After that film there was a great war and the cities were destroyed. But Caesar led a group of apes out to lead them. We travel back to after the dust settled, the nuclear bombs, and ape city has been established. (I guess year 1995? Maybe?)
We see a primitive society that has apes and people.
Although the apes are not treated as they were in Planet of the Apes, they are servants and lower than the apes. They can teach and hold jobs-but the apes are on the top of the food chain and control them.
This film has a really long intro, much longer than the others. Two humans are trying to fix a wheel on a cart when a gorilla knocks them to the side and does it himself, he’s really strong. Its General Aldo.
Aldo as in ALDO the ape who lead the people in Cornelius’ history lesson? The movie doesn’t say, but it seems to me Caesar stole his destiny.
Anyways General Aldo comes late to school, and makes a scene as he doesn’t know how to read and doesn’t care to. But under Caesar, every ape must go to school.
There is some unrest as Aldo does not like humans and does not care to be taught by a human. Caesar’s son Cornelius is in school and gets high marks.
Aldo does poor work and gets told to do it again. The General is very angry at a human commanding him and rips up Cornelius’ paper. The teacher shouts no to him.
Yes, all gasp. Humans can never say no to apes again! The teacher is told by Virgil, an orangoutang to go home-the teacher apologizes bit it isn’t good enough.
This is all Aldo has been waiting for and he and his gorilla gang destroy the schoolhouse and chase after the teacher to hurt him
But he gets to Caesar in time to save him. MacDonald (from the last film) aides Caesar and grows fearful of Aldo? And he should be. That gorilla is prime to start an uprising, destroy something or people, etc.
MacDonald is mad that the humans and apes are not equal. He’s like me and my family lived through the sixties and have to go through this again.
Caesar tells him one day they may grow to trust people again. maybe.
Meanwhile Caesar has been thinking of his parents and what they would think of or say about his leadership. MacDonald mentions that in the destroyed city are pictures and videos of his parents-things that probably survived the bomb. Unfortunately, the city is radioactive. So how to get through?
Lisa, Caeser’s wife is afraid he might not come back. Leaving Aldo there without Caesar? I would be afraid there would be nothing to come back to.
Caesar goes to the armory which is held by a certain orangutang that seriously questions people before any guns can be given out. He has been appointed not only the holder of the armory but Caesar’s conscious. Interesting, and a good idea-someone who can be objective.
Caesar, Virgil, and MacDonald head out to the destroyed city. There they find the city and it is in a wasteland-it looks like when the cities were burned in WWII. But in the one movie, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, the city was supposed to be below-Did it sink over time?
They go through the city, meanwhile men are scrounging underneath. They speak of radiation and we see a woman trying to put makeup over the scar, a callback to the second film.
The three set off a motion detector and the new governor recognizes Caesar. He thinks he has come to battle. He recognizes MacDonald too.
That’s not good.
The guys search through the video for the right tape and Virgil finds it, they watch it-really.
These guys don’t think there will be an issue? You should have taken it back with you. but oh yeah there is no electronics where they leave. They mention it has been 12 years since the last film so that makes this 2003.
Virgil tells us that time is fluid, and that a number of factors could change what is to come. He thinks that the future the apes mention is only one possibility, which is true. The timeline was disrupted by Taylor, then Brent, then when Zira and Cornelius came into the past-anything could happen.
Virgil notices a camera over head and they destroy it. They hurry to escape as they can only be underground for 2 hours or else they will go crazy.
The mutants shoot at them and try to capture them, but our gang make it out the tunnels (so I guess some is underground) to freedom but just barely.
The men follow but have a hard time in the sun, they are like mole people.
Our three flee to their home.
One officer wants the governor to just leave well enough alone. But the governor won’t have it. It makes me think of Ratcliffe in Pocahontas.
He wants them to follow and destroy them all!
The scouts follow and spy on our gang. Like seriously guys, you are the worst ever, You didn’t even check to see if they were following you?!
So Caesar begins a war council, but includes humans-which makes Aldo mad. He and the gorillas begin their own uprising.
Now I know you don’t want to be a dictator and squash people, but if someone is anti-the leader-why promote them? Aren’t you basically calling yourself king or emperor? It’s not like you are a president and doing an election. I don’t know.
Cornelius overhears him and is wounded by Aldo. Then the mutants attack the gorillas. Cesar is grieving and in shock over his son-and while he’s distracted Aldo rounds up and corrals the humans-making a play for the throne.
Geez-its the ape version of Game of Thrones. This title-not kidding. A serious battle indeed.
There is no middle ground.
The battle against the mutants begin!
The mutants get closer and discover that the apes are all dead and defeated. But it turns out they are only pretending and launch another attack.
After that the battle ends-but Caesar still has to contend with Aldo and the realization that the apes are not too much different from humans after all.
They battle it out and Aldo dies.
Caesar agrees to MacDonald’s request for humans to be treated as equals, this scene I remember the most out of the entire movie.
Afterwards, they lock up the guns and wait for a peaceful day when no weapons will ever be needed.
We end on a scene of humans and apes living together, for the moment-at peace.
I don’t like this movie as much as some of the others, but I did like it as a conclusion to the story. I thought it had the heart of the original with some serious subject matter (current times) infused with the action.
I love this original series and am glad I finally had a chance to watch and review them all in order.
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 Recallset 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 isAnthem! 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 originalPlanet 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.
“We think we’ve got all the time in the world, but how much time has the world got?”
While I remember all of Planet of the Apesas I have seen it a gazillion times, and the others as they had very memorable scenes. This film I remember zero about this other than them running with their baby. I don’t know why…
Oh well, it will be interesting to see whether this improves over its predecessor. At least it won’t have Brrrent in it.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes did such a great job monetary wise and even though they pretty much blew up the planet, the studio heads wanted another sequel-logic be darned.
JUST DO IT!!!
You have to admit it was pretty creative to have the apes escape (Cinemasins would say roll credits) in Taylor’s plane that they managed to fix. On one hand Cornelius was very interested in it and the human belongings they found in Planet of the Apes, and I could see them tooling around with it. But then on the other hand how? If you look at ThePlanet of the Apes’ society they have no electronics, no cars, no planes, etc-how would they know how to do anything with a spaceship? I mean they still operate on horseback or buggy.
It seriously doesn’t make any sense, but whatever.
We open up on the ocean like in the last film (it actually was the same beach they filmed the end of the first film). But this is our (1970s) time as there is a helicopter going over the ocean and it finds a rocket.
I don’t know why but this makes me think if KIng Kong (1976) when Jessica Lange is floating in a boat. I don’t know why, it’s something about the way the scene was shot. That was a disappointing movie. That girl.
Anyways, sorry. So of course they call the military in, why not? Even the general comes out. I know it is a really big deal, but you think the general would wait to make sure it wasn’t going to kill him.
