It's Poll time again! For this one, we're dealing with the first great sci-fi film franchise of the Seventies: 20th Century Fox's time-twisting Planet Of The Apes
cinematic saga. The question is a simple one: "Which Planet Of The Apes Film Is Your Favorite?"
Just for the hell of it - and for completion's sake - I included Tim Burton's
2001 remake and 2011's re-imagined prequel, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
, even though, technically speaking, they fall outside the purview of this blog.
Personally, I'm expecting the 1968 original to win in a landslide... but I'm willing to be surprised. You'll find the Poll (as usual) over at the top of the right-hand sidebar, so vote now!
As always, feel free (hell, I encourage you) to discuss and elaborate on your choices in the comments!
We had a poll like this on the Dixonverse last week. It had to be changed to a "Besides the first movie, which is your favorite" poll, since everyone initially picked that one.ReplyDelete
I have a soft spot for Escape From.. - it's a chilling piece of story telling with some really funny bits early on; "I don't like Banana's"ReplyDelete
Yeah, as I had my Ape week last week I decided to put a poll up at Dixonverse. Like Brian said it was a landslide for POTA so I redid the poll without the first one. Beneath won in another landslide. :)ReplyDelete
I know it's only for the movie offerings.., but I actually, actually strongly prefer the 1974 television series, nearly as much as the first movie.ReplyDelete
It had great chemistry and Roddy himself mentioned several times he preferred the series over the movies.
I know Roddy and I are both in a minority here, but so be it.
But yeah, as far as movies go, I'd suspect 'Beneath' and 'Escape' as 2nd and 3rd.
I'd put Beneath a fairly close second to the first film.ReplyDelete
Someone voted for the 2001 movie. :0 Have they seen the other films?ReplyDelete
The original, hands down. Great film. It's one of those rare films, when you come across it flipping the channels, you have to watch it. It's that good!ReplyDelete
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes!ReplyDelete
As a kid, I would have to vote for Beneath. (More gorillas, General Ursus, AND mutants!)ReplyDelete
As a grown-up, my fav is the original.
The perfect Apes trilogy with a completed full circle story was Planet Of The Apes(1968), Beneath The Planet Of The Apes(1970) and Escape From The Planet Of The Apes(1971) all featuring the great A.N.S.A. spaceships. These films are my favorites with Planet Of The Apes(1968) tied with Beneath The Planet Of The Apes(1970) then Escape From The Planet Of The Apes(1971) in second place.ReplyDelete
Planet of the Apes is one of the greatest movies ever made in any genre.ReplyDelete
I had to vote for Beneath, since voting for the first movie was so painfully obvious. I hold Beneath in a special place, because it's an odd duck of a sequel (but I still love it for that very reason). [Note...spoilers below]ReplyDelete
Heston's appearance was freakishly brief and Roddy wasn't even in the flick as Cornelius. And James Franciscus stepped into a role that's definitely a "Taylor" clone, but still, he owned the part and did a great job. More Nova? Yes, please.
I dig the film, because we get to see more of the city and the ape army comes together with the awesome General Ursus (gotta love the uniform). We also got to see two apes in a sauna, which was just crazy. And we also get to see what happened to the other part of mankind with the disfigured and powerful mutants, led by Mendez.
I suppose that in the end, it's a downer of a movie and almost wrecked the franchise. Hell, it sorta did, but it took the series to some incredible places. Watching Taylor and Brent march off to stop the bomb made the ending very gut-wrenching. They were putting themselves into the crossfire and certain death. And the ending was absolutely brutal for a G-rated movie. Heston blows up the world! For the time, it was unheard of. It's definitely unlike most films today.
Ah, but James Gregory as the Ape General..!?!?!Delete
He makes up for many of the 'Beneath' shortcomings. Awesome performance.
Perhaps not the absence of Roddy, but I'd say nearly everything else.
I love the first two films and have watched them numerous times over the years. I have to pick the first one as my favorite if only because of the big reveal at the end. There is nothing in the other PoA movies that comes close to that moment. (In fact, it is probably one of the greatest movie moments of all time, period.)ReplyDelete
I've only watched Escape, Conquest and Battle maybe twice each. They just never captured my attention the way the first two did.
