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‘‘Escape from the Planet of the Apes” 50 years later.

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by wayneklein, Apr 29, 2021.

  1. YardByrd

    YardByrd rock n roll citizen in a hip hop world

    I saw the tv series first (born in '68) and had some of the toys, but what's funny is I didn't see the original movie until after the tv show went off the air... and I think it was a New Year's Eve presentation on something like CBS since I stayed up late because my parents were out partying... and somehow, I guess I never realized they were on earth in the tv show because the Statue of Liberty reveal at the end DID catch me by surprise and blew my 8-year-old mind! I liked the sophomore effort as well when I saw it not too long after... and even enjoyed Escape... but even as a kid, the rest of the series was too shoddy to make me care too much... methinks it's time to show my 8-year-old the original...
    Shawn likes this.
  2. Django

    Django Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
    It's my least favourite of the original series of films. Some good ideas in there, but a lot of naff scenes as well.
  3. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    For anybody who's interested in one person's version of how Milo came across the ship, read the book "Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes" by Drew Gaska.

    I myself did not like the book very much (other than all the cool artwork): To me, it read as glorified fan-fiction and just isn't very good... However, it gives his version of how the ship was found, so it might be of interest to some. I haven't read his follow up book "Death of the Planet of the Apes", so I can't say if that one has anything pertaining to the ship, although I'd guess it does since it's set in the period of the end of "Planet" and the events in "Beneath".
    KevinP likes this.
  4. Saint Johnny

    Saint Johnny Forum Resident

    Asbury Park
    Scowl, apesfan, altaeria and 2 others like this.
  5. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    I watched this as a kid and thought the opening 45m were incredibly stupid. No way humans would react to English speaking apes as they did, but I get they were trying to make a bigger point. When Hasslein's role becomes more prominent, and the movie takes that abrupt dark turn, it eases into becoming one of the better sequels.

    Although Hasslein makes things much worse for humanity by killing the apes, it's also worth noting the series is ALL Hasslein's fault, in a larger sense. Heston's astronauts were sent into space specifically to test his theories.
    Shawn likes this.
  6. Spitfire

    Spitfire Senior Member

    Pacific Northwest
    The thing I remember most about Escape was that Detroit newscaster Bill Bonds played himself in it.
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
    bluearmy78 likes this.
  7. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    The original looked like a film ( least real time,1968)... the rest look like TV movies( not referring to tv series).
    Scowl and Crungy like this.
  8. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    That was the problem with all the sequels. Most of them had good ideas, but the budget cuts doubled with each entry and really hampered them.

    I do admire CONQUEST for trying to sell a huge rebellion in a futuristic city under such constraints --- those Century City scenes almost pull it off.

    BATTLE on the other hand, closes the series with an "epic" final war that involves a few Jeeps, some motorcycles and a school bus. Sad.
    Scowl, KeninDC, Shawn and 5 others like this.
  9. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    They are all enjoyable. Just I was blown away when I seen the Charlton Heston Apes film in the cinema 1968.
  10. apesfan

    apesfan "Going Ape"

    Escape is wonderful. Saw it when it premiered in late spring 1971.
    When poor Milo/Caesar was gunned down many kids were crying at my local Brentwood theater not to mention Cornelius and Zira.
    My mother took me to Colony Records at 49 street in Manhattan soon after to see if a soundtrack album was available but to no avail. My mom and I had a long talk about the Planet of the apes scores and the salesman lamented that Escape had such a "groovy" soundtrack and what a shame it wasn't released.
    Carol Kate's Bass Guitar rhythms are fantastic.

    Conquest is my favorite ofcourse. It's looking doubtful that the Phoenix Arizona Sneak peek will truly ever be released since most concerned are gone. The prologue that shows an ape being violently shot was immediately cut and most of the night scenes were repurposed into Caesars running away after McDonald told him to "Go" before his execution/torture scene.
    The unrated blue ray cut was fine but that was a 'branched ' bloody revolt scene from the Japanese release print. Japan too never got the prologue before credit scene.I

    The film fades in to 'North America 1991' nighttime scenes that I mentioned above. A lot of "No, Stop" etc. off camera then 'blam' 'blam' two or three times from a police rifle, some shoe tap sounds, then theirs an ape in the crucified position on the pavement with a whole lot of blood oozing out of him. Cue the theme from Tom Scott and the title card 20th Century Fox Presents.

