Don Murray is a California-born actor who appeared in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes playing the role of Governor Breck. Murray, who generally played romantic leads in films like The Bachelor Party, and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Marilyn Monroe's suitor in Bus Stop in 1956, enjoyed the break from his good-guy roles. He was reported to have rehearsed his lines in German in order to get the feel of the megalomania of Hitler. He later recalled, “It was great fun to play someone as nasty as Breck. One of the best things about the film was its concept, showing us how Earth became the 'Planet of the Apes'. It was imaginatively conceived, with excellent performances by my old friend Roddy [McDowall] and Ricardo Montalban, Hari Rhodes and Severn Darden. The only thing holding it back was its lack of production values. That reduced its scope." "The original ending had the gorillas killing Breck with the butts of their rifles. It was quite bloody. But they changed that, and allowed him to live... because they wanted me back as Breck in the next film, 'Battle for the Planet of the Apes'. But they didn’t ask me if I wanted to return until 'Battle' was about to start production. I declined, because I had already played the part and saw no pleasure in repeating it.” The role of the main villain was altered to that of Kolp, played by Severn Darden.
- Murray recognised the parallels between Governor Breck and the Nazi regime, and, as a fluent German speaker, he translated his script into German and practised his delivery in that language before employing the same delivery style when filming the lines in English.
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