Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) – 120

Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

 

Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts.

Today’s movie is Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971). This movie is the third of the original series and in my opinion, it is the second best preceded by the original. This movie didn’t receive any big awards or feature prominently on any lists. So, with that, let’s jump into the actors, many of whom are show veterans.

Actors

Returning

Roddy McDowall returned as Cornelius. McDowall was covered in Episode 118 – Planet of the Apes (1968).

Kim Hunter also returned as Zira. Hunter was covered in Episode 118 – Planet of the Apes (1968).

M. Emmet Walsh played a military aide and actually got a few laughs. …

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Henry Fonda – One-Take Fonda

Warlock (1959) - Henry Fonda

 

Henry Fonda was a soft-spoken man who was born in Grand Island, Nebraska in 1905. Following high school, he attended the University of Minnesota and studied journalism. At the age of 20, Fonda began acting at the Omaha Community Playhouse. After becoming a part of the Cape Cod University Players Fonda moved to New York and began working on Broadway. He worked on Broadway through 1934. The last play he did was “The Farmer Takes a Wife.” When this was made into a film he got a role. For the next fifty years, he made some of the most important movies of their era. Fonda worked across all genera’s.

Henry Fonda is remembered for so many movies it is hard to summarize. In 1939, Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) and Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) were released. The next year Fonda struck gold with his portrayal of Oakie Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940). He received an Oscar nomination for this role. He excelled in westerns starring in …

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Whit Bissell – This Guys is in Everything

Whit Bissell

Whit Bissell was born in New York City in 1909. Whit Bissell came to Hollywood in the 1940s, and by the time he retired he had appeared in over 300 movies and TV series. Sometimes it seems like he is in every movie. Just there moving steadily along and never standing out. However, his performance was always solid. He may be best known for playing the mad scientist who turned Michael Landon into a monster in the 1957 cult classic film I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957). He was also in I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1967). Whit Bissell specialized in playing authority figures such as doctors, military officers, and other authority figures. One of his standout roles was as a lovesick convict in the harsh film noir movie Brute Force (1947).  He was familiar on television in “Bachelor Father” 1957-1960 and “The Time Tunnel” 1966-1967. He was in only in one “Star Trek” episode but it was  “The Trouble with Tribbles” 1967.

Whit Bissell served on the Screen …

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Strother Martin – Character Actor with Profound Impact

Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Strother Martin Short Biography

Strother Martin while famous for that line and many others, he was a springboard champion, taught swimming in the Navy during WWII, and missed the 1948 Olympic team by one place. He moved to Hollywood and among other things, was a swimming instructor to Charles Chaplin’s children. After meeting Sam Peckinpah he began to get roles like Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Slap Shot (1977), and The Wild Bunch (1969).

Strother Douglas Martin, Jr. (March 26, 1919 – August 1, 1980) was a character actor who often worked with John Wayne and Paul Newman. Many of his memorable western films were directed by John Ford and Sam Peckinpah. He is no doubt best known as the prison “captain” in Cool Hand Luke (1967), where he utters the famous line “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” This line is ranked number 11 on the American Film Institute list 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes.

As a youth, he was very …

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Lionel Jeffries – Veteran Character Actor

Lionel Jeffries

Lionel Jeffries was an English character actor. He was known for his bald head and bushy mustache. This allowed him to play much older roles. During his career Lionel Jeffries played a nice line of English eccentrics.

Lionel Jeffries was born in London in 1926. During World War II he was an officer in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Following the war, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. This lead to a two-year stint with a repertory company followed by work in English television.

