Conquest of the Planet of the Apes | Chicago Reader

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

Apart from the original Planet of the Apes, this fourth entry (1972) in the sci-fi franchise was the most entertaining and provocative, a winking allegory for the black power movement that became a big favorite at inner-city grindhouses. The story takes place in a futuristic Los Angeles of the 1990s, when humans have turned apes into exploited and brutalized slaves; Roddy McDowell, happily treating this schlock as if it were Hamlet, plays the articulate ape Caesar, who mutely insinuates himself into the household of paranoid governor Don Murray and plots the overthrow of the human race. Remade, sort of, as Rise of the Planet of the Apes. J. Lee Thompson (Cape Fear) directed; with Ricardo Montalban and Second City alum Severn Darden.

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