre in his native Sydney before immigrating to England in 1946. It was a slow start, but after a three-year apprenticeship of painting scenery, stage-managing and acting, McKern eventually joined the celebrated Old Vic theatrical company in 1949 and proved one of the more versatile actors in the troupe tackling diverse roles in comedy, the classics and serious contemporary parts.

His film debut came in Murder in the Cathedral (1952) but it took a few years before he made his mark in cinema. Some of his best film work included roles as Peter Sellers' comic henchman in the classic satire The Mouse That Roared (1959); a bungling train robber in the charming Disney film The Horse Without a Head (1963); a nefarious professor who kills off his colleagues for amusement in the brilliant black comedy A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964); Clang, a cartoonish villain in the Beatles' pop film Help! (1965); Cromwell, the persecutor of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (1966) and as Thomas Ryan in the David Lean drama, Ryan's Daughter (1970).

Yet despite all the accolades McKern earned in theatre and films, it was television where he foundinternational fame as the wily, irascible barrister Horace P. Rumpole in John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey in 1975. Infusing the character with beguiling skill and energy, McKern made the acerbic, wine swilling, Tennyson-quoting Rumpole a much loved figure that was adored by critics, audiences and even its creator Mortimer. Perhaps Mortimer offered the most fitting tribute when he once referred to McKern - "His acting exists where I always hope my writing will be: about two feet above the ground, a little larger than life, but always taking off from reality." Enough said.

By Michael T. Toole

Tcm Remembers - J. Lee Thompson

TCM Remembers - J. Lee Thompson

TCM REMEMBERS J. LEE THOMPSON, 1914 - 2002 Oscar-nominated director J. Lee Thompson died August 30th at the age of 88. Though he worked in several genres, Thompson was best-known for his action films. Thompson was born in Bristol England on August 1, 1914. After graduating from college he became a playwright and it was the appearance of one of his plays on London's famous West End that got him noticed by the British film studio, Elstree. His first filmed script was The Pride of Folly in 1937 and others appeared sporadically until his career was side-tracked during the war when Thompson served in the RAF as a B-29 tail gunner. (He also reportedly worked as a dialogue coach on Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn, 1939.) Thompson's directorial debut came in 1950 when he adapted his own play Double Error to the screen as Murder Without Crime. Throughout the decade he directed a variety of dramas and comedies until hitting it big in 1958 with Ice Cold in Alex (released in the US minus 50 minutes under the title Desert Attack). It was nominated for three BAFTAs and was enough of a commercial success that Thompson landed the film that made his career: The Guns of Navarone (1961). This enormous international hit snagged Thompson an Oscar nomination for Best Director. He immediately followed that with the original Cape Fear (1962) and his reputation was set. Though Thompson remained active almost three more decades he didn't reach that level again. He worked on Westerns (Mackenna's Gold, 1969), horror films (Eye of the Devil, 1967), literary adaptations (Huckleberry Finn, 1974) and others. During this time, Thompson directed two Planet of the Apes sequels but was kept most busy working with Charles Bronson, for whom he directed nine films. Thompson's last film was in 1989. KATRIN CARTLIDGE, 1961 - 2002 The news of actress Katrin Cartlidge's death at the age of 41 has come as a shock. It's not just the age but the thought that even though Cartlidge was already a major actress--despite a slender filmography--she held out the promise of even greater work, a promise that so few artists of any type can make. "Fearless" is perhaps the word most often used to describe Cartlidge but emotions are never enough for an actor; much more is required. Director Mike Leigh said she had "the objective eye of an artist" while remarking on her "her deep-seated suspicion of all forms of woolly thinking and received ideas." Cartlidge was born in London on May 15, 1961. Her first acting work was on the stage, in tiny independent theatres before she was selected by Peter Gill for the National Theatre. Cartlidge also worked as a dresser at the Royal Court where she later made one of her final stage appearances. She began appearing in the popular British TV series Brookside before making her first film in 1985, Sacred Hearts. A small role in the Robbie Coltrane-Rik Mayall vehicle Eat the Rich (1987) followed before Cartlidge had her first leading role in Mike Leigh's scathing Naked (1993). Cartlidge never took a safe approach in her films. She told The Guardian that "I try to work with film-makers who I feel will produce something original, revealing and provoking. If something provokes a reaction, it's well worth doing." You can see this in her choice of projects. Before the Rain (1994) dramatized violence in Macedonia in the wake of the Yugoslavian break-up and made Cartlidge something of a star in the area. She appeared in Lars Von Trier's controversial look at redemption, Breaking the Waves (1996), Leigh's sharply detailed story of aging friends Career Girls (1997), as one of Jack the Ripper's victims in From Hell (2001), as a call girl trying to leave the business in Clair Dolan (1998) and in the Oscar-winning film about Bosnia-Herzegovina, No Man's Land (2001). Her last work included a BBC adaptation of Crime and Punishment (2002), playing Salvador Dali's wife Gala in the BBC comedy-drama Surrealissimo (2002) and an appearance in Rosanna Arquette's directorial debut, Searching for Debra Winger (also 2002), a documentary about women in the film industry. Cartlidge died September 7th from septicaemia brought on by pneumonia. TCM REMEMBERS LEO MCKERN, 1920-2002 The recent death of Leo McKern, 82, marked the passing of one of Britain's finest and most respected character actors. He was suffering from ill health in recent years and was moved to a nursing home a few weeks before his death on July 23 2002 in Bath, England. An actor of commanding presence with a deep-throated voice, the portly, bulbous-nosed McKern had a long, distinguished career spanning more than half a century, earning numerous plaudits along the way in all major mediums: theatre, film and television. Born Reginald McKern on March 16, 1920 in Sydney, Australia; he served with the Australian Army during World War II and worked in regional theatre in his native Sydney before immigrating to England in 1946. It was a slow start, but after a three-year apprenticeship of painting scenery, stage-managing and acting, McKern eventually joined the celebrated Old Vic theatrical company in 1949 and proved one of the more versatile actors in the troupe tackling diverse roles in comedy, the classics and serious contemporary parts. His film debut came in Murder in the Cathedral (1952) but it took a few years before he made his mark in cinema. Some of his best film work included roles as Peter Sellers' comic henchman in the classic satire The Mouse That Roared (1959); a bungling train robber in the charming Disney film The Horse Without a Head (1963); a nefarious professor who kills off his colleagues for amusement in the brilliant black comedy A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964); Clang, a cartoonish villain in the Beatles' pop film Help! (1965); Cromwell, the persecutor of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (1966) and as Thomas Ryan in the David Lean drama, Ryan's Daughter (1970). Yet despite all the accolades McKern earned in theatre and films, it was television where he foundinternational fame as the wily, irascible barrister Horace P. Rumpole in John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey in 1975. Infusing the character with beguiling skill and energy, McKern made the acerbic, wine swilling, Tennyson-quoting Rumpole a much loved figure that was adored by critics, audiences and even its creator Mortimer. Perhaps Mortimer offered the most fitting tribute when he once referred to McKern - "His acting exists where I always hope my writing will be: about two feet above the ground, a little larger than life, but always taking off from reality." Enough said. By Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Funny, now that I know these things won't kill me, I don't enjoy them.
- Woman
Where there is fire, there is smoke. And in that smoke, from this day forward, my people will crouch and conspire and plot and plan for the inevitable day of Man's downfall--the day when he finally and self-destructively turns his weapons against his own kind. The day of the writing in the sky, when your cities lie buried under radioactive rubble! When the sea is a dead sea, and the land is a wasteland out of which *I* will lead my people from their captivity! And we will build our own cities in which there will be no place for humans except to serve our ends! And we shall found our own armies, our own religion, our own dynasty! And that day is upon you NOW!
- Caesar

