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Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
Music by Leonard Rosenman
Beneath the Planet of the Apes Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $44.95
Limited #: 4000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: April 2000
Catalog #: Vol. 3, No. 3
# of Discs: 1

The Film Score Monthly Silver Age Classics series presents another long-lost science fiction score: Leonard Rosenman's stunning Beneath the Planet of the Apes. The 1970 sequel to producer Arthur P. Jacobssss' groundbreaking sci-fi allegory Planet of the Apes picks up directly after the first film ends, with astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) exploring the lifeless Forbidden Zone of a planet where apes evolved from men. But Taylor soon disappears in a terrifying illusion, leaving Nova (Linda Harrison) and another human explorer newly landed on the planet (James Franciscus as Brent) to dodge gorilla patrols in Ape City and eventually stumble on a twisted civilization of underground mutants.

Taking over for Jerry Goldsmith, composer Leonard Rosenman retained the neoprimitive musical underpinnings of the ape world while creating a score very much written in his own, inimitable style. The result bridges the alien soundscape Rosenman created for Fantastic Voyage with the percussive barbarism always associated with the upside-down civilization of the ape planet. Rosenman's Beneath the Planet of the Apes is as inventive and otherworldly as Goldsmith's original Apes score, yet Rosenman's approach is in its way diametrically opposed to Goldsmith's—composed of vertically-stacked layers of sound, clanging, metallic effects, bristling, rambunctious chase music and a perverse, chaotic march for the ape army. Add to this some striking electronic effects and a bizarre choral mass written for the atomic bomb-worshipping mutants, and you have the recipe for one of the most original science fiction movie scores ever written.

For years Leonard Rosenman's Beneath the Planet of the Apes score has been available to collectors only in the form of a strange concept album released in conjunction with the movie. For this LP Rosenman was asked to rearrange his score for a smaller orchestra and add contemporary elements including electric guitar performances and rock percussion. Leavening these stylistic departures from his original score were several dialogue sequences from the film, another common practice from the old days of motion picture soundtrack albums that persists today. For the FSM Silver Age Classics release we have gone back to the original score as heard in the film in dynamic stereo sound, including every note Rosenman recorded for the movie, electronic music and sound effects (some created to sonically illustrate the mind-controlling abilities of the film's mutants) and the score's hair-raising Mass for the Bomb.

This score has never been available before in its original form, and as a bonus we've included the complete original LP arrangements and dialogue snippets, which provide a striking contrast between the score Rosenman originally wrote and its adaptation as a popular soundtrack album. It's the second musical piece in the Planet of the Apes puzzle, and a fascinating companion piece to both the original Planet of the Apes score and Leonard Rosenman's science fiction and fantasy work.

Leonard Rosenman Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Leonard Rosenman (1924-2008) was an accomplished 20th century American composer with a major career in film and television. He was an up-and-coming New York concert composer when his friendship with James Dean lead to his groundbreaking 1955 scores for East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause; his score for The Cobweb that same year is acknowledged as the first to be based on twelve-tone music. His other film projects include Fantastic Voyage, the 1978 Lord of the Rings, Cross Creek and Star Trek IV; his television work includes Combat, Marcus Welby, M.D. and Sybil. Rosenman made no apologies for his modernist style and was outspoken about using his film projects as testing grounds for concert works. IMDB

Comments (6):Log in or register to post your own comments
So Fantastic Voyage got a re-issue... what are the odds that this one will too? BTW, if anyone has one they want to trade, check out my post in the trading post.


This is one FSM I don't have. I notice the CD rounds off with the Taylor-made 'Doomsday.' It seems Heston wanted to nail the series right there and then. Does that make for a cringeworthy finale, given that not even the Cobalt casing could definitively wrap up the show? Was the 'blue dot that is no longer a blue dot' narrated overlay right at the end appropriate? Did Chuck ever feel even the slightest curiosity to visit any of the 'revenge of the blue dot' recurring entries in the series?