They open up and we see three astronauts-like in the first film-in US gear. But then they take their helmets off and we see they are apes.
AWESOME!!!! All are in shock and agog!!!!
AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! And Roddy McDowell is Back!!!! YAY!!!!
Right away you are hooked.
This is a big improvement over Brrrent (you have to say his name in disgust).
And we get a musical score in this film-more spyish than scifi.
This opening is awesome, the military moving them along, and all are like what the heck is going on?
And the makeup looks great again.
They put them with the other animals in the zoo. Oh the irony, like how Taylor was treated in Planet of the Apes. But he was supposed to be ironic is this double irony?
So the military are completely shocked. Some are talking to them like they are human, others think of them as animals. It’s perfect, they are completely befuddled.
So they give them an orange to eat, as apes like oranges. I just love the way Cornelius stares at the guy to get more than one orange.
Jut going to give me one for the three of us?
They all sit and eat at the table, cutting their oranges open and peeling them.
Its perfect! We are barely into the film and I am just loving it. They had some class a writers working on it this time. That last script-what a joke.
The vet tries to take care of the animals but the way that he treats the animals isn’t flying with the chimps. Just like in the first movie!
After he leaves they start talking, they are worried and unsure what happened-but the third ape who we have no clue who he is explains that they must have gone back in time-to Taylor’s time?
This third ape cautions them not to talk and to act like humans (at least the ones in their time) as they are stuck in the LA zoo.
So in the new one they make them ape sized. I like that in these films they are human sized-it should make it obvious to these doctors that they are different, but they are just clueless humans.
So two scientists are sent to come in and study the apes. The human equivalent of Cornelius and Zira, OMgosh this had great writing!
The doctors come in and this is great, this is a total call back to the original when they were studying Taylor.
They start testing them with those ape tests they do.
This male doctor geez, its glorious to watch Zira trounce them. I can hear her thinking I have a PhD and you don’t think I can match colors. She’ s smug and sassy-perfect just like in the original.
They hang a banana in to test them, but Zira passes by building a staircase to get the banana. And then she speaks!
The female doctor , Dr. Stephanie Branton faints.
So Dr. Zira is seriously angry at how they are being treated, and I get it as I would too, but its like you guys all treated Taylor the same way. Maybe you should remember the advice you gave him.
They get really upset and so does the neighboring gorilla and it kills Dr. Milo (the third ape). Oh gee, it is super sad to lose someone we know zero about.
So the male doctor, Dr. Lewis Dixon, decides it is best for him to see the apes alone. I guess she can’t handle it.
WOW! That’s how we are going to play it? Why does the woman have to be the fainter??
So Dr. Zira and Cornelius speak to Dr. Dixon-who also happens to be an animal psychiatrist. Dr. Zira and Cornelius tell Dr. Dixon they like him, but can they trust him?
No you can’t trust man because they destroy what they fear and they fear you.
So there is a cabinet meeting with the president and his important people, about the ship that left only a few years ago with Colonel Taylor has been returned to them with three apes.
Colonel, that’s weird. I don’t remember them calling him colonel in the first film. Maybe he was promoted posthumously?
The president decides to have a meeting with the press the next day and to share this discovery with the world. We then switch to broadcasts around the globe and I like that the second country we see sharing the news is France as a french author wrote the book.
So all the humans are going crazy over this and the apes aren’t having an easy time either.
“Dr. Lewis Dixon: Be yourself.
Dr. Cornelius: Be your better self Zira.”
Oooo, yeah. I could see Zira just blasting everybody verbally.
Alright so they are going to have a meeting. Only bad can come from this, I’ve seen enough movies.
Dr. Dixon shares that the chimpanzees can talk and will answer questions. As the hearing starts, this is so like the first one, when they were questioning Taylor, just inside out. I love it!!!!
Chairman of the President’s Committee of Inquiry: [testing Lewis’s assertion that the apes can speak] What is your name?
Dr. Zira: Zira.
Chairman of the President’s Committee of Inquiry: One might as well be talking to a parrot.
Dr. Zira: A parrot?
Chairman of the President’s Committee of Inquiry: What did I tell you? Mechanical mimicry. Unique in an ape, vocally, without a doubt, but… does the other one talk?
Cornelius: Only when she lets me.
Dr. Milo, who conveniently died, was the one who actually salvaged and flew the plane…Really…So they can’t answer any questions about that. Unfortunately, Dr. Zira lets the cat out of the bag that they are from he future.
Now things will really get really grim!
That’s not good.
They ask about Colonel Taylor, but they say they are unsure who they speak of. I’m surprised they didn’t ask after Brent, but maybe they didn’t like him either and would rather forget him.
Dr. Zira wants to tell the doctors the whole truth about the future as she doesn’t have the skill to lie nor does she care to. They reveal that they did know Taylor and cared for them. They share how they treat humans in their world, Dr. Branton is disgusted, but the Dr. Dixon gets hit with that fact that that is how they treat apes his time.
They reveal that when they left, they saw the planet blow up.
That’s not good.
So the white house lead scientist, Dr. Otto Hasslein (a callback to the first film when the one astronaut uses the Hasslein theory to talk about time travel) goes on a show and they discuss what happened. He believes they are from the future as thats the only explanation he finds possible.
He tries to explain it, but it is still really confusing, I mean I get it, but I think there would have been an easier way to do it, espechially as you are supposed to make it easy to understand for the viewers at him.
Meanwhile, the Apo-nauts are watching the report on TV and are given couches and chairs. They are amazed at TV as their culture does’t have any.
What is it?
So that brings me back to my original point-how did Dr. Milo know how to do anything with a rocket?
It doesn’t make any sense!
The apes are moved from the Zoo to a hotel, but isn’t it just a nicer looking prison? Like that Twilight Zone when Roddy McDowell is take from the jail to the house but it really is a zoo.
Anyways, they check out the hotel which is unlike anything they have ever seen before. Then they are taken along to see the sights in LA. You know-fitted for new clothes to match society, checking out the sights, etc.
This is all nice, but I have seen A LOOOT of movies and read A LOOOT of books. So I know this is actually-not good. All it takes is for one person to screw up this happy sweet montage. I give you as proof-Mighty Joe Young, Fantastic Four, Teen Wolf, etc.
Everyone is amazed-talking to them, quoting, treating them like stars, etc. It actually reminds me of that Ray Bradbury story when the humans welcome the aliens and give them liquor, a parade, etc. From The Illustrated Man.
They have their whole days planned out, trotting our here and there. Dr Zira at a women’s club speaking of women’s rights, Cornelius going to a prizefight and not liking it at all, etc. They are taking Dr. Zira to the Museum of Natural History and explaining everythig to her on science. Yawn, she knows this. Just wait until she sees the taxidermied apes. This is like when Taylor saw his friend in the zoo-actually Taylor’s was worse. At least Zira didn’t know that ape.