Lionel Jeffries had a successful career in English films mainly in comic character roles but he also had dramatic roles such as in Bhowani Junction (1956) with Ava Gardner. In the 1960s he began to get lead roles in films such as Two-Way Stretch (1960), The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960), First Men in the Moon (1964) and Camelot (1967). However Jefferies continued his drama roles in films such as Dunkirk (1958), horror such as The …

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Patric Knowles – From Will Scarlet to the Wolf Man

Patric Knowles

Patric Knowles had a successful acting career with 128 TV and movie credits. He stared in some of the biggest films of his time such at The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Wolf Man (1941), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), Auntie Mame (1958), The Devil’s Brigade (1968), and Chisum (1970). In retirement he worked to take care of actors that had been less fortunate than himself.

Patric Knowles was born in England on November 11, 1911. He was 14 years old when he ran away from the family bookbinding business to pursue acting. He was brought back home but left again in a few years. He was able to find some regional theater work and then entered British films in 1932 and eventually made 14 British films. Based on this work he was offered a contract with Warner Brothers. His second American movie was the hugely popular The Charge of the Light …

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Alan Rickman: Master Villian/Actor

Alan Rickman - Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

I am very sad that we lost Alan Rickman in mid-January (2016). He was a great actor and one of the best bad-guys of all times. I wanted to jump out of line and do a small tribute to Alan Rickman.

Rickman was born in London in 1946. He attended Chelsea College of Art and Design where he studied graphic design. He undertook graduate studies at the Royal College of Arts before opening and running a successful graphic design company with several friends.

Finally, his love of theater lead him to audition for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. At the age of 26, he received a scholarship to study acting. His professional career lasted almost 40 years, covering theater, television, and film.

Rickman came to Broadway in 1987 in “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.” He burst onto to the film scene as villain Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988). Paired with Bruce Willis, Rickman set the standard for generic European villain for decades to come. Continuing with Rickman’s villain roles was …

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Michael Beck – The Warriors to Megaforce

Michael Beck in Memphis in 1949. Beck went to Millsaps College in Mississippi on a football scholarship. He began acting in plays during his college years. Following college Beck was selected to attend the London’s Central School of Speech and Drama.

Beck was a very popular young actor with The Warriors (1979). However his next three movies kind of slammed the door on his acting career. He played Sonny Malone in Xanadu (1980) with Olivia-Newton John and Gene Kelly. Xanadu was universally panned. Beck even state The Warriors (1979) opened a lot of doors in film, for me, which Xanadu (1980) then closed. However at some point in the future I may make a case for how this movie was a tribute to Gene Kelly and movies like Cover Girl (1944) and  Singing in the Rain (1952) and most people missed the point. Kelly’s charterer is named Danny McGuire in Cover Girl (1944) and in Xanadu (1980). He had the same bad story as Cover Girl (1944). Sonny and Kira wear …

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Lynne Thigpen – Amazing Voice, Amazing Actress

Lynne Thigpen in The Warriors (1979)

Lynne Thigpen

Lynne Thigpen was born in Illinois in 1948. Thigpen was active in theater through her college years. Following college she taught English but the stage bug got her and she headed to New York.

In 1971 she was cast in the theater version of Godspell, a new age gospel story. In 1973 when they made Godspell (1973) into a movie Thigpen was selected for a role.

Thigpen continued singing and acting in theater through the 1970s and in 1981, she earned a Tony nomination for her work in Tintypes.

It was at this point that she made her movie into tv and film. During her career she had almost 40 tv and film roles. Many of her roles were supporting but her deep and unique voice brought her extra attention. She seemed to standout in minor roles.

She played the role of the gang DJ in The Warriors (1979). In this movie they only showed her lips talking on the microphone but there was no doubt who …

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Edmond O’Brien – American Tough Guy

Edmund O'Brian

Edmond O’Brien was born in the Bronx, New York in 1915. O’Brein stated that he learned magic tricks from his neighbor Harry Houdini. He was in the school theater and major in drama a Columbia University. He started on Broadway debut at 21.

He was brought to Hollywood and he was uncredited in his first film – Prison Break (1938). The next year he was in a supporting role as “Gringoire” in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) with Charles Laughton.

He joined the Army Air Force during World War II and returned to a solid career as a supporting actor. By 1950, he was given the lead role in D.O.A. (1950).