I didn't like the Marky Mark remake at all, but Rise wasn't too bad.
General Ursus is such a great character, so iconic to the mythology, that it's hard to believe that he wasn't in the first film. In my opinion, that's the only thing which could possibly have made that nearly-perfect film even better.ReplyDelete
The first one, of course, but "Beneath" is a part of that story. I view "Escape From" and later films as being sort of a "parallel universe" to PotA. Plus, "Beneath" is so immeasurably bleak, I think it fits the spirit (or at least the fears) of the times very well.ReplyDelete
Well, the original is forever #1 in my book. How can it not be? My favorite of the sequels was always Conquest...until Rise came along, which I think is a masterpiece.ReplyDelete
So original is #1. Rise is #2. Conquest #3.
Burton movie is so far down the list it's in the pits of Hell.
I "tried" to like the Burton movie, but it was terrible. Other than the makeup and costuming, it's best forgotten (RIP Michael Clarke Duncan). And it's a shame that the Heston cameo was completely wasted on such a crappy film. If he could have lived to be in Rise, that would have been awesome. I still can't figure out why they didn't use some stock footage of Heston on the TV when they mentioned the missing astronauts. That would have at least been a posthumous tribute to the great actor.ReplyDelete
The original is still the best in my opinion, followed very closely by "Beneath". It's a shame Fox kept cutting the budgets on an obviously lucrative franchise (quite the opposite of today where, if a movies a hit, they pony up even more astronomical sums for the sequel). I really wanted to like Burton's "re-imagining", but it just plain sucked (I can't tell you how many times I'm channel surfing and get all excited to see "Planet of the Apes" only to be immediately crushed that it's the Burton abomination). "Rise of..." was, IMHO, great. Let's hope the franchise continues in that direction.ReplyDelete
While these are all fine films, featuring action and adventure for kids and serious, topically relevant ideas for adults, the original is easily the pick of this litter without question, and is among the best films of the Space:1970 era. Everything was executed perfectly- from the changes to Pierre Boulle's novel (where the apes lived in a technologically advanced civilization which would have been financially prohibitive to portray on screen), to the ape makeup, to the casting of talented actors like Heston, Hunter, McDowell and Evans in key roles and who took the material very seriously. This film could have easily gone off the rails and become a cheap joke if everything hadn't been handled so well. For example- not using an unconvincing model of the Icarus crashing into the sea, but employing unsettling subjective shots that left a lot to the viewer's imagination. All in all a remarkably original and well-made film.ReplyDelete
Second on my list would be "Beneath", followed by "Conquest" and "Battle" with "Escape" finishing ahead of Tim Burton's awful remake. I've yet to see "Rise" so I really can't comment on it.
Funny story: when I was a kid I shared a bedroom with my older sister, and we had a little radio that we'd listen to at night to help us fall asleep. We were probably six and seven years old. One night, after having watched POTA on TV, we heard a news announcement that armed guerillas (which we took for "gorillas") had attacked an embassy somewhere. My sister and I were petrified with fear, with visions of talking POTA gorillas on the warpath. We actually woke up my mother, and she explained to us the difference between "guerillas" and "gorillas" then sent us off to bed.
The original POTA is a wonderful film, full of very imaginative ideas and well-leavened with humor and irony. The "Twilight Zone" ending was shocking, but in hindsight it's hard to believe that Taylor couldn't have realized he was back on earth, since he could breathe the air, drink the water and eat the food, and that there were horses that these English-speaking apes rode about on. Still, good movie-making will suspend the viewer's disbelief, and that's precisely what POTA did for me.
The Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes a close second.ReplyDelete
I have no doubt the original will win by a landslide... but my vote goes to "Conquest". I admire how, in spite of shrinking budgets, the makers of "Conquest" were able to make a compelling, visually distinctive entry in the series. The futuristic urban setting, dominated by the black-garbed humans and brightly-colored apes, is so different from the rest of the series that it stands out as just as much of a visual triumph as the evolved ape culture of "POTA."ReplyDelete
Plus, there are a laundry list of great performances in "Conquest": Ricardo Montalban as the doomed Armando, Hari Rhodes as the stoic and sympathetic MacDonald, Don Murray as the arrogant and cruel Breck, Severn Darden as the sadistic and aloof Klop. But the high point of the movie (of the series, really) is Roddy McDowell as Caesar. We witness his evolution from a wide-eyed innocent to a fire-eyed revolutionary, and it works because McDowell totally owns that character.