Curator: [in the museum, Zira sees a giant stuffed gorilla and faints] It must have been the shock!
Dr. Zira: [reviving] Shock, my foot… I’m pregnant!
Dr. Hasslein is the one helping her and brings her home to rest. He gives her wine, a lot and does it to get information out of her. He questions her and she reveals the destruction of the planet. Then nods off.
The scientist goes to the President, but the President doesn’t really care. He thinks that first of all-this will be happening thousands of years in the future. And second, he sees no point in killing three innocent lives. The scientist wants to kill them now, and keep them from destroying the world.
Dr. Otto Hasslein: [Regadring Zira, Cornelius & their baby] They must be killed… it has to be done and done quickly, before they start a stone rolling that’ll gather enough poison moss to kill us all!
The president cares more about votes and is actually a pretty great leader wanting time to think and plan and focus on what to decide what to do next. The scientist wants to destroy not just these apes, but all apes to protect our world.
Never trust a doctor, that’s what I say. Except if he is played by Michael Rennie and of course Zira and Cornelius.
The scientist does convince him to allow him to interrogate them further and they are moved to Camp 11. The Dr. Dixon goes to, as does Dr. Branton. Dr. Branton is kind of a useless character-she does nothing and says nothing. Like why don’t give her some lines or something to do.
WOW! That’s how we are going to play it?
They try to interrogate the apes, but they get nowhere. So they switch gears-they get Cornelius heated by calling the two monkeys. He shares that he suspects that something man created is the one that actually hurt the planet.
But eventually Cornelius decides to share what they learned from the historical records.
A plague comes and all the dogs and cats fall sick and die or have to be destroyed. But man can hurt man, but man hates to hurt his pets. Man also does not like to be alone and adopted apes as pets.
Cornelius: By the time the plague was contained, man was without pets. Of course, for man this was intolerable. I mean, he might kill his brother, but he could not kill his dog!
They share that apes were adopted to be pets, but so easily learned and mimiced humans-soon they were trained to do a few things. Then they were turned into slaves!
Cornelius: They became alert to the concept of slavery. And, as their numbers grew, to slavery’s antidote which, of course, is unity. At first, they began assembling in small groups. They learned the art of corporate and militant action. They learned to refuse. At first, they just grunted their refusal. But then, on an historic day, which is commemorated by my species and fully documented in the sacred scrolls, there came Aldo. He did not grunt. He articulated. He spoke a word which had been spoken to him time without number by humans. He said ‘No.’ So that’s how it all started.
So it is a little odd as in the first film no one knew anything about humans-but here Cornelius acts as if this is something that has been taught to all ape babies.
Now on one hand, in the second film the chimps were in trouble for helping Taylor, but Zauis does leave all Apedom in their control if he does not return from trying to take the human land. Maybe he let them look at the historical scrolls?
They the start grilling Zira, but get nowhere. They then call Dr. Dixon and ask him to drug Zira so she will answer the questions.
Cornelius becomes upset and they force him to leave.
They wish to inject her with a truth serum and want Dr. Dixon to betray her.
Dr. Dixon injects her- YOU JUDAS! You should have stood up to them. See never trust a doctor in a horror film.
The doctor tries to remove him, but Dixon stays to make sure they don’t do anything worse to her. She revels everything-the studying the humans, the bomb, how they treat humans, etc.
The scientist sends the recordings to the commission, but that scientist is a jerk. He did that on purpose!
But life is not fair.
They decide to give Dr. Zira an abortion to try and stall the coming of ape domination and then make it so they can never have children again!
What horrible people!!!
Dr. Zira is happy that she doesn’t have to lie anymore, but Cornelius knows that things are going to go bad.
Dr. Zira finally tells Cornelius she is pregnant and he’s done.
Cornelius rushes at the orderly who brings their meal, knocks him out, and they escape out the window.
It’s amazing no one thought to put a guard on the door, but then again they keep thinking they are dumb, instead of scientists.
They escape, but Zira goes into labor. The scientists discover them missing and fan out searching.
Cornelius decides to go back and get help.
They think that it would be better to get in trouble at least the baby would be born. But no Cornelius, they are going to kill your baby!!!!!!!!
Cornelius overhears them saying that he killed the orderly, but how? All he did was knock a tray into his face. How did he die. He didn’t even hit a wall or anything. This sounds like a means to the end of the film, more than anything else.
Cornelius gets Dr. Branton-who finally!
She finally has a part to play. She picks him, Zira, and Dr. Dixon-and all go to the circus, run by Armando (Ricardo Montalban). I just LOVE him. Many of you will recognize him as he the grandpa in Spy Kids and Khan in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
The couldn’t do this today as they have outlawed all animals in circuses. The apes would all just have to die.
They have the baby and name him Milo afer their lost collegue. Well gee, it was great that this ape meant so much to them but we know zip bout him. Why not name him after Lucius?
Armando wanted to take them with him to Florid, as they go in a month, but can’t with the scientists and army searching everywhere. He sends them on their way, but gives them his medal of Saint Francis, patron saint of the animals.
They go to see Heloise, his chimp who gave birth to a baby chimp a week earlier. The two stare at each other and the babies.
The doctors give them supplies and a map. Dr. Dixon asks him if he can read a map
Dr. Lewis Dixon: Can you read a map?
Cornelius: I’m an archaeologist. I can even draw one!
They send them out to the ship graveyard to hide for a week, and them hopefully they will have moved on and the the circus can smuggle them to Florida.
Cornelius knows that they will be killed if discovered, and asks for something to end their lives before they are tortured ad murdered.
This film took a dark turn.
They kiss them goodbye and run off into the night.
The police search the circus, but find no sign of the apes. And Armando annoys them enough to leave. Dr. Hasslein is having a complete and utter breakdown as the apes cannot be found. Like he is spiraling out of control, even more than usual.
You’re crazy! Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.
They drop the clothes off by oil riggers to throw them off and scent. The next day the police and miltary search everywhere and find the discarded suitcase. But no apes.
Dr. Hasslein searches along with a gun. He aims to shoot to kill.
He ends up finding them at the shipyard. How I’m not quite sure-I mean as apes it isn’t the likeliest or best place for them. And LA is ginormous-I’m amazed they found them so quickly.
Meanwhile, on the ship two Cornelius and Zira are carrying on trying to find a way to make this a comfortable living situation-when unbeknownst to them death stalks the yard in the shape of Dr. Hasslein.
They try to hide as the military sends in chopper, but the deck is stacked against them. We know how this will end…in death!
Dr. Hasselein kills the baby and shoots Zira, but Cornelius gets him!