    Even when I was 12 at the time I knew there was something off about Conquest. After talking to a Fox executive (relative) a few weeks later he confirmed that this Apes film was heavily altered.

    Also while visiting my Uncle John in 1978 California, we got to talking and 'oh my god ' he was invited to that Phoenix sneak peek and confirmed it all. He was a Dynaco/Heathkit amp builder but I digress. I was on a mission ever since and had many phone confrontations with many Fox Video personnel to get the original print of Conquest out.
    It's a fools errand now since Disney owns all of Fox's films. So sad, John M.series
    How about a 4k hdr release of the original 5 Disney, or if not let an independent video company remaster and lovingly restore this iconic film series. Whatever.....
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
    Saint Johnny, KeninDC, Shawn and 3 others like this.
  11. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    with all the different Apes Movies...seriously, what's not to like? I wish for more...my wife loves them as well...
    Saint Johnny, Grand_Ennui and apesfan like this.
  12. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    Fascinating. What's your source for the sneak peek you're referencing? The original cut sounds bananas!
  13. apesfan

    apesfan "Going Ape"

    Just the history of how Fox premiered films at the time.
    'Cinemafantastic' issue from summer 1972 by Dale Winegura (spelling). I think it's still available as a Pdf from a website I frequented. pota.goatly.com??
    Even the 2008 blu ray Conquest Documentary shows and mentions some, as well as director J. Lee Thompson in the AMC 1998 documentary and DVD.
    I have many black and white glossy production photos showing some of this.
    In Eric Greens book on the Apes series he writes about it all and has a photo of said bloody shotup ape in the paperback edition of his "Planet of the Apes as American myth in race politics" book. Take care, John M.
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
    Saint Johnny, Shawn and Glaeken like this.
  14. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    Cool, I'll check those out. I remember that the original cut was R rating material that got whittled down, but had no idea it was actually screened for the public prior to said cuts. I figured that all happened in post.
    apesfan likes this.
  15. apesfan

    apesfan "Going Ape"

    Fox sneak peeked Conquest and kids and parents got p%$$#d off. Violent as heck.

    The riots were a reminder of the Watts riots in 1965. The main good guy is a black man, McDonald , played by Hari Rhodes who takes much garbage from 'the Man ' and gets an insult (that today would never play) from nazi looking guards who were beating a chimp to death at about the 15 minute mark.

    If Conquest remained intact it would of been regarded as even a more rambunctious entry in the film series and an 'R' rated one at that. John
  16. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident


    It does suck that the prologue you're referring to is probably lost to time now...

    At least John Jakes included it in his novelization of "Conquest", and if I remember correctly, they also included it in the "Planet of the Apes" magazine adaption of "Conquest" too...
    Glaeken, Shawn and apesfan like this.
  17. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    Even more than "Planet"?!?
  18. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

  19. apesfan

    apesfan "Going Ape"

    I saw "Planet "1968 at the Capitol theater Manhattan with my mom and some girlfriends of hers and as an 8 year old. I fell asleep not because the film is boring but I was lugged around the city all day. The ending was and is amazing and got woken up by the applause and mutterings of all around. This was February about a day or two after its premiere iirc.
    Saw all the sequels about day and date when first shown. Conquest just hit me for whatever reason to that 12 year olds imagination. Bruce Surtees cinematographer, the very political story, many apes running around, and to my musical tastes Tom Scott's score, even though truncated, was what my music lesson head just loved, go figure.
    It was an amazingly bright ,colorful and loud presentation at the New Embassy Theater with tons of posters and lobby cards and cardboard displays that was ported over to the Babylon Theater a month later.
    Always a packed house and filled with kids from 10-90 years old. Wonderful times. John M.
    Planet is a classic but Conquest was the coolest to me fwiw. Take care.
  20. All 5 of the original films had vivid locations and/or sets -- but what cemented Conquest in my mind was the near-future setting, and the somewhat futuristic architecture which was (in fact) actually very current (and just very forward thinking for the time). It WASN'T a fake set, but a real location-shoot (Century City). And ALL of it was set in a series of places that felt connected, and of a whole. Granted, that alone wouldn't have made the film if the plot wasn't compelling -- but all of the general imaginary of Conquest stuck very firmly in my mind the first time I saw it, as much as all of the original movie, and the best bits of the Beneath too. (I first saw all the Apes movies all in the same week, rentals on VHS, in the summer of 1988 (between my freshman and sophomore years in college.)

