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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Thriller > Soundtrack > Conquest Of/Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (Limited CD)

Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes/

Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (Limited Edition CD Soundtrack)


Sound: B     Music: B/B-



The final feature film installments in the original Planet Of The Apes series still had something to offer, but its cutting-edge ideas began to run into 20Th Century-Fox’s need for hit films and the money merchandise (aimed at kids especially) brought the studio.  The final films are Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972) and Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973), which are films 4 & 5.  Conquest remains the only time in U.S. film history where an armed revolt succeeded, while Battle deals with the fallout of all the conflicts the best it could.


While we wait on Fox to reissue the films in anamorphically enhanced DVDs, we have this terrific double feature soundtrack edition of the last two films’ music from Film Score Monthly’s FSM soundtrack label, limited to only 3,000 pressings, so fans will want to go to www.filmscoremonthly.com to check into this CD, the awesome Leonard Rosenman score for Beneath The Planet Of The Apes CD that is also a limited to 3,000 pressings (reviewed elsewhere on this site), and many other exclusives.


Conquest offered Tom Scott, the third composer for the series, who came up with yet another unique work of music the series was becoming known for.  The 14 tracks here demonstrate raw music choices, a conflict between electronic (read police state) and acoustic (read persons and apes who want to be free) sensibilities done on a very clever level, and an amazing diversity that keeps the music and the narrative going.  This also helps built suspense.  This also includes Revolution, the final track for the original ending where the apes kill all in their way, revised when the studio felt Roddy McDowall’s Caesar was too subversive.  Those who have seen the film know he went from Malcolm X and Karl Marx to Fred Rogers in one speech.  Despite that distraction and negation in the film, this barely heard piece fits in very well with the entire score, showing Scott (especially with a low budget, as the great booklet explains) really pulled off something remarkable.


Battle has Rosenman’s return, in what is a prequel to the first two films and sequel to Conquest (leaving Escape From The Planet Of The Apes the time-travel anomaly of the series where the future of the film is simply not preventable).  Considering there was not much to score for this final and most watered down of the vintage era of the franchise, though a masterwork as compared to Tim Burton’s recent gutting of it with his highly inane “reimagining” of it, Rosenman still came up with some memorable music cues, if in vain.  A familiar, happy signature in the title theme was abused into making the entire franchise seem like a kiddie, fun, slap-happy adventure series it was not, but the whole of the score is not that condescending.  It is no match for his work on Beneath The Planet Of The Apes overall either, but has many moments worthy of that impressive score.


The PCM CD sound on both scores offers solid performance, even on the occasion where the sound is monophonic, as it is on six of the Conquest tracks and the nice final bonus track, which is Lalo Schifrin’s theme to the live action TV series that Fox issued a few years ago in an impressive DVD set.  The theme sounds better here than on any of the episodes on that DVD, though.  Neither the episodes nor the music from the underappreciated sister animated series Return To The Planet Of The Apes have been issued in either format yet, but they deserve to be.  This CD, however, is another winner.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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