You get him Cornelius
Cornelius is shot by a sniper and all are dead.
But back at the circus we see Heloise and her baby Cesar, but the baby is not Heloise’s Cesar but Zira’s Milo. The two switched babies!!!! After all John Conner Milo is needed to start a revolution. Armando knows this, and we end with baby Milo talking.
“Well, that tears it. Maybe we should just let the world blow up. The gorillas, every damned… what it comes to.Maybe we should just let the world blow up. The gorillas, every d*****… what it comes to.”
So to be 100% honest I have not seen this movie in over 20 years.
What’s the heck?
Yes, while I can watch the first film over and over again and the others there are two BIG reasons why I have not watched this film again:
1) It was missing Charlton Heston. If my memory serves me right, he’s barely even in the film, just a blimp in the beginning and end.
He is why most if us are watching!
2) THIS FILM FAAAA-REAKED ME OUT! OH MYGoodness. This movie gave me nightmares-the part when they rip their skin off and the girl with the ponytail-ghdshtfgfdfmxhngbcvffz bvhfcgcg FAAAA-REAKED me out!
When I was a child Dante’s Peak was the number one scary film to me (there is a small volcanic range where I live and I was convinced after watching that movie it was going to erupt-plus thaat scene with the grandma) and then it was this one.
But I have really wanted to watch (and review) all of these in order so I will face my fears and rewatch this film. After all it has been 20 years, I’m sure it will be no big deal. Right?
In fact I have to watch our old VHS as the library has the full set but the person who has this one checked out won’t return it.
So Planet of the Apes was amazing and did wonderful with the box office. But because of some bad financial decisions, and films getting lackluster amounts of money: such as Hello, Dolly! (1969), Star! (1968), and Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970). They needed a win and got it with this one, but severely slashed the budget.
Yes, compared to Planet of the Apes this film has few apes in it, and the apes that are in here-have less than stellar makeup.
Hmm, I don’t know about this…
But it made Fox some serious money and saved the studio.
So our VHS has a trailer of the film before you watch the film. I remember sometimes they had that, but it is so weird to watch it today as they don’t put the trailer of the film before the film.
But it is nice that we get a brief remembrance of where the first film left off. The trailer says this movie will be the “last battle”. Hah, they don’t know that there is a Battle for Planet of the Apes coming. Fingers crossed all goes according to plan it will be posted on October 30th.
So we start with the ocean waves rolling in, calm. Then Roddy McDowell reading from the Ape Scrolls, pretty much the end of the first film. Taylor and Nova are heading off, following the shoreline with Cornelius and Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter) deciding to stay-even though they will face charges of treason.
As they journey, Taylor finds the head of the stature of liberty! They then continue to ride off into the desert and rocks.
We then cut to a crashed and broken spaceship. One man, Brent (James Franciscus), gets out with a first aid kit, trying to help out his fellow cosmonaut, Skipper. But he’s a goner, you can tell.
It is 3955 AD, according to their time, and the two men were following Taylor. Ah! So someone was listening to his transmissions.
They seem to be in a smaller ship, but have more things and gadgets. Their computer is shot and besides that they know nothing about where or when they are. Skipper dies and Brent is all alone.
At least Taylor had his people for the first leg of the journey-this guy doesn’t know where he is, when he is, where Taylor is, where to go, and is all by himself.
Something on a horse is watching him! Just like in he first one!! But this is a woman.
Its Nova, but where is Taylor? This movie kinda reminds me of Pocahontas II when we all wanted John Smith back but they paired her up with John Rolfe-and I know it is more “historically” accurate, but still. You built the first movie up with him and then him out and throw in some young guy?!!
He sees Taylor’s name on the dogtag worn by Nova and asks Nova where Taylor is. Nova has a flashback of when she and Taylor were riding off and he was trying to teach her how to speak and gave her his dogtags. BUT WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM? WHY DO WE HAVE BRENT WHO I DON’T WANT! I didn’t want him 20 years ago and don’t want him now!!
IT’S NOT WHAT I WANT!
Sorry for the brief tantrum…let’s go back to the film. Nova flashes back again to them riding together in the desert and in the Forbidden Zone. Weird place, what the the heck the forbidden zone has fire?! And lightening!!?? Where are they? Is this real? The ground breaks apart? Is this an illusion? Taylor tries to figure this out and tells Nova that if anything happens to him to find Dr. Zira.
He walks foward and touches a rock disappearig ito thin air!
I don’t really care for this style of flashback and such-it is sooo different from the first one.
Brent just ups and jumps on the horse commanding Nova to take him to Taylor. I remember I couldn’t stand him and his character, but I don’t remember why. He hasn’t done anything really annoying? Maybe it was because he isn’t Charlton Heston.
You’re nowhere close to him…
So back at…Ape City I guess, they never say what it is called, we see something serious is going down with the gorillas. And oh man I love these costumes, so much better than CGI. Not nowhere as good as the original but the budget but whatcha gonna do when they slash your budget.
Brent is not a good actor. Like it is starting to come back to me why I couldn’t stand him. He did like an Arnold OMG when he saw the apes.
Anyways the lead Gorilla, Ursus, is stirring up the crowd. Must be an election year! He’s going on about hating humans and that “he only good human is a dead human.”
That’s not good.
OMG Brent, this dude! His acting! It is soooooooooo wooden. He says “It’s a nightmare.” like how you say “Oh like it’s a cheeseburger.” Now I know why I didn’t like him.
Dr. Zira is not having it and she will not be siting idly by-that’s ’cause she rocks.
Anyways, the Forbidden Zone has been Forbidden for years-but now they know there is something there. They believe it is their holy duty to go out and take the land back-manifest destiny! Expand, invade, take the land back that is rightfully theirs!
All the apes cheer, except Zira who’s not having this crap.
Cornelius wants them to play it safe, he wants his wife to be safe. Aw. they are such a cute couple.
Ugh, Brent. This guy is not doing a good job acting. He says everything that is supposed to be shocked, like it is nothing.
Nova and Brent run and their movement spotted by a gorilla sentry, but when the gorilla shoots, he scares a bird and thinks that what caused the movement and goes on his way.
Back in Ape city, Dr. Zauis and the Gorilla leader are in a steam room talking.
I don’t know. What is this film? Anyways, Dr. Zauis thinks they should leave the Forbidden Zone alone-but Ursus says they need to or they will starve. I don’t know why there is such an urgency. What happened to the orangutans controlling everybody? They should have explained it better with a famine or something?
Cornelius and Zira argue about what to do and like all Planet of the Apes, they are some of the best things.
As they are preparing something chocolate, can apes eat that? Nova comes in with Brent, they think he is Taylor at first (all look like right) and Brent introduces himself and that he is looking for Taylor.
