|An original poster for J. Lee Thompson's Battle for the Planet of the Apes|
Battle for the Planet of the Apes is the last of the five films in the original Fox Apes franchise based on the novel by Pierre Boulle. Most people think that this is the worst of the sequels, but I think it is the best. (Of the sequels mind you. None of them can defeat Franklin J. Schaffner's original from 1968.)
Apes have gained control of Earth, but Caesar, the leader of the apes, wants humans and apes to live in peaceful coexistence. But with polemic, hateful and powerful groups on both sides, will this be possible?
That is the story of Battle, a film which was scarred by a writers' strife, a disgruntled director (due to an unfinished script and a small budget), and was later reviewed much in light of this by many reviewers, including the late master troll critic Roger Ebert.
Not fair, because Battle is a fine and entertaining film. Alright, the plot has some (expected) hurdles; among other things the apes have developed speech and intellect in a mere 20 years.
But if you disregard these minor things, Battle is a good film, told with a fitting frame, and it has John Huston as the Lawgiver ape.
SPOILER It is the only film in the series to end on an optimistic, pacifistic note, rounding the ground-breaking science fiction franchise off with style.
It is directed by J. Lee Thompson, who also directed the worse Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), and older, great films like The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Cape Fear (1962).
If you have the opportunity to get your hands on a box of the old Apes-films, don't let it pass you by. You won't regret it.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) - Decent follow-up to the SF milestone
John Huston: The African Queen (1951) - Classic Romance Bravura de Huston/Bogart/Hepburn
The Asphalt Jungle (1950) - Twenty-four carat heist noir
The trailer for the movie
Budget: 1.7 mil. $
Box office: 8.8 mil. $ (only US)
= Big success
If an Apes-fan, declare your sympathies in the evaluation of the Apes-films!