50 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1970s

From cosmic head trips to adventures in galaxies far, far away

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32. 'Conquest of the Planet of the Apes' (1972)

The third film in the Apes series imagines a 1990s world in which monkeys, chimps, etc. are kept as pets and then utilized as a labor force; given what we know about those damned dirty apes, viewers wait for the roles will soon be reversed. The movie ends with a twist pointing toward the events that would lead to a simian-controlled Earth, and the next year's Battle for the Planet of the Apes fills in some of the gaps, jumping from decade to decade to follow the uprising of humanity’s helper-animals. Arguably the most visionary entry in the series since the first, Conquest builds a chilly utopia and then rips it to shreds, in the process turning the audience’s sympathy away from their own species. NM

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