Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972) - Rotten Tomatoes

Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972)




Critic Consensus: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is as angry and relevant as any of its predecessors, but budget constraints and a stale script rob this revolution of the scope it requires.

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Movie Info

The fourth Planet of the Apes film is set in 1991, 20 years since the assassination of talking, time-traveling apes Cornelius and Zira at the end of Escape From the Planet of the Apes. The couple's infant son, Caesar (Roddy McDowall), has grown to adulthood in the care of kindly circus owner Armando (Ricardo Montalban). Meanwhile, a plague has wiped all dogs and cats from the face of the Earth; speechless primitive apes have therefore been domesticated and turned into first pets, then servants of humankind. Caesar becomes outraged at the treatment of these simian slaves and accidentally reveals his powers of speech in front of the militaristic authorities, who kill Armando when he tries to protect his friend's identity. His cover blown, Caesar kick-starts a revolution that pits chimps against humans, paving the way for eventual ape ascendency. Caesar was the second of McDowall's three Planet of the Apes characters; he also portrayed Cornelius in the first and third films and Galen in the short-lived 1974 television series. After taking over the franchise with this picture, Hollywood veteran J. Lee Thompson would become the only director to helm two Planet of the Apes films when he returned for the fifth and final installment. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

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Hari Rhodes
as MacDonald
as MacDonald
Lou Wagner
as Busboy
John Randolph
as Commission Chairman
Asa Maynor
as Mrs. Riley
H.M. Wynant
as Hoskyns
Gordon Jump
as Auctioneer
Dick Spangler
as Announcer
Hector Soucy
as Ape with Chain
John Dennis
as Policeman
Paul Comi
as 2nd Policeman
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Critic Reviews for Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (4)

The Planet of the Apes series takes an angry turn in the fourth entry.

June 4, 2007 | Full Review…

Dismally lurid stuff, ham-fistedly directed and low on credibility.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

J. Lee Thompson's direction furiously propels the action in a compact chromium-and-glass setting -- and wait till you see that last battle royal.

May 10, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

If you are ready to thrill to the fall of civilisation (for the third time in this series), then there are worse ways to spend an afternoon. Just don't expect much humour.

June 13, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

I'm tempted to comment that reports of the Hollywood film's death have been exaggerated. It is alive and well and flourishing on the Planet of the Apes.

January 7, 2020 | Full Review…

The darkest and most violent chapter in a series that had fairly distinguished itself already with its dark subject matter and disturbing imagery.

October 31, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes

Taking place 20 years after the third film, we are shown the evolution of the apes from pets to savages and the eventual takeover of the human race. With terrible camerawork and and a very oddly written screenplay, "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" is one of the weaker entries in the series, but also has the best climax of them all. The final 30 minutes will have you on the edge of your seat the whole way through and I loved every minute of it. However, the first hour is a complete mess and pretty much ruins everything set up in the previous film. As far as mixed bags go, this is one of the most enjoyable, because they knew when to hit the audience hard, even though they failed miserably in other regards. Overall, it's not the best film, but I really enjoyed where it went. It is recommendable for the finale.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


The son of Cornelius and Zira is separated from his protector and confronts a world where apes have been trained to do menial labour for the human race in slavery and promotes bloody insurrection amongst his kind. The third sequel to the classic Planet Of The Apes was butchered by the studio for its theatrical release no doubt because a nervous establishment weren't too happy at the sight of bloody revolution in the name of civil rights in the USA of the early 1970s. Much of the violence ended up on the cutting room floor and a terrible "and they all lived happily ever after" alternate ending was cheaply tacked on, essentially gutting the entire message of the story. In its original form, Conquest is a stirring story of bigotry, cruelty and fascism overthrown by civil disobedience and it contains some great moments of poignant dialogue and political argument. Unfortunately, thanks to the small budget and weak, TV standard direction it concentrates on its weaknesses instead of its strengths making for a finale that's little more than a gang of men in monkey suits running around hitting each other with sticks. The new prequel, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes actually takes the seeds of the story and make much better use of them and so although this is an interesting period piece the new film is far more worthy of your time.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes is one of favorites in the series. I very much enjoyed the storyline of the film, and I thought it was one of the most exciting films of the series. I thought that this film could have been a great conclusion to the series; unfortunately, they green lit an inferior final film. However this is a great film with a wonderful cast, a very good story and good directing. As far as the series is concerned, Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes is a great addition, and because of its story, it's also one of the best in the series. The film is much different to the other films in the series, and I very much enjoyed the change of direction the series took with Conquest. I find this film to be quite underrated and it really is a good film despite the flack it received as an uninspired sequel. The story is good and combine that with good acting and you have a great entry in a classic franchise. The film may not be the best, but for what it is, this is a good film, and like I said before, one of my favorites in the series. Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes is an entertaining film, and has enough thrills going for it to make it a worthwhile addition to the series. Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes is a great sequel that is entertaining, thrilling and is one of the best sequels in the series. Director J. Lee Thompson directs a memorable film that will appeal to fans of the original Planet Of The Apes, and this film is lots of fun despite its imperfections.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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