O’Brien has roles in other film noir classics such as The Killers (1946) and The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

In 1954, he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Barefoot Contessa (1954).

Perhaps one of O’Brien’s greatest performance was as the drunken newspaper editor Dutton Peabody in The Man …

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Boris Karloff – King of the Monsters

Boris Karloff on set taking a tea and toast break

I don’t think I will get much argument if I say that Boris Karloff was the greatest Frankenstein of them all. Although Peter Boyle was pretty good.

Karloff was a British actor that began stage work in Canada and then made his way to Hollywood. He made some silent films but had to maintain jobs such as ditch digger to survive. By 1931 Karloff was on his way with The Criminal Code (1931) and Five Star Final (1931), a film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Of course, the biggest role of all was that of the monster in Frankenstein (1931). Karloff was about 5 feet 11 inches. The costume that he work for this role had 4-inch platforms and weighed 8 pounds each. Karloff’s costume was designed by Jack Pierce and was copyrighted by Universal Studios making it harder for other studios to copy the success of Frankenstein. Oddly Lon Chaney Sr, father of Wolf Man Lon Chaney Jr. Was offer the role of …

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Basil Rathbone – A Bad Guy You Love to Hate

Basil Rathbone

Basil Rathbone was born in South Africa, in 1892, but left as a forthcoming Boer War. In England Rathbone attended Repton School where he excelled at fencing, a skill that would serve him well later in the movies, and showed an interest in theater. After graduation, he worked for one year in business to please his father and then left for the theater. He had a cousin that was managing one of the Shakespearean troupes in Stratford-on-Avon. He joined at the bottom rung and began working his way to larger roles. These roles were interrupted by WWI when Rathbone severed as a second lieutenant in the Liverpool Scottish 2nd Battalion. He was assigned to military intelligence and later received the Military Cross for bravery. In 1919, he returned to Stratford-on-Avon. After a year there he moved to the London stage and eventually began working on Broadway.

Eventually, he left the stage to begin working in movies. His roles evolved from ladies man to sinister villain where his sword work became …

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Robert Donat – A Life Too Short

The last film line spoken by Robert Donat before his death was “We shall not see each other again. I think. Farewell.”

Robert Donat was a mellow sounding English actor. Donat was born in 1905 and was in his first Shakespeare production by the age of 16.  He began traveling with his theater group and acted all over Britain. Alexander Korda noticed Donat’s acting chops and gave him a 3-year film contract. During this time Donat’s was cast as Thomas Culpepper, in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). Donat’s went to Hollywood to work on The Count of Monte Cristo (1934). Based on the strength of his performance he was offered the role of Captain Blood (1935). I can maybe see that casting. Donat’s didn’t like life in Hollywood and continued to avoid roles that forced him outside of Briton.

Hollywood usually had to shoot in England if it wanted him badly enough. And that was not a problem, after the box office reception given The 39 Steps (1935), the …

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Glenn Ford – From Film Noir to Superman’s Father

Glenn Ford

Glenn Ford was born in Canada in 1916 and moved to the US when he was 8. After high school, he began working in theater and taking odd jobs including with Will Rogers who taught him to ride a horse. Wow.

In 1939, he began working for Columbia Pictures and became a US citizen the same year. His first major role was Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939). In late 1942, Ford joined the Marine Corp reserve.

He spent his time working in the Photographic Section. He was discharged in 1944 for ulcers. In 1958, he returned as a reserve officer.

Ford’s best-known role is most likely the film noir classic Gilda (1946) with co-star Rita Hayworth. This pair eventually made five movies together.

Through the 50s and 60s, Ford’s career was on fire. He made thrillers, dramas, action, comedies, and westerns. Some of his best-known films include A Stolen Life (1946) with Bette Davis, The Secret of Convict Lake (1951) with Gene Tierney, The Big Heat (1953), …

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