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Beneath the Planet of the Apes [VHS] (1970)

James Franciscus , Kim Hunter , Ted Post  |  G |  VHS Tape
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)

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Beneath the Planet of the Apes [VHS] + Battle for the Planet of the Apes [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Franciscus, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, Linda Harrison, Paul Richards
  • Directors: Ted Post
  • Writers: Mort Abrahams, Paul Dehn, Pierre Boulle
  • Producers: Arthur P. Jacobs, Mort Abrahams
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • VHS Release Date: August 18, 1998
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301661710
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,249 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The second--and most horrifying--of the five Planet of the Apes movies, this film goes where few end-of-the-world movies ever dare tread. It's the far future. The mass of humanity has descended into speechless savagery, kept as captive animals by the talking apes who have inherited the world. Two astronauts from our time have landed here, retracing the path of their lost comrade, Captain Taylor (Charlton Heston). Unfortunately, they've landed in the middle of a grim situation. Warlike gorillas are preparing to eliminate the last shards of shattered human civilization, a degenerate, subterranean cult worshipping the greatest of all human achievements--the cobalt bomb. As well as rescuing Taylor, the two men have to stop the gorillas from wiping out humanity ... and stop humanity from fulfilling their self-appointed, self-destructive destiny. This is both thrill-a-minute science fiction and a surprisingly deep reflection on the human condition. Plus, it's got lots of guys in really keen ape suits. --Grant Balfour

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Most Misunderstood Of The Series October 27, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I'll preface this review by saying 'Planet of the Apes' remains my favorite movie of all time (so far). And in an age where film has been reduced to terms like 'franchises', the prerequisite to even a sequel must remain 'is there a story to be told'? As both a writer and a member of the audience, I cherish the surprise but detest the fact that if I buy into it- someone in an office somewhere thinks I'll buy into 'Star Trek, Indiana Jones or Star Wars 46'.

Planet remains the classic- the next three sequels are a terrific companion piece, adapting its suggested history and fleshing it out. Avoid Battle. The stories have been told.

Beneath has always remained the maligned, misunderstood one and I want to address that in my review. Being the only actual sequel (the other 3 being prequels), has something to do with that. I personally think it rose to the challenge of following a classic admirably- thanks to the team of Jacobs, Dehn, Abrahams, Post and Franciscus.

The two most confused criticisms are Franciscus filling Heston's shoes, and that it somehow repeats half of the first film. Beneath is a film that I think you have to view a few times- sometimes that's the sign of a good book or film. In this case, I think it is.

Taylor was a cynical character. An absolute individual. A man escaping something in search of something different. Something better. It's the beauty of the first film and Heston's portrayal. It allows us to care and become involved in what awaits and is about to confront him.

Brent as the next character can't be afforded the same luxury. That would be repeating. Franciscus (who contributed much of what he said and did on screen), has to play an 'everyman'. An astronaut in search of another; following the orders of his mission.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the Apes series July 5, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Beneath the Planet of the Apes is the second movie in the series and my personal favorite. Probably the darkest of all five movies, the story begins with Taylor and Nova riding through the Forbidden Zone where the first one left off. Taylor mysteriously disappears, but Nova is able to find Brent, the only survivor of the crew sent to rescue Taylor. After seeing Ape City, Brent and Nova go into the Forbidden Zone where they find an underground city of mutants who worship an atomic bomb as their god. Meanwhile, the Apes are planning an attack on the Forbidden City. The story is very good and also examines the prejudices of the Apes that are so similar to the ones of the humans they so despise. This is not the happiest movie, especially the ending, but it is still a great movie and the ending does fit.
James Franciscus plays Brent, the astronaut who survives the crash, and plays it very well. His performance is similar to that of Charlton Heston's in the first one, and at some points they even look alike. Charlton Heston does make a brief cameo in the beginning before disappearing and then comes back in the last twenty minutes to help Brent. Kim Hunter reprises her role of Zira while David Watson takes the role of Cornelius instead of Roddy McDowall who was busy working on a different project at the time. Maurice Evans is great again as Dr. Zaius with James Gregory giving an excellent role as General Ursus, the leader of the armies bent on destroying anything they come across in the Forbidden Zone. Linda Harrison is gorgeous as Nova, and she even gets to say something in this one. Fans of the series will love this movie even if the budget was less than the first one, which is very obvious in some scenes. The Planet of the Apes is offered on DVD but each individual film is not offered seperately. Too bad, because these are great films. For fans of the Ape series, check out Beneath the Planet of the Apes!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, 4 3/4 stars, really January 17, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Beneath the Planet of the Apes is the typical sequel that has to follow the plot and hold the same standards as its phenomonally successful original. "Beneath," as I will continue to call it, does it's job better than most. The plot is well thought out, the new characters, Nova, Taylor, and Dr. Zaius hold up very well, and it keeps many of the original film's aspects with it.
James Franciscus may have had the most difficult acting challenge. Since Charlton Heston did not want a sequel, and agreed to do only two cameos, Franciscus had to fill in the main character slot, and give a performance as strong as Heston's. He does a really good job at it. The main character, Brent, is very believable and obviously has a devotion to friends. His quest to find Taylor goes a lot farther than most humans would care to go. Brent's character is also helped by the fact he is new, so has no risk of not being like his past characterizations.
Ursus, the gorilla commander, is played by James Gregory. His performance is everything you would want out of a POTA gorilla. Dr. Zaius remains as the only original ape character to not have an alerted personality. He remains the same type of hard-headed, aristocrat who is the sole witness to Earth's past. Taylor's character is no longer misanthropic, but then again he was like that since the end of the first film.
Now here come the problems. The budget on this film was obviously cut. The exact price was $ 3,000,000. That budget would be about 80 or 90 million dollars in today's blockbusters. This resulted in the fact that not all the qualified make-up artists returned. Zira now has somewhat of a double-chin and a catfish-like appearance, and Zaius's design is not as...aristocratic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
pretty good
Published 6 days ago by Andrew C Seger
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
classic movie reflecting a ground breaking movie series.
Published 10 days ago by Bob Haskell
2.0 out of 5 stars Not great
This installment felt like it wasn't needed as a full length movie. Nothing exciting happened and I found my attention shifting to other things
Published 10 days ago by Danielle Choffrey
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting, perhaps accurate portrayal of the results of ...
An interesting, perhaps accurate portrayal of the results of corporate greed and under regulated capitalism. The humans will reap what they sow.
Published 12 days ago by Ed
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Better than Noah. The kids enjoyed it and it had some meaning.
Published 12 days ago by Ted
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie plot especially for when it was made.
Published 13 days ago by Kenny A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie action packed would see it again.
Published 16 days ago by Elisa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's what it should be
Published 18 days ago by Pun
2.0 out of 5 stars The movie is really bad and ridiculous but I sort of liked the mis ...
The movie is really bad and ridiculous but I sort of liked the mis en scene so 60s...the guys adoring the a-bomb are really funny...
Published 20 days ago by EDGARDO BURIN
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent Old-Time movie
For the time frame of technology this movie was pretty good. And it had Real people in it as well. No computer generated animation
Published 20 days ago by Randall Laudrille
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Topic From this Discussion
Is this movie actually a little better than the first POTA film?
I think Beneath the Planet of the Apes is very good. But I still think the original is a little better. Both are pretty good so its a little hard to compare.
Jul 23, 2008 by #1 Cardinal Fan |  See all 4 posts
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