The new Planet of the Apes trilogy reaches its stunning conclusion in War for the Planet of the Apes. If you’re left craving more monkey business, why not explore the rise of the screen simians during the 1960s and ’70s. The makeup might not be as convincing, but the spirit of adventure is just as strong, and you’ll find some interesting parallels between the original films and the new ones…
PLANET OF THE APES (1968)
Astronaut Charlton Heston time warps and crash lands on the eponymous world, where humans are regarded as animals and have been enslaved by their ape masters. A sci-fi classic with a shock ending as iconic as its simian stars.
Line to quote: “Get your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape.”
BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (1970)
Expanding on the monkey mythology, another astronaut (James Franciscus) is stranded on future Earth, where he also encounters a cult of telepathic humans in the ruins of New York, who worship an atomic bomb.
Line to quote: “The only good human is a dead human.”
ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES (1971)
In a plot reversal that also works as a prequel, apes Cornelius, Zira and Dr. Milo wind up on Earth in 1973, where scientists become understandably nervous about the possibility of future simian rule – and take steps to prevent it.
Line to quote: “I loathe bananas.”
CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (1972)
Sharing a similar plot with the 2011 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the son of Cornelius and Zira, Caesar (played by Roddy McDowell), leads his fellow apes in an uprising against the human race.
Line to quote: “Tonight we have seen the birth of the Planet of the Apes.”
BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (1973)
In the aftermath of Caesar’s revolt, an uneasy alliance exists between the surviving humans and apes. But it’s a peace that gorilla General Aldo attempts to bring to an end by overthrowing Caesar.
Line to quote: “In the beginning, God created beast and man so that both might live in friendship and share dominion over a world of peace.”
PLANET OF THE APES – PRIMAL COLLECTION
All five of the original Planet of the Apes films are available on DVD and Blu-ray as part of The Primal Collection, which also includes Tim Burton’s much maligned 2001 remake (see it and make up your own mind) along with Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of Apes (2014).