OMG Brent, this dude is killing me. He’s talking to human size, intellectual, chimpanzees, who aer in the middle of baking and he acts like it’s no big deal. He’s just like whatever. THE first movie was sooooooo much better, Charlton Heston was so much better.
Who hired this dude?
Sorry don’t mean to be rude I’m sure you did good in other stuff, but you are just sucking in this movie. The dislike and hate I had for you as a seven year old is all coming back.
Can he, can he just leave and we have Charlton Heston back. Like who came up with this idea?!!!! Who hired him? Who said that take was good?
So Cornelius goes over the map with Brent to try and figure out where Taylor might be. While it was Roddy McDowell in the beginning of the film, Cornelius’ voice sounds off. Let me look it up…
It’s not Roddy McDowell? What?????????????????????? He has something else he was involved in.
I’m not happy…
Dr. Zauis comes to speak to them and sees the bloody rag Zira was using on Brent and she pretends Cornelius hit her. Uh, what?
And thenDr. Zauis is all for that. What the? Who decided on that? What is this?
Anyways, Dr. Zauis says that he and the gorillas are going to go into the Forbidden Zoe and Zauis doesn’t want them to. He doesn’t want the “truth” to be found as he wants them to continue the way things are. But if he doesn’t return from the expedition, he is bestoeing them in charge and asks them to preserve the ape way of life.
Like this makes zero sense!!! They have outright opposed him! And they WANT the truth to be told? Why would he pick them out of everybody? Doesn’t he have a lackey? Did ANY of these writers watch the first film and see WHY it was so awesome?
So they warn Brent that he needs not to talk if caught by gorillas as they will dissect him. They give him “clothes for for humans”; and Brent is just dumb. He says “why would I talk to a gorilla.”
He changes his clothes and he and Nova ride off on a horse to try and find Taylor. And they get not like five seconds of riding- gorillas find them and the horse is dead. Wooooooooow!!!! Brent you suck.
The gorillas storm after them and capture the two. The gorillas seem to have a lot more power in this film, in fact we hardly ever see an orangutan. Gee it sure would be nice if they gave us more info on what happened!!!
They get thrown in a cage like in the first film.
The next day we get to see the Gorilla’s practicing their maneuvers and training. Some gorillas are just casually tossing about a monolith. No its not that big, but still it was a ginormous rock. They should be superape strong.
Brent gets thrown into Zira’s lab. She is surprised to see him but secretly in her mind I’m sure she us thinking- this man sucks. You got like three steps before you got captured. She tries to keep them for study but Gorilla-Hitler, I mean Ursus, wants them for target practice.
So Zira lets them go in the cart to be carried away after she “double locks the door” jeez the gorillas really must be all brawn and no brains. How do you double lock a door? You lock or unlock it.
Brent gets out and fights with the gorilla on top of the moving cart but there isn’t any music. I mean it is a pretty cool action scene-but they didn’t add a score or anything, we just hear the cart going down the road. Weird. Guess music didn’t make it on their budget.
Maybe that’s why they only had a few scenes wit Charlton Heston hr was too expensive (BTW he donated his salary to charity).
So Brent defeated the gorilla, yeah I’m surprised he could do anyting right too and he and Nova take off on the horses-oh and look right back into the gorillas again. There’s the Brent we know, the sucky one. Jeez, this guy is dumb. Man he a serious damsel in distress, he keeps getting captured.
Except I can’t
So yes Taylor was captured twice in the Planet of the Apes film. First time they had just arrived on the planet and in the second he was trying to escape the city, but at least we got to see the whole set and have an awesome scene revealing he could talk. He didn’t run, get captured, run, get captured, etc. Then when he escaped the final time he didn’t get caught, he took Dr. Zauis prisoner.
So they escape to the desert and find a cave, but inside there is tile. Hmm..? There is also a cement wall/door with an image of a moon on it. What is this?
He looks some more and finds it used to be Queensboro Plaza. Uh, I’m sure this is supposed to be the big reveal for him, but first of all-its not that big a deal. I mean in the other one we had the stature of liberty’s head!!!! Her head!!! Was she blown up? Taken down by a new race! We don’t know but it was by something bad.
This is a subway station in Queens. Well whoop-de-doo. Seriously-what if he saw pieces of the Empire State Building or Times Square or something New York! I mean nothing will be as big a WHAAAAAT!!!! moment as the Statue of Liberty’s head, but seriously a subway station?
And what does Brent say when he sees it? “Oh gee, this used to be my home.” Bfffffffqwwwwww!Really?
I hate Brent. I wish the apes had used you as target practice.
So we see ape church and they pray before they head out to the Forbidden Zone (okay every time I write that all I can imagine is the Beast’s voice saying forbidden-sorry had to share)
A group of Chimps have a peace protest on front of the gorllas. I wonder of Lucius is one. I miss him.
The gorillas come in and pull them out “quietly” and lock them all up in the animal, I mean human cages. Ouch, these apes are way harsher in judgement. You don’t see police taking people down to the pound to be put in kennels.
So Brent is sitting and staring into space then…ugh, Brent just annoys me. He just has to breathe and is annoying. How long until Charlton Heston comes back?
Please be soon! Please be soon! Please be soon!
So Brent peeks out of the cave and spots a gorilla patrol. He waits until they move and then is going to leave when he hears a strange humming sound. He decides to follow it…because? Reasons, I guess?
He goes down the subway tracks and he discovers the humming comes from a device. It stops when he touches the ladder. So he decides to climb up, followed by Nova and down a tubular walkway. This is actually kinda creepy as every passage looks the same but you have no clue where you are going or what awaits you on the other side.
They climb out of a tunnel and there is the New York Public Library and the Stock Exchange, all would have been a much cooler reveal that the Queensboro plaza. Not hating just saying! (Actually no, I am hating)
I’m not happy
There is a cathedral and Brent drinks the holy water thats been sitting there for who knows how long. Really Brent, really? Didn’t you learn to never drink standing water? Like how did you pass any survival skills classes?
Dude seriously. This dude is so annoying.
I HATE this character!
So a loud buzzing noise comes and Bret starts acting weird wanting to kill Nova. He manages to fight against it and stop himself, but the voice is in his head as he backs into the chapel where the noise gets louder and then disappears. Why? Who knows!
Here’s the part of the film that is ingrained in my mind. In the chapel is a giant bomb and a man kneeling before it, his god.
Brent speaks to him, questing what is going on. The mole people, I mean the people beneath the planet of the apes speak with telepathy. Brent is taken from the Cathedral to the tribunal.
That’s not good.
They think he is a spy and question him. Its kind of weird because we don’t hear their voices it i just Brent answering them, ugh Brent.
They continue to interrogate him and Brent sings like a canary. He can’t do anything right.
