Tonight Has Been the Birth of the Planet of the Apes
So we are almost done with out Planet of the Apes Wednesdays I’ve really enjoyed them as I think this has been the first time I’ve actually watched them all in order and completely through.
We open up in America 1991-Gorillas in orange jumpsuits, Chimps in green khakis. A whole new world.
So already digging two things about this film-Yes Roddy McDowell is in this one too (I just love him)! And it sounds as if they brought that awesome music from the first film- a tribal sound mixed with scifi.
So a lot has happened since the last film. It turns out Cornelius and Zira brought a space disease that killed all the cats and dogs in the world. Yes Taylor going through time disrupted the timeline and accelerated it.
Just like Cornelius had said, the people began adopting apes to have them be pets, and then when they become so good at everything, they start treating them as slaves.
All of them
The police/security guards are all dressed as gestapo and the apes aren’t allowed to gather and meet freely. They are training the apes to be slaves, just like Cornelius said in the previous film. Carry packages, tie shoes, shoe-shine, mop, waiters hairdressers, servers, etc. The apes are on leashes, yes they are man sized-look like people but treated like animals.
People are protesting as the apes take their jobs. They really get you on the metaphor. It is interesting as this is clearly speaking from the headlines of the, but some things are still relevant to today.
We see Cesare and the circus owner, Armando (Ricardo Montalban). They give us a brief recap of where we left off in the as film (I summarized above). So Armando has protected Cesare by keeping him away from the cities in his traveling circus. However, they have needed to go to the city to get a crowd and make more money
So WORST IDEA EVER!!! Why would you bring the most sought after talking ape who has been sheltered his whole life to the city where they treat apes cruel. You should have left him with the circus animals.
The police start roughhousing with an ape and, of course Cesare speaks out. They are close to being captured, but the attention is grabbed by someone else and they melt away into the crowd.
Cesare runs away and they hide out for a bit. Armando never should have brought him.
Armando tells Cesare to wait for him, he is going to the police and make up a story. If he doesn’t return by nine o’clock, the plan is for Cesare to head to the harbor and pretend to be an ape fresh off the boat.
Armando ends up in the governor’s office, and they
torture question Armando more and more. Armando continues to fight them and protect Cesare. He continues to say that he has no clue about the chimps from space and monkeys.
The governor doesn’t believe him and is taking no chances. In the provinces, where the circus has been-there has been no issues. But in the city, there have been uprisings. One ape attacked his owner, which an aide says was because of excessive beatings, proof seen on the body. But the governor doesn’t care. He doesn’t like them, and they all must be subservient or ELSE!
So Armando doesn’t come and Cesare sneaks into the harbor with the other apes. They are all freaking out-worried, but Cesare calms them down. When they arrive off the boat they are fingerprinted and taken to be trained.
That’s not good.
I really like the buildings on this, it kind of makes me think of Total Recall set design.
So the guards have flamethrowers, just like the Nazis. Yes, the Nazi vibe is really heavy here. We see it in the uniforms the guards wear, the camps to train the apes in, flamethrowers, apes having to wear certain clothes, apes having to be separate, etc.
Cesare is put in a pen with other chimps and given a banana . The other chimps have been going crazy as they have been starved all day, but Cesare shares the banana with the others.
Meanwhile the guards are
torturing I mean questioning Armando. I like how the guards in charge of the apes are a mix of races, although only men. I guess women don’t get to be guards in this new world order.
So Cesare of course is just blowing the guards away with his talent, being much faster at picking up the training.
There are very few orangoutangs in this and probably because they have to be bigger and the makeup budget was slashed. The gorillas and chimps were much easier.
So they breed the chimps and gorillas like in Anthem by Ayn Rand. Cesare gets picked as a breeder and…
This movie is Anthem! Both films have a society were a small elite rule over a larger group that have to do “lower” things like janitorial, shoe shining, etc. They assign certain people to each other and breed them. One man rebels against them, and in Anthem runs off with their lady to recreate society.
Must be why I love that book, (I obviously saw this before I read it.)
