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Battle for the Planet of the Apes [DVD] [1973] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: G (General Audience) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E6ESDA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,090 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description


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 realizes 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--one of the most eagerly awaited films of 2001. --Jeff Shannon

--This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Why 5 stars you may ask? Well 5 stars mean 'I love it' and I do despite it's many flaws!

Nuclear war has devested the planet just after the fourth film 'Conquest of the Planet of the Apes' and Caesar leads a small community of apes and humans. He discovers that recordings of his dead parents Cornelius and Zira should lay in the forbidden city, destroyed by the war. However, living in the city are radiated humans, who see Caesar's visit as an act of war and retaliate, leaving Caesar to fight a war on two fronts, the other at home!!!

Although the weakest of the five original films, it's still great entertainment. The wonderfully comic script-writing in the armament scene with Mandemus is worthy of note.

It has many flaws though; the budget was the lowest of the five original films and it shows; there's not much breadth or scope to the later invasion scenes amongst others. At times the script can be a little pretentious. The post-apocalyptic weather and the fact that the forbidden city just suddenly rises out of the desert is a little unrealistic. You may also ask yourself why haven't the radiated humans left the forbidden city sooner for greener pastures while it doesn't seem a coincidence that just when Governor Kolp of the forbidden city announces his boredom of the status quo, Caesar arrives!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sequels to big movies are supposed to get gradually worse than the original. However in my opinion "Escape From The Planet Of The Apes" (the 3rd film) is the low point, and the 4th and 5th films both do a very good job of bringing the Planet Of The Apes saga round full-circle.

The whole timeline of Planet Of The Apes is circular, so in practice this means that the events in this film happen after films 3 and 4, but before films 1 and 2. It's a clever science fiction loop, but perhaps one that would work better as a novel than as the premise for a film, especially because you already know how events are going to unfold, more or less (although there are some interesting "can the history be re-written?" questions that could have been more emphasised).

Weak points in this film: the much lower budget is very evident, it feels once again more like a TV movie with unusually good costumes rather than a full-budget feature film. The actor Severn Darden is basically in the wrong film, playing a cringeworthy camp pantomime villain who doesn't really advance the plot in any way.

Overall it does stand up as a film, and if you've got this far with Planet Of The Apes, you might as well finish it off.
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Format: DVD
And so we get to the final chapter of the original "POTA" series. This one starts off reasonably well, actually, but simply falls apart in the final half-hour. Hence the one star. The running time is a short eighty-three minutes, including an aped-out John Huston (The Lawgiver) doing a prologue and epilogue. We also get a brief recap from the preceding two films. Visually, this is fairly close to the tv series which would subsequently be made. Very low-budget in feel, as other reviewers have said.

The events appear to be set quite soon after "Conquest....", around the year 2000, in a post-apocalyptic USA. A foray is made to a nearby forbidden city, so as to view archive material of Caesar's parents being interviewed. Feeling threatened, the underground group of surviving human mutants decides to make a pre-emptive attack on a nearby mixed settlement of apes and humans. Gorillas are attempting a bit of a power struggle, meanwhile, so as to have more control. The mutants advance in a "convoy" of battered cars, military vehicles and a school bus, so as to have a climactic "battle". This merely involves an extended shoot-out between two small groups, and thoroughly lacks any sense of realism or danger.

J. Lee Thompson is back to direct with his bludgeoning style of wanting to put lots of guns and explosions on the screen. The script has some fairly cringey moments and the cast has a very low-budget appearance. TV regulars, again, rather than screen stars. Roddy McDowall returns as Caesar. Natalie Trundy manages a fourth appearance. Severn Darden returns from "Conquest..." as Kolp, the new governor. Leonard Rosenman is back for film score duties and actually does an okay job, for the most part. However, the overall production is terribly ordinary. Best avoided, therefore, or bought as part of the box set. This franchise should probably have ended with the Earth being blown up in "BTPOTA", quite honestly.
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Format: DVD
The Planet of the Apes film franchise closes down with a whimper as budget restrictions, general screenplay lethargy and contempt of familiarity swamps the production. Plot finds the apes and humans trying to live in harmony, but find their efforts stymied by a tribe of mutant humans living in the nuked underworld and a power-hungry gorilla general.

What follows is a film that sees various simian and human species throw exposition at each other in the vain belief it's literately smart. When the action comes it's half hearted and perpetrated by the least amount of actors possible. The make-up is shoddy, the fun element gone, while the acting is very uneven across the board. There's enough value in the various characterisations to at least keep fans of the series interested, and the photography belies the cheapness evident elsewhere, but really it's a sad closure to what had been a smartly entertaining franchise. 4/10
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