The five films in the Planet of the Apes series are enjoyable as pure entertainment and yet substantial enough to have inspired academic studies about the film's broader political themes. Loosely adapted from the novel by French author Pierre Boulle, Planet of the Apes was released at the height of racial and political unrest in America, adding resonance to its story of a NASA astronaut (Charlton Heston) stranded on a planet where superior apes dominate inferior human slaves. The film's final image--in which a horrified Heston realises the fate of humankind--remains... one of the most indelible in all of science-fiction cinema. Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) continues the original's distant future scenario, pitting militant apes against mutant humans dwelling in the subterranean ruins of New York City. Its phenomenal success spawned Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), in which simian scientists Cornelius and Zira (Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter, reprising their roles from Planet) travel backward in time, setting the stage for the ape supremacy of the first two films. McDowall returned in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) as Caesar, the son of Cornelius, leading an ape revolution that bridges the historical gap of the previous films. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) ended the five-film cycle with McDowall again playing the chimpanzee leader Caesar, defeating gorillas and human mutants to establish the hierarchy introduced in the original film. The Apes films present a classic what-if scenario that hasn't lost a bit of its potency. As if to prove its cultural endurance, the cycle returned to its origins with director Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes in 2001. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com On the DVD: A glorious indulgence for diehard fans of the series, this handsomely packaged six-disc set contains all five original" Apes" movies, from the wonderful 1967 original to 1973's low-budget Battle. It all look as good as possible in widescreen anamorphic transfers, the first movie's starkly wonderful cinematography in particular is a treat to see on DVD. Planet has been remixed in vivid Dolby 5.1, highlighting the bold sound design and JerryGoldsmith's masterful avant-garde score. The others are good Dolby stereo, with the odd exception of Escape, which is mono. There are trailers on each disc, but no commentaries sadly. The sixth bonus disc consists of a relatively new two-hour documentary hosted by Roddy McDowall which takes us through the entire saga in detail, pointing out the series' daring social commentary and the increasing difficulties of working with progressively smaller budgets. Sensibly, the documentary spends about an hour on the first movie and then an hour discussing all the rest. Overall, this is a very attractive package. --Mark Walker [show more]
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This box set contains all five films in the 'Planet of the Apes' series. In the original film, a group of Earth astronauts, led by Colonel George Taylor (Charlton Heston), are plunged nearly two thousand years into the future after passing through a time distortion. They crash land on a strange planet, where mute humans are treated as slaves by intelligent apes. In 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes', NASA send astronaut Brent (James Franciscus) on a rescue mission when Taylor's crew fail to return to Earth. Like Taylor, he is catapulted through time to the 'Ape' planet, where Taylor is now being held captive in the Forbidden Zone, an underground society whose telepathic mutant inhabitants dedicate their lives to their 'God': an atomic warhead. In 'Escape from the Planet of the Apes', the sympathetic chimps of the first two films, Zira (Kim Hunter) and Cornelius (Roddy McDowall), escape the nuclear devastation of the Earth by travelling back in time in Taylor's spaceship, arriving in Los Angeles in the year 1973. They are initially held in captivity in a zoo, but when they prove their intelligence they are released and hailed as celebrities. In 'Conquest of the Planet of the Apes', the year is now 1991. Following a plague which wiped out all cats and dogs, apes have been adopted as pets by humans, but when Zira and Cornelius' son Caesar (Roddy McDowall) sees them being treated as slaves, he leads his brother simians in rebellion against their overlords. 'Battle for the Planet of the Apes' opens in 2670 with the ape Lawgiver (John Huston) relating how, following the 1991 rebellion, mankind embarked on a terrible nuclear war. In the devastation which followed, Caesar and the apes seized control, ruling benevolently over the human survivors, and working to rebuild society. However, civil war was being fermented by ambitious gorilla general Aldo (Claude Akins). Also included is previously unseen footage and interviews with cast and crew members.
Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. This collection features the five PLANET OF THE APES movies, beginning with the 1968 original (starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, and Kim Hunter), in which a group of astronauts find themselves stranded on a world where apes evolved from humans, only to learn the shocking surprise about humanity's future. Also includes BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES, ESCAPE FROM PLANET OF THE APES, CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, and BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES.