Spotlight On...Planet of the Apes

The newest Spotlight On takes a look back at the Planet of the Apes series.

Follow the films - like the classic original, the forgotten sequels, remake and popular second reboot.  Spanning a few decades, these films have scores by Jerry Goldsmith, Leonard Rosenman, Tom Scott, Danny Elfman, Patrick Doyle and Michael Giacchino.    

Here's a look back on the Planet of the Apes films score by score. 

Planet of the Apes (1968)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Goldsmith employed many tricks to give this score an otherworldly feel.  Notably the exotic percussion, atonal brass and ram's horn.  He pushed the boundaries of a symphony orchestra with its modern sound.  Oscar nominee.  (Just listen to: Main Title, The Hunt, No Escape, The Revelation-Part II)

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
Music by Leonard Rosenman
With Goldsmith moving on to score Patton, Leonard Rosenman was brought in.  Also known for his innovative techniques Rosenman's score is more brash and atonal.  (Just listen to: Main Title, Captured, Underground City, Off to War)

Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Goldsmith returned to this sequel and again, got musically creative.  Adding more of a groove, he added groovy jazz elements (steel drum and electric guitars included).  While considered one of the better films in the franchise, the score was not released separately until 1997.  (Just listen to: Main Title, Interrogation, Mother and Child)

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
Music by Tom Scott
Saxophonist and composer began his film score career with Conquest.  The exotic percussion and horn calls return, as well as jazz elements for this darker film.  Like before, this score wasn't released until 2001.  (Just listen to: Main Title, Subjugation Soul, Revolution)

Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
Music by Leonard Rosenman
Rosenman returned with his avant-garde style, following past patterns with new themes.  The action material is creatively handled, and also includes some melodic material near the end.  (Just listen to: Main Title, Mutants Move Out, The Battle, Only the Dead)

Planet of the Apes (2001)
Music by Danny Elfman
With this re-imagining/remake, Elfman brought the booming percussion and brass - atypical of his usual style.  The score is more tonal and melodic than previous Apes scores, the bombastic rhythms keep this score interesting.  (Just listen to: Main Title, Hunt, Preparing for Battle, Return)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Music by Patrick Doyle
In this reboot, Doyle branched out of his typical style and more into the modern blockbuster sound.  Many great musical moments happen in the calmer sections, but his swirling strings fit well in the larger action moments.  (Just listen to: Bright Eyes Escapes, Muir Woods, Caesar Protects Charles, Caesar's Home)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Music by Michael Giacchino
A mix of suspense score and strong action, Giacchino adds more jungle drumming and action motifs which stand out. (Just listen to: Look Who's Stalking, The Great Ape Processional, Gorilla Warfare, Primates for Life)

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
Music by Michael Giacchino
Possibly the strongest score in the series in ages, Giacchino continues some of the motifs from the previous film with new emotional and action material.  Everything leads to the stunning finale.  (Just listen to: Apes Together Strong, Planet of the Escapes, Migration, Paradise Found)

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