Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), directed by Ted Post.

This was intended as another Charlton Heston vehicle. He didn't want to do the whole film but was willing to come back in a more limited capacity. It was rewritten for a similar lost astronaut: James Franciscus, looking very much like Heston in a loincloth, if not quite as burly.

Here we see the problems of sequels. Having established a mythology the filmmakers want to do more work within it. Fans want to see more. But the original inventive spark is gone and attempts at introducing cleverness fall flat, as in the chimp anti-war protesters and the now-psychic remnant of civilized humanity worshiping a missile with mock-Christian rites. That goes on and on.

I do give them credit for using another down-beat ending.

It was good to see Linda Harrison again, but we spend too much time in fruitless attempts to communicate.

Leonard Rosenman score. Jerry Goldsmith was not available but Rosenman gives us something that sounds like a combination of the first film and his own work for Fantastic Voyage (1966).

Available on Blu-ray.