Planet Of The Apes [VHS]
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A group of astronauts, led by George Taylor (Charlton Heston), crash land on a strange planet where mute humans are treated as slaves by intelligent apes. Taylor is hunted down and captured by horse-riding gorillas, and then taken for experimentation by sympathetic chimpanzee Dr Zira (Kim Hunter). When Zira discovers Taylor's intelligence, she and her fiancé Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) appeal to the governing council on his behalf, but the appeal fails, leaving the astronaut no choice but to go on the run. Fleeing for his freedom, Taylor soon makes a shocking discovery about the provenance of this strange planet.
The original Planet of the Apes is that rarity of the genre: a science fiction film that has dated not one bit: its intelligent script, frightening costuming, and savagely effective conclusion (which needs no big-budget special effects to augment its impact) remain both potent and relevant. When Colonel George Taylor (the fabulous Charlton Heston) crash lands his spacecraft on what seems to be an unfamiliar planet, he is captured and held prisoner by a dominant race of rational, articulate apes. However, the ape community is riven with internal dissension, centred in no small part on its policy toward humans, who, on this planet, are treated as mindless animals. Befriended and ultimately assisted by the more liberal simians, Taylor escapes--only to find a more terrifying obstacle confronting his return home. Heavy-handed object lessons abound--the ubiquity of generational warfare, the inflexibility of dogma, the cruelty of prejudice--and the didactic finger prints of The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling are very much in evidence here. But director Franklin Schaffner has a dark, pop-apocalyptic sci-fi vision all of his own, helped along by Jerry Goldsmith's terrifyingly avant-garde score. And time has not dulled the monumental emotional imp act of the film's climactic payoff shot. --Miles Bethany, Amazon.com --This text refers to the DVD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Planet of the Apes is directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and adapted to screenplay by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling from the 1963 Pierre Boulle novel La planete des singes. It stars Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and Linda Harrison. Music is scored by Jerry Goldsmith and Leon Shamroy is the cinematographer.
3978 A.D. and a spaceship and its crew crash down on a distant planet. Three astronauts survive the crash, they appear to be on a planet not unlike their own, Earth. But soon they come to learn that this planet is ruled by intelligent apes, the human being is the lesser species, mute and of basic intelligence.....
It was a tough sell to studios back in the 1960s, not only was the premise that formed Pierre Boulle's novel a tricky one, but the technical aspects, cost and quality of, also had the men in suits backing away from producer Arthur P. Jacobs and beefcake actor Charlton Heston. Eventually Dick Zanuck over at Fox nervously agreed to make it as long as significant tests ensured that farce would not follow. Stumping up $50,000 for John Chambers to develop the ape make up and masks, and a successful test run acted out by Edward G. Robinson as Dr Zaius opposite Heston, Planet of the Apes was given the green light.Read more ›
Charlton Heston hams it all up superbly, and the film as a whole just succeeds on so many levels. The melodramatic scripting adds to the experience if you don't take it too seriously, and the whole thing adds up to a fantastic film, which is superior to any of the sequels and remakes, although it is rather overshadowed by the glorious Simpsons musical version, 'Stop the Planet of the Apes, I want to get off!'.
Unfortunately the DVD has virtually no extras, but the beautiful widescreen print is so worth your money.
Crashlanding on an unidentified planet on 25th November 3978 earthtime, the three surviving astronauts find themselves on a planet where evolution has been reversed and apes are the dominant species.
The same premise may have been used for the first two sequels and the TV series but here it carries an intellectual and philosophical weight leavened by both a sense of humour and its vivid action. Unlike the immediate sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, it deals credibly with Heston's atronaut's disorientation in a manner that enhances our involvement both the character and the film. His deeply cynical character, whose disgust with mankind led to his decision to flee it in the hope that "somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man - has to be", is forced into the position of its unlikely defender.
The direction is at once both highly disciplined and rough and ready, its mix-and-match of camera techniques giving a sense of a world both unbalanced and repressively logical that makes his plight entirely involving. It builds to the first appearance of the apes with a highly credible opening half-hour that sees the astronauts foraging across an incredibly stark and alien landscape. When it does come in the powerful hunt sequence, it is still a stunner, as indeed is the knockout final shot that easily beats novelist Pierre Boulle's original ending (the astronaut returns to Earth to find apes have taken over there too).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
OK, so if you’ve read Pierre Boulle’s classic Planet Des Singes, you’ll wonder whether the concept of the ending in the book wasn’t better than the end of the movie, despite its... Read morePublished 3 months ago by harpoon guns to 'safe', please
Original Planet of the Apes film starring Charlton Heston I absolutely loved it.Published 4 months ago by colinc
I've seen this film so many times on TV that I know it very well. When I first saw it in the 70s, I thought it was fantastic. Today, on Blu-Ray it is still impressive. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mr. W. S. Mcluckie
Superb HD transfer - an obvious and very noticeable improvement over the DVD version, complemented by a very good selection of documentaries. Read morePublished 10 months ago by The Admiral