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Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
Year, country:
J. Lee Thompson
Roddy McDowall Don Murray Ricardo Montalban
1h 28m

"Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" (1972) is the fourth installment in the iconic "Planet of the Apes" film series, directed by J. Lee Thompson. This science fiction film delves into a dystopian future where apes have become the dominant species, and humans are subjugated in a society marked by oppression and rebellion.

The story is set in the year 1991, a few decades after a plague wiped out cats and dogs, leading humans to adopt apes as pets. Eventually, these apes were trained to serve humans in various capacities. The central character, Caesar, portrayed by Roddy McDowall, is the son of the two intelligent apes, Cornelius and Zira, who time-traveled from the future in the previous film, "Escape from the Planet of the Apes."

Caesar has inherited the ability to speak and possesses high intelligence. He lives in hiding, but circumstances force him to reveal his intelligence, leading to his capture. Caesar is taken to the Ape Management Center, where he witnesses the brutal treatment of his fellow apes. Driven by a desire for freedom and equality, Caesar begins a rebellion against the oppressive human regime.

The film explores themes of oppression, rebellion, and the consequences of mistreatment. The conflict between the ruling humans and the uprising apes mirrors social and political struggles, providing a thought-provoking narrative backdrop.

Roddy McDowall delivers a compelling performance as Caesar, infusing the character with a mix of intelligence, empathy, and a burgeoning sense of leadership. The film's depiction of a society in turmoil, marked by protests, clashes, and a growing resistance movement, adds layers of tension and urgency to the storyline.

"Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" is notable for its social commentary and its examination of power dynamics and the quest for freedom. The film's visual effects, considering the era, are impressive, especially in portraying the apes' revolt against their human oppressors.

While the film received mixed reviews upon its initial release, it has gained appreciation over the years for its thematic depth and its place within the broader "Planet of the Apes" series. It serves as a pivotal chapter in the franchise, setting the stage for the climactic events that unfold in the subsequent film, "Battle for the Planet of the Apes."