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Planet of the Apes [VHS] (1968)

Charlton Heston , Roddy McDowall , Franklin J. Schaffner  |  PG-13 |  VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (450 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore
  • Directors: Franklin J. Schaffner
  • Writers: Michael Wilson, Pierre Boulle, Rod Serling
  • Producers: Arthur P. Jacobs, Mort Abrahams
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
  • VHS Release Date: November 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (450 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301661729
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,844 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Product Description

Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall star in this legendary science fiction masterpiece. Astronaut Taylor (Heston) crash lands on a distant planet ruled by apes who use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport. Soon Taylor finds himself among the hunted, his life in the hands of a benevolent chimpanzee scientist (McDowall).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Film Has Stood the Test of Time August 27, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I recently watched this original version of "The Planet of the Apes" for the first time since seeing it at a drive-in theater back in 1968. First I was amazed at how much of the film I had forgotten. Actually, most of what I remembered was the (then) shocking ending. What I was impressed with this time around was what an intelligent and well-scripted film this was (and still is). Like any good science fiction, this film provides an interesting commentary on the human condition. One the one hand you have the Minister of Science and Defender of the Faith debunking and destroying an archeological dig, because it is contrary to the faith of the Apes, but on the other hand in his reading from the sacred scrolls you hear the accurate description of the destructive (dare I say "sinful?") nature of humans. I've been pondering this segment of the film quite a bit over the past few days. Like others, I think Charlton Heston is in fine form here. It's easy to picture him as president of the National Rifle Association after seeing this film. I still prefer Heston in "Ben Hur" and "the Ten Commandments," but that probably reflects my personal interest in the stories that are told there. As one Academy Award film-maker recently said upon receiving his lifetime achievement Oscar (I think it was Norman Jewison), "Find a story that needs to be told and tell it." This version of "The Planet of the Apes" certainly tells a good story, and tells it well.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Planet of the Apes! March 18, 2004
By Cubist
Format:DVD
20th Century Fox released the film previously on DVD by itself and in a box set with the rest of the Apes films plus a bonus DVD of extras. Now, for those who just want the first (and best) film of the series and all of the extras, Fox has released an excellent two-DVD special edition of Planet of the Apes to celebrate its 35th anniversary.
The DVD's extras get off to a shaky start with the two lackluster audio commentaries. The first is by legendary composer, Jerry Goldsmith, and the second by actors Roddy McDowall, Natalie Trundy, Kim Hunter and make-up artist John Chambers. Both commentaries could benefit from some extensive editing. There is way too much dead air that one has to sit through to get to the few interesting tidbits of information. The DVD producers should have edited down these commentaries to only the scenes in the movie that are actually commented on, like with the audio tracks on the Glengarry Glen Ross and The Right Stuff DVDs.
The text commentary by Eric Greene, author of Planet of the Apes as American Myth, redeems things by cramming a ton of interesting factoids on the screen in the form of subtitles. It's scary when the text commentary is better than both audio commentaries combined.
The second DVD contains the bulk of the extra material. The first section, "Exploring the Apes," contains a comprehensive, two-hour documentary entitled, "Behind the Planet of the Apes." Hosted by Roddy McDowall, it takes a look at the entire Apes saga from the films to the cartoon and TV series with an emphasis on the first (and best) film. Fans of the Apes films will be delighted to see all the major players from the films back for new interviews done exclusively for this documentary.
Also included in this section is the make-up test reel with Edward G.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By Wuchak
Format:DVD
Since most people have seen the original 1968 "Planet of the Apes" (multiple times, I might add) this review is not so much intent on introducing the film to new viewers but rather provoking people to re-discover it, as I did recently.

THE PLOT: George Taylor and two other astronauts experience some type of time warp in space and crashland on a distant planet over 2000 years in the future. They soon discover that highly evolved apes rule the planet while humans are disdained "animals."

WHAT WORKS: First of all, Charlton Heston is outstanding as the disillusioned humanity-hating Taylor. Taylor is brilliantly put in the ironic position of representing humankind to the apes. Although I love Heston in other films like "Ben-Hur" and "The Ten Commandments," I believe Taylor is his best role and performance. Heston was, incidentally, 43 years old at the time of filming. He's utterly captivating in the role and charismatic in an anti-hero sense.

The first 35 minutes of the film involve the crashland, the search over the wastelands, the discovery of primitive humans and, finally, the potent cornfield revelation of the intelligent rulers of the planet. This segment is one of my favorite parts of the film. The desert wastelands are awe-inspiring and one can't help but enjoy Taylor's amusingly pessimistic antics. This part of the film is highly mysterious in nature. Where ARE they? Why are there so few signs of life? Did Taylor hate humanity so much that he was literally willing to escape his home world? Who made the strange X-shaped scarecrows? Why can't the primitive "cavemen" speak? Who planted the crops of corn?

When the story shifts to the ape city the film takes on an entirely different vibe.
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77 of 95 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray quality review November 12, 2008
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is a review of the quality of the Planet of the Apes [Blu-ray. The video looks good for a film as aged as this, but is not even close to stunning. The high def transfer in some cases actually serves to accentuate problems you might not have noticed otherwise. I saw more than a few soft scenes where they looked unfocused. Grain was never too obtrusive, but the colors were uneven through a good portion of the film. Some scenes were rich and vivid, and others washed out. My biggest problem is the sound. They present the sound here as a DTS 5.1 mix, and a mono mix. I chose DTS and was sorely dissapointed. My subwoofer never kicked on. That means that there was never an instance when there was a frequency lower than about 85hz. This made for a very shallow sounding mix. Adding to that, the surround speakers never seemed to register anything, and you've got what sounded to me like a mono mix anyway. All of the sound seemed to come from my center channel. To me, digitally remastering a film soundtrack at this level means accentuating the lower registries by adding lower frequencies, and placing atmospheric and musical elements in the surround channels. If you don't plan on doing that, what's the use of calling it a DTS 5.1 mix? Anyway, this is by far the best transfer I've ever seen of the film, but don't be looking for anything more than a slightly better than average transfer, and a glorified mono track.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great contact
Published 22 hours ago by Thomas Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars a fine example of fundemental acting
Acting Defined:

EXIBIT A: Charlton Heston

EXIBIT B: Roddy McDowell

if you are younger then 45 i suggest you watch this film to see what acting... Read more
Published 1 day ago by crabtrap
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic.... its a madhouse alright ...
a classic....its a madhouse alright!
Published 1 day ago by greg
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
A Classic. Should be watched by everyone!
Published 2 days ago by Eric Brooksby
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great movie ..its a classic
Published 2 days ago by Nathalie
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Gets Old
The original never gets old . . . I'm 49 and still like to see it once in a while.
Published 3 days ago by Zeek
4.0 out of 5 stars but as the story plays out we find a minority is in control and there...
The ultimate futuristic dystopian, post-apocalyptic epic film imo. Yes both, although on the surface it appears the ape society is at peace and harmony within itself, but as the... Read more
Published 4 days ago by T. A. Crandall
5.0 out of 5 stars Good classic film
Watched this movie many years ago and added it to my collection because it is a classic, and most obviously the prequel to the series which has been revived with Dawn of the Planet... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Annie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good movie love the classics
Published 7 days ago by Joseph Volpe
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Lived in Page, Az when they where making the Movie.
Published 8 days ago by George D. Gilmore
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Question about blu-ray version of this movie
I had no insert and I did have a security label on top that says Planet / Apes 40th AE
I know its a year later but guess in case anyone else wants to know.
May 14, 2012 by Chris Travis |  See all 3 posts
original only please Be the first to reply
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