They then chain the apes up to monoliths and sell them. Cesare is brough out for the bidding and the guard drops the cuffs and Cesare picks it up and gives it to him. Everyone can see that he is a chimpanzee of great intelligence and he goes for $1500 to the governor! Eep!
That’s not good.
So whenever the people speak to apes they say “no” a lot. I don’t think I say no to my cat that much, but then who could make a cat a slave? No wonder that was Aldo’s first word.
Breck: Ah, it seems the little fella’s not quite so bright after all.
MacDonald: No, but then brightness has never been encouraged among slaves.
The governor lets Cesare pick out his own name, as his wife has all their apes do it, and he chooses Caesar. What book were they looking at that the Cs were in the middle of the book? I guess if it was an “a-d” volume but it was a fat book.
Cesare walks taller than the others and more like a man. He is lead out and intrigued by all that he sees on the world. They climb through these tunnels, and they look like the ones they went through in Beneath the Plant of the Apes Yay! Continuity.
Caesar gets put to work on filing.
Meanwhile, Armando is still in questioning. They finally decide to release him after he signs a declaration. He doesn’t read it, but signs right away. He shouldn’t have don’t that.
Always read before you sign.
They put him under a machine that forces him to tell the truth-see shouldn’t have signed.
Bad luck is never ending!
He fights with them and they beat him, he ends up trying to escape and goes out the window falling to his death.
Ah, poor Armando. He never should have taken Cesare into the world, he should have left him in the circus. But if he had, we never would have had this film.
Poor Caesar hears of it and cries,. The only father he as ever known!
So the governor obsesses about Cornelius, Dr. Zira, and ape uprising over and over-yet has their child working for him. Seriously-dude.
Caesar begins the uprising, by having all the apes collect items and start saying no. I like how he is there at each uprising-he is either there or his spirit is!
The Governor wants all bad apes to be rounded up and sent to the conditioning center, but because of Caesar’s rebellion the centers are full. He also is searching for the ape, Cornelius and Zira’s baby-convinced it is still alive!
The govenor’s aide, Malcolm Macdonald (Hari Rhodes), thinks the governor is being useless. Making a list of the bad apes, fighting the apes, he thinks he is committing folly and creating more problems, the governor does not agree. However, with all this extra work the governor is making them do, one thorough worker discovers that a crate from Borneo had a chimp in it-the one that was sold to the governor. The Chimp can’t be from Borneo as chimps don’t live there.
Th governor calls for Caesar to be sent to his office, preparing to kill him, McDonald feels bad and doesn’t send him in as he is on an “errand”.
The governor keeps calling McDonald and he ignores the governor until he can’t no longer. He is at a crossroad, he does’t want Caesar to be tortured and murdered, but what can he do?
Caesar speaks t him, and McDonald’s eyes just go bam with shock-he is a much better actor than Brent.
I like how Caesar and McDonald talk about revolution, McDonald is African American and does’t agree with society, as after all it was only 30 years go (the year is 1991 in the film) that African Americans were be treating similar to how the apes are now. But at the same time he doesn’t want a revolution, killing, etc
“Caesar: [to Malcolm] You above everyone else should understand.”
As they talk the Gestapo come storming down and McDonald’s conscience and morals win out over duty. He releases Caesar and he scurries off. Cesar tries to hide, but is eventually found and chained to be tortured into talking.
They put Caesar into the torture machine to try and get him to talk, to prove he is the ape they have been searching for. He just screams in agony. But eventually the pain is to great and Caesar finally gives in and says help
McDonald sneaks away and cuts the power to let Caesar be free as he doesn’t want him to be electrocuted to death.
Cesar appears to be dead, but I know he isn’t They should know better to always check a pulse! I’ve seen enough horror films. They aren’t really dead right away.
Cesar goes over and kills the guard.The revolution has begun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
La Liberté Guidant le Peuple (Liberty Leading the People)
Viva la Cesare!!!
He goes to where all his ape buddies/followers are waiting and the uprising begins!!!
It is interesting how this film doesn’t have a lot of dialogue, as a majority of your cast is silent, but the film is really intriguing as they know how to show you how you feel. I feel a lot of today’s film’s don’t know how to just give us the visuals and let is be intelligent enough to know what they are trying to show and represent.