The stop with telepathy as they can speak verbally. He tells them that the bomb isn’t a god,but they say it is a holy weapon of peace. Yeah an anti-war vibe is really strong in this film. It was the ’70s after all.
They think that Brent is from the apes, bit Brent is like I don’t know.
These humans have mutant powers like telepathy, fire, etc…what a second.
Human mutants with abilities! OMG Brent found the morlocks!
Anyway their “peaceful weapons” are to destroy the “murderous apes”. Brent tries to talk reason but they don’t listen. They can’t use their telepathy on the apes which upsets them.
They bring Nova in and use their powers to make Brent kiss and strangle Nova. This movie is a mess.
What’s going on?
We switch back to apes, thank goodness who are storming the forbidden zone. They arrive and the people play tricks on their mind. They see apes in agony hanging upside down, fire, their lawgiver god on fire, then bleeding, etc.
Dr.Xauis become angry and rides into the fire and stone, but survives. The illusion melts away.
They head toward the old New York City. Meanwhile, under the city the people are preparing a communion and church service. They kneel before the bomb praying to it.
They prepare the bomb and only need to press the button to let it go. Brent and Nova were forced to attend as well. And here is the scene were they reveal their innermost self and remove their skin.
This is still FAAAA-REKY! I’ll admit, I screamed whe I saw it again. Mghrtyghfkyfv!
All are excused to go to their shelters. They put their faces back on. They tell Brent they hope him witnessing their services convinces him they are only for peace. They take them to a cell and who’s in there? TAYLOR!
They talk, but then the guard uses his mind control to try and make them fight. Brent starts first because he’s more weak minded.
The two fight and and this feels weird as the only sound is like a buzz sawcutting wood-the mind control, It is so weird that this movie has like no score.
Taylor knocks Brent into the wall, sand the guards don’t like this “boring” gladiator battle so they toss a spike club onto the cell.
Nova manages to get away from her attacker and goes charging down to try and stop them-shouting out her first word “Taylor” and breaking the concentration and mind control.
They kill the guard by ramming him on the spiky cell. I remember this scene vividly! As he dies he removes his skin to show his innermost self. fgagfdguhij!
Like Taylor seriously wounded Brent and he should be waaaaay worse off, but he is only slightly wounded. Brent tells him about the bomb and how it had alpha and omega on it.
Taylor recognizes it as a doomsday bomb created in his time. Remember when he mentioned at the beginning of Planet of the Apes?
George Taylor : This much is probably true – the men who sent us on this journey are long since dead and gone. You who are reading me now are a different breed – I hope a better one. I leave the 20th century with no regrets. But one more thing – if anybody’s listening, that is. Nothing scientific. It’s purely personal. But seen from out here everything seems different. Time bends. Space is boundless. It squashes a man’s ego. I feel lonely. That’s about it. Tell me, though. Does man, that marvel of the universe, that glorious paradox who sent me to the stars, still make war against his brother? Keep his neighbor’s children starving?
Meanwhile the apes are continuing and it is lame we don’t have more Zira and Cornelius. I love them but they are hardly in his.
I’m not happy
The apes find the passageway to the subway and start down it exploring. Meanwhile, the guys are trying to break free when the apes enter the city, shootig at any human that they see.
The guys manage to finally get themselves free and grab spare clubs from the wall and attack a gorilla with Nova being killed. AW!
Taylor is angry enough to want all to die, but Brent convinces him to stop the bomb.
Taylor: [as Nova slowly dies, gunned down by a gorilla] Well, that tears it. Maybe we should just let the world blow up. The gorillas, every damned… what it comes to.
John Brent: [Intense, full of fury] Taylor, come on. Come on!
The apes storm the cathedral with our two spacemen hot on their trails.The leader speaks to them, shocking all as humans talk and lets the bomb go. They shoot him and then try to shoot the bomb.
Taylor and Brent creep along, trying not to be shot but reach the control panel to stop the bomb. And THEY SHOOT TAYLOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brent shoots a bunch of apes, wow he can actually do something right.
Dr. Zauis is shocked to see Taylor and does’t want to help him.
Brent is killed. Taylor is angry at Zauis and reaches out accidentally setting the bomb off, Everything whites out and we get end narration.
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeelllll...I didn’t like it. The cut budget really makes this pale in comparison to the other film. This script is all over the place! Brent-don’t get started on his character or his lackluster the acting, the characters we love from the original are all missing, and the whole power structure and motivation of the apes as a whole has seriously changed-but we don’y get any reason why! This whole thing was pretty lackluster.
Now did it still freak me out? YES! The skin ripping off scenes are still just as creepy as they were 20 years ago. Please don’t let it give me any nightmares tonight!!!
So that is the end of the Planet of the Apes. At least until next Wednesday (Fingers crossed)
“Take your stinking paws off me, you d***** dirty ape!”
This is one of my parent’s favorite films so I grew up watching the whole series-although I only ever watched Beneath the Planet of the Apes once as it freaked the living daylights out of me.
I remember this film being a major part of my childhood and watching it again and again.
So back in 2016, they rereleased this in theaters and I took my mom for her birthday. When they rereleased Psycho (1960),I took notes in the theater (in the dark) and transcribed them into the post you can read.
I had planned to do the same here, as you know-kill two birds with one stone. Unfortunately, I lost the notebook and my notes.
I always planned to review it, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. But then when someone donated the full original series to the library, I thought what better time than the present to review the whole series? (Fingers crossed I can do it) And I plan (fingers crossed) to review a Planet of the Apes film every Wednesday.
I was going to watch the film, when unpacking some boxes I found my original notes.
So I plan to transcribe them.
Yes, notes I made three years ago, in the dark, in handwriting that my sister describes “as pretty to look at but hard to read”. Maybe its crazy, (yeah totally) but you know me-I love a challenge. So here we go!
First off, the makeup is amazing. This was before they had a category in the Oscars or else this would have won hands down.
It took a while to get this filmed made as everyone said no. No one would sign on until Charleston Heston agreed to play George Taylor. Both Edward G. Robinson and Burt Lancaster were considered for the part, but I can’t see anyone else but Heston as Taylor.
If it wasn’t for him this film never would have been made.
They had to create a special makeup, one that was porous so the people could sweat through, they sweated A LOT as this was filmed in a desert area.
So looking back, this film came out only one year before we go into outer space. Weird, huh.
So the film is set in 1972 Earth time, but on the ship, because of space travel, it is the year 3978. The musical theme is pretty creepy, setting you up well for the film that lies ahead.
Weird to think that while they are traveling, hundreds of years have passed.
“George Taylor: The men who sent us on this journey are long since dead and gone. You who are reading me now are a different breed – I hope a better one. I leave the 20th century with no regrets. But one more thing – if anybody’s listening, that is. Nothing scientific. It’s purely personal. But seen from out here everything seems different. Time bends. Space is boundless. It squashes a man’s ego. I feel lonely. That’s about it. Tell me, though. Does man, that marvel of the universe, that glorious paradox who sent me to the stars, still make war against his brother? Keep his neighbor’s children starving?
