Films featuring
Ricardo Montalban

Escape from the Planet of the Apes

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The ending of Beneath the Planet of the Apes seemed to preclude any sequels and, despite the financial success of the first two films, the budget for a third movie had been slashed. The producers of this film series had to think creatively. The result, while far from the equal of the 1968 original, stands head and shoulders above any of the other sequels, re-introducing the concept of character development and semi-intelligent writing back into the series. Sure, the audience is asked to accept a premise that, when you follow the logic of the first two films, is staggeringly ridiculous, but once you get past that, the story moves along relatively well.

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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

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Star Trek: The Motion Picture‘s spiralling production costs and lukewarm reviews must have left a cold feeling in pit of the Paramount brass’ collective stomachs. Fortunately the box office returns were good enough to justify at least thinking about a sequel. If nothing else, it would help amortize the production costs of the first film across more than one movie.

To keep costs in check, they assigned the film to their television production division. To direct, they hired Nicholas Meyer, whose only other directorial credit to date was the well-received thriller, Time After Time. Both decisions proved fortuitous. Literate, focused and not awed by the Star Trek legacy, Meyer proved to be just the hand to keep the film on course.

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