Trivia

The final scene in which Caesar is giving his "equality" speech was added after the film's completion. This is why the final shot is only of Caesar's eyes and is of a grainy quality; the shot was just a cropped piece of footage from earlier in the film. Roddy McDowell was brought in the read the final lines, which were then edited into place and the film re-released.

This is the only film from the original "Planet of the Apes" series that was not rated G.

J. Lee Thompson co-owned the rights with Jacobs and was originally going to direct the movie.

Notes

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes marked the third appearance of Roddy McDowall in the lucrative series. However, in this entry, McDowall played "Caesar," the son of "Cornelius," the simian scientist he portrayed in 1968's Planet of the Apes and 1971's Escape from the Planet of the Apes (see below). Ricardo Montalban reprised his role as "Armando" from the latter film. As noted in a January 1972 Variety news item, Natalie Trundy, wife of producer Arthur P. Jacobs, was making her third appearance in the series. Filmfacts reported that the original script had the apes murdering the tyrannical Beck, but this was changed upon filming. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes was filmed in and around Century City, CA and the University of California, Irvine. Hollywood Reporter production charts add Lizbeth Deen to the cast, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add James Bacon and Rayford Barnes to the cast. For more information about the series, please see the entry below for Planet of the Apes.

Miscellaneous Notes

Voted One of the Year's Ten Best English-language Films by the 1968 National Board of Review.

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1972

Re-released in United States on Video August 11, 1998

1998 Video re-release is restored, remastered, and THX certified.

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1972

Re-released in United States on Video August 11, 1998

Fourth installment to PLANETS OF THE APES (1968) directed by Franklin J Schaffner; 2nd installment BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (1970) directed by Ted Post; 3rd installment ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES (1971) directed by Lewis Dixon.

Selected in 2001 for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

Re-released on video in USA August 11, 1998.

Released in USA on video.