“Ape never kills ape.”
Twentieth Century Fox had found great success with their Planet of the Apes franchise, but they also were learning that a continuous run of sequels would bring less and less money back in. So by the time they got to the fifth entry in the series, the budget was a pittance compared to that of the first film. This time, however, it really feels like the cheap end of a franchise. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our Apes series with J. Lee Thompson’s 1973 film, Battle for the Planet of the Apes.
We talk about the problems we have with this film and look at the likely source of our issues to be the screenwriters – John William Corrigan and Joyce Hooper Corrigan. We talk about Roddy McDowall returning to his role as Caesar and struggle with some of the ways his character is depicted. We discuss the concept of a battle for a planet, and compare that with what we get here – largely something that doesn’t feel that epic. We look at the budget cutbacks Thompson and his team continued to deal with in these films. We discuss the differences between the theatrical and extended cuts. And we look at logic problems found in the script all through the project and wonder what would’ve made it stronger.
It’s a disappointing ending for the franchise… until it kicks in again decades later. Still, for what we have here, it’s pretty rough. Still, we have a good time talking about it, so check it out (or not) and tune in! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.
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