Well, the commentary is on the disc at the end. It always struck me as being quite overly dramatic. On the one hand, it seems to be perhaps a little on the excessive side. Whether this was an attempt to ellicit a lump in the throat from the average cinema-goer at the thought of the deliberate destruction of all life on earth by forcing them to grapple with the idea of absolute finality, is certainly an interesting idea - "the woe unto ye that meddle," sort of thought bubble. Of course, right now, it does seem to be a little more relevant to the immediate application of the game of consequences, don't you think? And when you think a little harder about this movie, it does suddenly pop out at you as being more akin to sci-fi/horror, rather than just sci-fi.

I saw this movie in a cinema first time round. It left a distinctly uneasy feeling in the mind of my 7 or 8 year old self. It was not a pretty picture. And to qualify this impression, the composer sort of weirded it out a little more with his composition. Was this a ground-breaking movie with it's doom and gloom prognosis?

We had a little chat about this particular birdie on t'other side only recently, LC. On the whole, I find it a better entry in the series - I think it pobably single-handedly achieved a level of 'warpage' that left all the others trailing well behind. The ending of Blake's 7 probably owes its inception to the ending of Beneath. Every f'kn body dies in an orgy of sudden death in the end. That's undoubtedly from the Heston end of the business, who wanted a definitive wrap to the two entries in the entire series. That really does reflect the type of Wild Bunch throwing of caution to the wind, by electing for that chaotic self-destruction that comes from the ultimate attrition born of a heavy sense of world weariness. Perhaps that is why it speaks to me a little louder right now. Wish I could have a listen in to the score to add to the ambience of the moment. Oh, well!

Yeah, I would have loved to have seen the patched up earth-ship being taken to the launch pad with horse and cart. I expect the launch site itself would have looked something rather like Stonehenge. "May the Lawgiver bless those who sail in her and that she reaches her destination, wherever that may be, in one piece."

Pity we didn't get to see the entire planet being nuked from orbit, or what it was that caused it to fly backwards in time near enough to its point of origin. Must've gotten mixed up with a parallel universe along the way. Yeah, of course, that must've been it.

What are your thoughts on the film score vs. the album presentation? This is an example in which I find the LP version to be far more compelling, especially the hymn to the bomb with the "rock" beat underneath.

Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Leonard Rosenman

Myer Bello, Joseph DiFiore, Alvin Dinkin, Cecil Figelski, Phillip Goldberg, Allan Harshman, Jan Hlinka, Virginia Majewski, Alex Neiman, Dan Lionel Neufeld, Robert Ostrowsky, Sven Reher, Paul Robyn, Armand Roth

Joseph Coppin, Joseph DiTullio, Edwin Geber, Armand Kaproff, Lucien Laporte, Edgar Lustgarten, Kurt Reher, Alexander Reisman, Nino Rosso, Frederick R. Seykora, Gloria Strassner

Max R. Bennett, Charles C. Berghofer, Raymond M. "Ray" Brown, Joseph Mondragon, Ray Pohlman, Reinhold O. Press, Meyer (Mike) Rubin, Kenneth Winstead

Arthur Hoberman, Luella Howard, Harry Klee, Sheridon W. Stokes

John F. Ellis, Gordon Pope

Edmund Samuel Chassman, Russell Cheever, Ronald Langinger (aka Ronny Lang), Abe Most, John Neufeld, William A. Ulyate

Don Christlieb, Ray Nowlin

French Horn:
John W. "Jack" Cave, Vincent N. DeRosa, Arthur Maebe, Jr., Harry Schmidt

John Clyman, Robert Divall, Robert Fowler, Emanuel "Manny" Klein, Carroll "Cappy" Lewis

Ray Klein, Edward Kusby, Phillip A. Teele

Clarence Karella

Neal Brostoff, Caesar Giovannini, Ralph E. Grierson, Raymond Turner

Paul Beaver

Anita Priest

Robert F. Bain

Fender (electric) Bass:
Carol Kaye, Ray Pohlman, Reinhold O. Press

Anne Stockton (Mason)

Larry Bunker, Frank L. Carlson, Ralph Collier, Richard Cornell, Frank J. Flynn, John Peter Morgando, Harold L. "Hal" Rees, Alvin Stoller, Kenneth E. Watson

Urban Thielmann

Louis M. Behm, Glen N. Clement, Ralph Ferraro, Wally Heglin, Robert L. Reid, Ernest Rosecrans, Glen R. Rosecrans

Fred Combattente

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