Film / Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

20 years have passed since Escape from the Planet of the Apes. During them, cats and dogs died of a mysterious disease, and apes became both household pets and servants for mankind. The United States became oppressive and fascist in culture, of uniformed classes and castes, based upon ape slave labour. And Milo, now known as Caesar, is a horseback rider in Armando's circus.

20th Century Fox rebooted the Planet of the Apes film series in 2011 starting with Rise of the Planet of the Apes which had a similar plot synopsis to Conquest in which the protagonist is also a chimpanzee named Caesar who leads an ape rebellion against the humans. Critics and audiences mainly regard Rise as better in terms of quality than Conquest.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Antagonistic Governor: Governor Breck, the main antagonist of the film. By the then future year of 1991 (the film was released in 1972), the United States is a police state, and it's shown that the Governor's word is law in this new America.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: The apes have become more human-like in form as a side effect of the mysterious disease that killed the cats and dogs.
  • As You Know: Early in the movie, Armando goes into detail about Caesar's origins... to Caesar, for the benefit of anyone who didn't remember or see the last movie.
  • Big Bad: Governor Breck.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The apes wear different jumpsuits depending on their species: chimps wear green, gorillas wear red and orangutans wear yellow.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the prior movies. They had serious subject matter, but action and some humor. This movie is much bleaker and darker.
  • Dewey Defeats Truman: The movie was released in 1972, the same year Taylor and his crew from the original were supposed to set out for an interstellar mission in their futuristic spaceship.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The movie was filmed just as The '60s were ending, but with the streets still filled with violent riots over Vietnam and Civil Rights.
  • Driven to Suicide: Armando.
  • Electric Torture: Caesar is tortured to make him admit he can talk. MacDonald, after watching it for a moment, leaves, apparently sickened. Governor Breck then shows he has an order for Caesar's execution, so he decides to just turn it on again Up to Eleven and electrocute him. But MacDonald, after leaving, goes to the utility room and turns off the power. Caesar is smart enough to fake his own death by torture, then later escapes.
  • Five Rounds Rapid: Played very straight with how the humans fight the apes, no matter how bad things get for the humans, they never go to anything more dangerous than riot police with rifles and shotguns.
  • Focus Group Ending: The movie was always going to end with the apes beginning their takeover, but originally, Breck was going to be beaten to death—a definitive demonstration about the circle of hatred. However, following a preview screening, the ending was slightly changed, with a few editing tricks and Roddy McDowall dubbing in new dialogue.
  • Foreshadowing: "Caesar. A king."
  • Gone Horribly Right: The humans wanting the apes to be smart enough to perform various tasks blew up in their faces.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Just about everywhere in this movie, though it's Armando being Driven to Suicide that truly cinches it for Caesar.
  • Identical Grandson: Roddy McDowall plays Caesar here, and in all the follow-ups.
  • Ironic Echo: When Caesar ordered to have the Apes kill Breck, Lisa uttered "N... no".
  • I Was Named "My Name": Caesar [a talking ape] is pretending to be unable to speak; his owner lets him "choose his own name" by opening a reference book and pointing to a random word. Caesar points to the word Caesar.
    Governor Breck: Caesar. A king.
  • Kill Them All: In a state of a Villainous Breakdown from the ape riots, Breck ordered the revolting apes that are in the control room with them to be killed.
  • Meaningful Name: Caesar.
    Breck: Caesar. A king.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Caesar hid himself in a cage full of orangutans. But one of Governor Breck's subordinates learn of this since "there are no chimpanzees in Borneo".
  • Morality Chain: Armando was the only human Caesar ever cared for. His death motivates him to rebel.
    • Lisa develops into this, talking Caesar out of killing The Governor and purposing peace among the apes and the humans.
  • Not So Different: Between Caesar and MacDonald.
  • Only Sane Man: Armando and MacDonald.
  • Properly Paranoid: After the last movie, Armando was questioned about Cornelius and Zira's child. While he talked his way out of immediate trouble, there was always lingering doubt among authorities that he was harboring their son.
  • Stable Time Loop: The apes from the future create the apes from the past.
    • Although the revised ending indicates that Caesar might move ape society towards a more peaceful attitude towards humans than originally shown.
  • Time Skip: As noted earlier, 20 years have passed since the last movie.
  • Title Drop
    Caesar: Tonight, we have seen... the birth... of the Planet of the Apes!
  • Token Good Teammate: MacDonald works for Breck and is quite disgusted with how apes are treated. He ends up saving Caesar's life.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The ape takeover happens in this movie. Which Governor Breck fears.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Set in 1991, filmed in 1972.
  • Wham Line: Lisa's "No!" due to her talking for the first time.