    Conquest, being set in 1991 (which was JUST around the corner in 1988) -- was GREAT "fun" in terms of seeing as a vision "of the future" (now nearly the present), from the past!!!

    I was born in 1969, but practically ALL my favorite sci-fi movies start with the first Apes film, and end just before Star Wars -- when special effects started to "ruin" things. I'm kidding of course, but I still find so many of the sci-fi films I love best (both good and bad) are a by-product of the limitations of NOT having nearly unlimited special effects options at directors' disposals. (And yes, I realize that by modern standards, Star Wars had effects that seem "merely" like practical-effects as compared to modern CGI.

    About the only modern sci-fi films I've been extremely impressed with, in terms of a slightly more restrained use effects, has oddly enough been the series of Apes reboots, which I think have all been just wonderful.
    bluearmy78, Shawn, apesfan and 2 others like this.
  21. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    I love the entire POTA run, but Escape would be my least favorite. But that does not mean it was not pretty good. Just dealing with some good competition.

    Conquest is fantastic. Roddy McDowell doing his best Peter Sellers and performing multiple roles. He goes from the affable and deferential Cornelius to Caesar, who is cunning, moral, and passionate.
    Grand_Ennui, Shawn and apesfan like this.
  22. apesfan

    apesfan "Going Ape"

    My reactions are much like yours.
    It's funny how Conquest by some recent critics and intelligentsia now call it a "Grindhouse" film from the Apes series since the mostly original cut on the 2008 bluray lends itself to that broad definition even though it never played in a porn cinema, sort of, revivals did sometimes have played in questionable movie houses.
    I mean the term Grindhouse(film) goes back 100 years and the modern usage of the term is generally a bloody, exploitive, cheap 'B' movie in poor condition being projected in a part time porn theater.

    Century City, State university at Irving California, and the many ways of expanding the location with reverse shots, inverted shots and the use of existing natural lighting and low film stocks with Mitchell and Arriflex camera's with Zeiss lenses and Bruce Surtees via 90% Clint Eastwood films was a wonderful pedigree.

    But..theirs no way of avoiding the lowest budget ever for an Apes film. Director J.Lee Thompson, Screenwriter Paul Dehn, who was a former British MI5 officer who trained intelligence soldiers in Canada during WWII and who was also the screenwriter for 2 James Bond films and "The spy who came in from the cold" among many other screenplays both credited and uncredited.
    The above long paragraph was to show the credentials of all involved to make a very damning, bloody and thought provoking sequel that 20th Fox had no problem with until they realized this was to be a young persons film and caved in to the more puritan amongst the movie going public...Oh Lord...

    Roddy McDowall had his greatest performance and that probably gave him the incentive to 'borrow ' the Phoenix version of Conquest for his home theater. The F.B.I. had other ideas and visited him in the autumn of '72 and confiscated that original print. He had the foresight to get this version knowing Fox would probably lose or destroy it. I love what he allegedly did. He knew it was, in its original form, an important film.

    A lot of history with Conquest and it's shameful that moviegoers like to say each sequel got worse. Many highbrow critics like Judith Christ knew this sequel had something special to offer. Anyway I'm going to get some coffee, John M.
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  23. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident


    I believe "Battle" had the lowest budget, didn't it?
  24. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    I think he means, "lowest up to that point".
    Grand_Ennui likes this.
  25. Glaeken

    Glaeken Forum Resident

    That's fascinating. I'd never heard about this before and was suprised by what I found: When Roddy McDowall Was Busted by the FBI for Pirating Films
    Saint Johnny and bluearmy78 like this.

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