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Planet of the Apes

Charlton Heston , Roddy McDowall , Franklin J. Schaffner    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 40.73
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Many early science fiction films are now, quite inadvertently (and in most cases undeservedly), objects of camp attention: we laugh at the silly makeup, tin-can special effects, and the naive "high-tech" dialogue. Planet of the Apes is no such film. 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 hyperrational, articulate apes. However, the ape community is riven with internal dissention, centered 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 fingerprints of Rod Serling are very much in evidence here. But director Franklin Schaffner has a dark, pop-apocalyptic sci-fi vision all his own, and time has not dulled the monumental emotional impact of the film's climactic payoff shot. If you don't know what I'm talking about here, you owe it to yourself to check out this stone classic, and even if you do, see it with fresh eyes; and don't be surprised if you get the chills all over again... and again... and again. --Miles Bethany

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Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let the battle begin! Aug. 30 2010
By LeBrain HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
Although I swore I wasn't going to start re-buying movies on blu-ray, when I found this one on sale it was too good to pass up. Housed in a really nice sturdy box, these five discs are loaded to the gills with special features, most of which weren't available on the original DVD box set. That helps make the double dip a lot less painful.

I won't go too much into the story, except to say that very loose interpretations of physics are used to catapult 3 astronauts forward in time. These astronauts, commanded by Charlton Heston's Taylor, find themselves on a planet dominated by apes, where humans are the animals. This flip allowed the first film to use allegory in much the same way that Star Trek was doing at the same time. Take a social commentary and place it in a science-fiction environment and suddenly it doesn't seem so much like social commentary. The first film taken on its own is still one of the most intelligent science fiction films of all time.

Taylor, of course, finds that the Planet of the Apes was not at all what he thought it was. A search party, headed by Brent (James Fransiscus) somehow manages the exact same time travel as Taylor and arrives shortly after him. Brent discovers the planet has another race of intelligent inhabitants -- mutants.

Meanwhile, offscreen, the apes Cornelius (Roddy McDowell), Zira (Kim Hunter) and Milo (Sam Mineo) have repaired Taylor's ship and left the planet. Using the same loose interpretation of physics again, the apes are transported back in time to 1970's Earth where they shock the entire population with their ability to speak and reason. While they find that they have become celebrities in human circles, some are plotting to ensure that their race never becomes dominant.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic blu-ray package June 25 2010
By Cheryl TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
For any fan of the Planet of the Apes saga, this blu-ray box set is ideal. The visual quality of these classic 70's films is gorgeous but unfortunately the clarity will further enhance the lessening budget from sequel to sequel. (The 5 films / discs are: Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from Planet of the Apes, Conquest for Planet of the Apes & Battle for Planet of the Apes.) There are many extra features which may account for the occasional audio compression issue (loud effects / score vs. softer dialogue). The Planet of the Apes disc has a plethora of extras including audio and text commentaries, "science of" featurettes, archival footage, and the full-length documentary Behind the Planet of the Apes which also includes interactive texts and clips. The other discs include trailers, galleries, d-box, and isolated scores, as well as making-of featurettes or retrospective documentaries. Additionally "Conquest" includes both theatrical and unrated versions, and "Battle" includes both theatrical and extended versions. The package design is unique with saga timeline and a wonderful pull-out hardcover book, The 40 Year Evolution - Planet of the Apes (200 pages of photos, trivia, text etc.). Overall this epic tale of oppression is fascinating and thematically reflective of the still relevant civil-rights movements - and the Planet of the Apes 40th Anniversary blu-ray package is fantastic. Highly recommended.

(minor issue - getting the discs in and out may be annoying as the center holders are made of an odd rubber texture mold, and not always easy to work)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow Jan. 5 2011
Format:Blu-ray
Very impressed with this edition. Didn't realise how nice the cover was going to be. Liked the format, with a practical timeline that helps the viewer in understanding the sequence and the flow of the movies. The book that comes with this edition is also really enjoyable, with some great behind-the-scene info and pictures. The quality of the movies is great as well. It was also my first time watching the Unrated version of Conquest, which I find is better than the theatrical release. If you like these movies, you must pick up the 40th Anniversary Edition! It is literally a steal at the sale price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a brilliant classic June 12 2004
Format:VHS Tape
With its excellent performances and tight, smart script written by Rod Serling and Michael Wilson (based on the book by Pierre Boulle), this is a film that stays fresh and interesting even with repeated viewings. Released the same year as "2001: A Space Odyssey", both films are at the top of my "super sci-fi" list, and stack up against the best of what has been released in recent years, which relies more than ever on special effects to tell the story; the effects in "Planet of the Apes" are minimal, and it's the latex make-up that is the marvel, and garnered John Chambers a Special Award at the Oscars for his work, which allows the ape characters full freedom of facial expressions. Oscar nominations went for costume design, and the marvelous score by Jerry Goldsmith.
The cinematography by Leon Shamroy is also fantastic, and I love the aerial descent that starts the film.
Charlton Heston as the astronaut who lands in an "upside down world", and Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall as free thinking scientists are superb, and in smaller roles, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore and James Daly terrific as authority figures in the ape colony.
This film had four sequels, a TV series and a cartoon series, as well as a multitude of merchandise from plastic figurines to bubble gum cards, but the original stays pristine and untarnished by its often silly spin-offs, and is a one-of-a-kind classic.
What this film has, that one can appreciate even when one knows what it is, is that rare thing...a great ending. Very few films leave one with a satisfied feeling at their close, but this one is unique, brilliantly filmed, and like a perfect dessert after a good meal.
Total running time is 112 minutes.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great blu-ray collection, fast delivery
I wanted this edition for a long time now. I am very happy. It is a nice collection. I rarely use the internet to buy stuff, but I must say that Amazon is the way to go!
Published on Sept. 21 2011 by MishMash
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent value for the price
I loved the saga and with this set we can see the evolution of the technology one movie after the other.
Published on Sept. 17 2011 by couc138
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
meh i liked it even though it was a little slow. It makes you think and ask a lot of questions because it is actually a pretty deep movie. Read more
Published on March 29 2011 by Corpse
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent item! Region locked to A though
For some reason this set was discounted to C$30 (on Dec 29 2010) at the same time as the same UK version was pretty cheap too. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2011 by D-G
4.0 out of 5 stars great sci-fi flick
I really dug that flick. Charlton Heston fits very well for the role. Features the best character from the series, Dr. Zaius.

Oh! Dr. Zaius
Published on Oct. 18 2007 by dante
4.0 out of 5 stars ape
in this one some astronauts are in suspended animation.they come out and go down to some strange planet.charelston heston is in it.whos he?guess that was before my time. Read more
Published on July 15 2004 by abe
5.0 out of 5 stars A fundamental sci fi movie
In the authority chain, you may distinguish the clear diference between the apes too.
One spacial navy suddenly falls in a hole time and it's carried hundred years after. Read more
Published on June 9 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
4.0 out of 5 stars a twilight zone episode
this is a great pop message popcorn flick.
why was it so damned good and the sequals so bloody awful?
well, possibly because rod serling co-wrote the script. Read more
Published on May 23 2004 by ageofanxiety
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best adventure films of the 60s.
This movie may not be the best in special effects, but there is something about it that makes you like it. Charlton Heston and Roddy Macdowell do really well. Read more
Published on May 18 2004 by Ryne Williams
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