They end up crashing the ship and that’s as much as I can get from my notes. Too much time has passed, I can’t read what I was writing. I’m going to have to scrap this plan and rewatch it. I love the film, so it is no big loss.
It must be so weird to talk to these people, when the ones you knew and sent you on this mission have been dead for thousands of years.
So there are three men on the mission and one woman. Even as a kid I always thought that was odd and I found even more so as an adult. If they took their own “Adam and Eve” wouldn’t it make much more sense to have more than one woman?
The music intro with the names is so weird-a mix of spacey and tribal. It perfectly sets you up for the ride ahead.
As they are coming toward a planet the plane spins here and there-twist and turns as it crashes and jeez, is it painful to watch. It rather gives me a headache and in the theater I remember I felt a bit queasy.
The three men survive, but the woman’s bed was cracked and she aged and died. When I was a kid I always felt she drew the short stick, but as an adult realizing that whole “Adam and Eve” plan, plus what is too come-I think she was actually pretty lucky.
The crash means they need to get out quick, so the abandon the girl to her watery grave and head out on a raft.
George Taylor: Okay we are here to stay.
How awful to be stuck on an unknown planet and to never be able to go back and no clue if there is anyone coming after you. I mean the whole Earth could have imploded after they were gone!
So I have watched this film a GAZILLION times, I mean I literally can’t tell you the number as it has been so many-I don’t even know. But this is the first time I have caught this scene when they are talking and Dodge says, “its not where we are but when we are.”
There were the seeds foreshadowing the end in this film all along.
It already did!
So all they have are supplies for three days, one gun, and a silver metal backpack. Why did they design it that way? It doesn’t look very logical, useful, or comfortable.
So as they climb to search for some mark of land or civilization in this desert, they talk bit. They have been away from “their” Earth for over 2000 years. Landon has hope they could return and see their friends and family, but Taylor is more realistic. He thinks any shred of what they knew is gone (which makes a lot of sense. I’m writing this and the world has changed a lot from 19 AD) and he finds no point in thinking about it as they can’t get back. (I want you all to remember how he feels as this point in the film).
Wherever, or whenever, they are all there is is empty land. Rocks, desert, and sand as far as the eye can see. Empty. Dry.
But they have the strangest weather-lightning and thunder no rain, no moon, clouds during the day. Where…when…are they?
By the way have I mentioned that 1) I ABSOLUTELY love The Twilight Zone, and 2) Rod Serling helped write the screenplay for Planet of the Apes, and 3) Today just happens to be the anniversary of The Twilight Zone appearing on TV. Happy Anniversary to you, and thank you Rod Serling for being a true American treasure.
Sorry, back to the film. So Dodge finds a weed and gives them hope, where there is one there is another! And water!
As the day turns to night and their silhouettes stomp across the land the music starts up-and starts putting you in the mood that something is not right, something about this is about to be the opposite of what they wanted.
As they walk something is watching them top the cliffs? Friend or foe? You know me, I’m always go on the side of caution I think it is someone not to be trusted, a foe!
As they continue they find these weird cross things…scarecrows? Upon closer inspection they are. They just march past them and it clear none of these guys were a historian or art historians or else they would know that these mean something bad and to turn away. See this is why historians are important!
But because they aren’t they go charging past this warning and into the waterfall below, disrobe, bathe/swim-we see Charleton Heston booty.
Landon sees a footpeint in the mud-human footprint. They then spot someone stealing their clothes and they follow. They find a trail of their belongs wrecked and torn apart. Their clothes are in pieces but they do find enough to cover themselves to pass the censorship.
Although, now that I think about it. Weren’t these clothes supposed to be suitable for space travel? Why would they tear so easily?
We see humans hanging out in trees and cornstalks, collecting food, and eating fruit. They appear to be vegetarian. That’s good to know. If you end up on an unknown planet/area-its great if the people aren’t going to eat you.
Then a roar is heard and all scatter. Our three heros are at a loss, but if the natives are running for their lives-they figure they best get out too.
Something is coming, slashing the stalks, on horses. but what? Even though we know it is planet of the apes, I love how they drag it out and really played it up for us. So then when you see them, you are just like wow!
Even after all these years the makeup is amazing, they look so real. I know everyone and everything is so into CGI, but I don’t like CGI. I think it looks so fake and unreal to me. I like the old school Ray Harryhausen and the makeup effects done in this. It looks real and tangible. CGI always looks like it isn’t on the right plane. Like when you draw something but it is floating the in the midde of your paper instead of being on he ground with weight.
The apes hunt the humans catching them in nets, shooting a few. It is really amazing the way they mimic big game hunters.
All are captured and brought and carted to cages, Taylor gets hurt in the throat and can’t speak for a while.
As an adult watching this you see that there are a lot of undertones of other things going on in this movie. The doctor’s argue about funding, support, and promotions. The “quota system” has been abolished and yet there are those who rank on the bottom that stay there (the chimpanzees). The male doctor tells the Zira to try and get Dr. Zauis, who is in charge of funding to give them more as “you made it.” Almost as of he is insinuating that she got passed through because she is a female trying to fill a quota. Not every film can, but this is able to present real life issues in scifi.
Dr. Zira is an animal psychologist, who won’t take anything from that other doctor-don’t mess with her. Dr. Zira is studying humans believing them to be more intelligent than the others believe. A lot of her thoughts and tests remind you of how they test apes and teach them sign language or other things. This film is that good.
Dr. Zauis is an orangutang and at the top of the power system. He wants everything to remain the same and tells Dr. Zira she is wasting her time-experiment on the brain more than anything else, He would prefer the human race to be exterminated as they ravage their crops. It makes me think of Wyoming and the debate between the farmers about the wolves among their cattle.
Dt. Zira tries to match up Taylor with the woman who they used to give him a blood transfusion. Its so weird that she is trying to breed them, but it is done with animals every day.
Dr. Cornelius is he fiancé of Dr. Zira, and played by Roddy McDowell who I just adore.
Taylor wants to talk to them, but he can’t as his throat is still healing, He tries to sign but they ignore him. He tries to write it on the dirt, but it is brushed away. He gets in a fight with another guy over his “mate”, and this scene always makes me think of Bambi with the deers.
Dr. Cornelius is an archeologist who wants to do another dig into pre-civilization. Dr. Zauis sees part of what Taylor wrote and doesn’t act too surprised about it covering it up. Interesting…
So the Chimps are the intellectuals and scientists, the gorillas the muscle being the army and security, and the orangoutangs run everything in politics and the church.