Governor calls his men trying to take the apes down, but it’s not gonna work. They are coming for you Man in the High Castle!
You now this film reminds me a lot of I Robot. I think they copied a lot from this film. All the people need to be inside a sthe Ape army marches on.
What the humans don’t realize is that they have been planning for this moment and are prepared to take over.
They police keep telling the apes no and to go back, but they persevere-a silent army that will be be silent no longer.
The apes net the humans, being reminiscent if the first film. Well done writers, well done.
The apes storm across the plaza with weapons picked up from the police they have stopped. Armed and organized! With shields!
But then they stop. What are they waiting for?
Fire, earlier they had poured gasoline in the square and they set it on fire and storm off-ape versus man! I think it is obvious who would win.
Chaos, fire, and fighting-what every Dystopian Future film has to have! (Think about all the ones you have seen, they all have those three things in them).
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO One if the apes burns the books!!!!!!!!! OOOOOOOONOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I no longer approve of your revolution.
The governor barricades himself, but the apes cut through the door. And in comes Caesar storming the gates and shooting up everyone.
Caesar saves the governor though just to confront him. Caesar asks him why did you turn your pets into slaves? He says because we were born from you. You are the beast that resides in us and you must be shackled and destroyed.
They take him out t be killed and they stab and kill the humans. MacDonald tries to stop him, telling him what he is doing is wrong. He begs him to show humanity to the men. But Caesar coldly replies that he is not human! Caesar starts giving a speech that is a glimpse of the future (or past film?)
“MacDonald: Caesar… Caesar! This is not how it was meant to be.
Caesar: In your view or mine?
MacDonald: Violence prolongs hate, hate prolongs violence. By what right are you spilling blood?
Caesar: By the slave’s right to punish his persecutor.
MacDonald: I, a descendant of slaves, am asking you to show humanity.
Caesar: But, I was not born human.
MacDonald: I know. The child of the evolved apes.
Caesar: Whose children shall rule the earth.
MacDonald: For better or for worse?
Caesar: Do you think it could be worse?
MacDonald: Do you think this riot will win freedom for all your people? By tomorrow…
Caesar: By tomorrow it will be too late. Why a tiny, mindless insect like the emperor moth can communicate with another over a distance of 80 miles…
MacDonald: An emperor ape might do slightly better?
Caesar: Slightly? What you have seen here today, apes on the 5 continents will be imitating tomorrow.
MacDonald: With knives against guns? With kerosene cans against flamethrowers?
Caesar: 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!”
So I know some people were upset since Roddy McDowell clearly states in the previous film, that the leader of the one who rebelled against the humans was called Aldo and the leader in this film was originally Milo, then Caesar.
But I think it worked. I mean they didn’t know they were to become the parents of the future leader or plan for it. And it was never thought they would go to the past so the timeline was disrupted, first by Taylor, then Brent, and then Cornelius and Dr. Zira.
Caesar: But now… now we will put away out hatred. Now we will put down our weapons. We have passed through the Night of the Fires. And who were our masters are now our servants. And we, who are not human, can afford to be humane. Destiny is the will of God. And, if it is man’s destiny to be dominated, it is God’s will that he be dominated with compassion and understanding. So, cast out your vengeance. Tonight, we have seen the birth of the Planet of the Apes!
Fire consumes the city and the apes cheer. But what will the future hold? We will find out next Wednesday when I review the last film of the original Planet of the Apes: Battle for Planet of the Apes.
I wasn’t sure I would be able to do all five but I’m feeling super confident- I think I’ve got this in the bag.
To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)
For more Planet of the Apes, go to We Think We’ve Got All the Time in the World, But How Much Time Has the World Got?: Escape from Planet of the Apes (1971)
For more Roddy McDowell, go to Take Your Stinking Paws Off Me, you D*** Dirty Ape!: Planet of the Apes (1968)
For more dystopian future films, go to Don’t Go in There! You Don’t Have to Die! No One Has to Die at 30! You Could Live! LIVE!: Logan’s Run (1976)