Back at the cage Taylor steals Dr. Zira’s notepad and pencil when she comes close to the cage writing:
“MY NAME IS TAYLOR.”
She goes to show her fiance, but he doesn’t believe it. He thinks he was taught tricks like for the circus and it is crazy to believe he went to public school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Falling out of the sky, that’s crazy.
You’re crazy! Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.
He builds a paper airplane and they are amazed, there are no planes or cars or such in their society. And even after seeing all that Cornelius still doesn’t believe he was in the forbidden zone (past the scarecrows) which no one can survive,
Dr Cornelius has an idea that apes evolved from humans and Dr. Zira thinks that Taylor is proof and the will believe him as it is the truth.
Hhahahahahahahahjahhahahahahaha this is why you all need a historian.
Dr. Zira wants to shake the world, but Dr. Cornelius doesn’t feel the same way. He wants to be comfortable as their life is moving forward. Their discussion is interrupted by Dr. Zauis and his companion who came to see Dr. Cornelius.
Dr Zauis sees the airplane right away and destroys it. Hmmm…but again he’s not surprised. What does he know?
The next day the apes come for Taylor as Dr. Zauis wants him lobotomized. Hmm…what does he know?
Taylor however escapes. I have always loved this part. He runs through the village which is very basic and rocklike. It’s interesting how Dystopian stories are either super high-tech, or they take place in a world that has regressed. He run scaring people and attacking to try and escape.
He runs through the Flintstone like dwellings-outsmarting the apes at every turn. In the museum he finds his fellow astronaut, Dodge-taxidermied.
But while he runs and runs his luck does run out as he is surrounded by apes-having things thrown at him. They eventually catch him and then he yells out to everyone, in front of everyone-all shocked and amazed. One of my favorite parts.
He returns to his cage with his “mate”trying to talk to her but it is hard as she doesn’t speak.” Weeks later they separate them and take Taylor to the tribunal. All orangoutangs are the judges as they control everything.
They put Taylor in front and rip the clothes off Taylor. He stands there as they argue around him. He has rights as he’s a man. Taylor tries to defend himself, but they muzzle him.
I love when Taylor questions their “equality” as it seems some apes are more equal than others-Animal Farmreference.
Taylor writes a statement about him from being from outer space and they toss it. They refuse to believe anything he says. They search for Landon to back up his story, but his shipmate has been lobotomized.
[to Dr. Zaius after he finds a lobotomized Landon]
George Taylor: You did it. You cut up his brain, you bloody baboon!
They return to the “trial” and say he suffered a skull fracture. Yeah right, they are just suppressing the truth. Cornelius tries to help by sharing his idea that Taylor comes from the Forbidden Zone.
It already did!
He found proof of another culture before he apes, human. They think that Taylor came from there.
Dr. Zira tries to share, but the orangoutangs will not listen. She argues that if they are certain that he isn’t from space, the only logical explanation is that Taylor needs to be from our planet. So if he is from the planet than that means all huamns should have the same abilities.
That is not good,
Oh jeez what a can of worms.
They live him in there with Dr. Zauis who reveals he knows he is Taylor is more than what they were saying and that they are not only going to expriment and kill him, but he’s perfect to take down Dr. Cornelius and Zira. He tries to make a deal to figure out who his tribe is to try and take them down.
Dr. Zauis admits that they did know Landon talked but he wanted to protect their society and destroyed him. Dr. Zauis still doesn’t believe him from space. He gives him six hours to admit where his people are-or all are dead.
That night, a young chimpanzee comes with an order to move Taylor to the zoo. The chimp knocks out the gorilla guard, as he is revealed that he is Dr. Zira’s nephew Lucius.
Dr. Zira rocks!
They rescue his “female,” Nova a well. They give Taylor some clothes to wear, but he doesn’t want to as it stinks. Dr. Zira has to push him as most apes think all men look alike and if they have any hope of succeeding he needs to look the part.
I don’t know why he gets so whiney, they are trying to save him.
They drive away and meet up with Cornelious who brought extra horses for the humans. Cornelius ad Dr. Zira hav been indicted for hearesey. They decided they need to go out to the Forbidden Zone to find human remains to save themselves.
Taylor plans to go to go back to where his ship crashed, and asks about the river and the forbidden zone but no one knows why or where it goes. It was all determined long ago in the sacred scrolls.
A they travel and make camp, Taylor stops to shave his beard (why?). They are all amazed and Cornelius says it makes him look less intelligent.
I love Cornelius. He’s my favorite character as Roddy McDowell is awesome. Dr. Zauis and his apes follow them but Taylor is a great shot. He takes Dr. Zauis hostage. They strike a deal that if they have proof Zauis will let them off the hook. Lucius has to stay behind to watch the camp-and he acts like all angry teens. the man is trying to keep him down. Guess it doesn’t change which planet or decade you are from.
They go into the cave and find the ancient culture more advanced, like dark ages. So much technology has been lost through time. Dr. Zauis says that the Geologists on his staff would laugh at Cornelius’ dating-yeah because they are controlled by you.
They find a doll by the fossil of a man but no ape. Dr. Zauis just turns him down, but Taylor finds false teeth, fabricated heart valve, and eyeglasses
Nova plays with the doll and it says Mama. All I can think is it must have been a really well put together doll to last throughout so many years.
They then hear gunshots and go to try and help Lucius. Taylor fakes he is injured and takes Zauis hostage again. Taylor ties up Dr. Zauis while Zira and Cornelius are a little lost at what is happening.
Taylor points out that men were here first and that Dr. Zauis knews it all along. Dr. Zauis reveals that he is right.
Taylor decides to ride off and follow the shore. He invites Zira and Cornelius but they can’t leave, they can’t give up on their planet.
Taylor and Nova take off and I always like how this didn’t have a happy ending-they left it open ended. We don’t quite know what will happen next.
Dr. Zauis shares that the humans destroyed everything. The Forbidden Zone was destroyed when it used to be a paradise. But Taylor is still unsure. A planet where Apes evolved from men? Can that be? They take off into the forbidden zone.
Dr. Zauis seals up the cave and then decides to put Dr. Zira and Dr. Cornelius on trial for heresy.
Taylor and Nov ride off – and the landscape, but as they ride they find something so terrible it makes Taylor scream in shock.
“George Taylor: You maniacs, you blew it up. Damn you. Damn you all to hell.”
It is the head of the statue of liberty! He never left his planet. Dodge was right they went through time, not space!
So the writers wanted something big to end on-and this is highly disputed who really thought up the ending. The “official” answer is that they were trying to figure out how to show that they were on Earth the whole time and were having lunch at a deli in NYC and saw all the Statue of Liberty souvenirs and it struck them! The perfect way to show it was a destroyed Statue of Liberty.
It doesn’t matter to me, I love it and think it is just as amazing as when I first watched it.