The ending, where Caesar proclaims "Tonight, we have seen the birth... of the PLANET OF THE APES!"... I defy anyone to watch that and not feel chills.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes gets my vote. The story just goes way into left field but it definitely works. When the telepathic humans reveal themselves just blew me away when I first saw it on TV back in the late 70's. Great film.ReplyDelete
How is it that this crossover has never happened? Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes.ReplyDelete
While the original is certainly the best film, my favorite is Beneath.ReplyDelete
I saw it when I was a little kid and it introduced me to a whole realm of weird sci-fi that I now love so dearly. The burning statue bleeding from its eyes, the mutants and their masks and the sound effects of their telepathy, and the bomb. It creeped me out and captivated me in a completely different way than the original.
These days my appreciation for Conquest is also much, much higher than it was as a kid. I was also surprised how good Rise turned out to be. Both are great movies.
But Beneath is still my go-to movie.
I love Beneath! I used to check out the 8mm silent clip reel from my library as a kid and watch it over and over. The reel was the last 20 minutes of the film. Great stuff.ReplyDelete
Side note: I highly recommend Andrew E.C. Gaska's illustrated novel "Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes." It focuses on Landon (Taylor's crewmate), as well as what was happening with Dr. Zaius, Galen (the vet who treated Taylor) and Milo during the events of the first movie. It's powerful, grim, and altogether awesome.ReplyDelete
I voted for PotA. Like so many other things, my memories of Beneath were mush better than the reality. Seeing it again for the first time in at least 20 years was... disappointing.ReplyDelete
On a related note, when I was a kid in the early 70's, PotA was like our Star Wars. It had really captured our imaginations. I recall we played "Apes" (as in "wanna play Apes?") just as much or more than we played Cops & Robbers.
Did anyone else remember "playing Apes" as a kid?
I remember playing Apes quite a bit. The TV show was on and I also had a collection of trading cards and the old board game. This universe was very important to me and my elementary school friends. Love it.Delete
Yes, I did "play Apes", while mimicking Roddy McDowell's gait and facial gestures.Delete
Apes was indeed the big SF franchise before Star Wars came along. In fact, in the summer of 1977, when TV shows here in the UK started to report on a science fiction movie that had taken the US by storm, I was resistant to it. And when I saw a clip of an ape-like creature co-piloting a spaceship, I remember telling my brother that the ape in this Star Wars film was nothing like as good as the ones in POTA!
I succumbed to Star Wars mania in the end, of course.
Oculus Orbus, like you, my friends and I were always "playing Apes" too. My boyhood of the '70s was a great time.ReplyDelete
I always thought the original was in a class by itself, so that's a given. As for the rest...Beneath is fun (in a bleak sorta way), but if I had to choose a favorite it would be Escape (although Conquest comes a close second). I love the humor and social commentary in Escape and the way they inverted the premise of the original film. I also love the tragic ending, which is so heartbreaking. As for the modern offerings...Rise was okay, but I've never made it past the first ten minutes of the Tim Burton movie without falling asleep.ReplyDelete
Of course, I voted for "Planet of the Apes" (68), a true classic. Have to say, I'm a little surprised by all the love for "Beneath," which I really like, but I've always thought it was one of the least loved sequels. I would have expected "Conquest" or "Escape" to rank higher. Here is my ranking: "Planet," "Conquest," "Escape," "Beneath, "Rise," "Battle" and Tim Burton's awful movie. Really the only one I don't like is the Burton one.ReplyDelete
I think my favourite isn't on the list: Time of the Apes, which was a 1987 movie made from editing together episodes of the 26 episode Japanese science fiction series from 1974 called Saru No Gundan (Army of Monkeys). Time of the Apes is truly a terrible masterpiece.ReplyDelete
For me it's Beneath the Planet of the Apes for first, I love the original film but this just takes the series in a wholly unexpected direction.ReplyDelete
Beneath the Planet of the Apes is the best. If Nova was my little love monkey and somebody took her away from me, I'd do what Taylor did--blow up the whole damn planet.ReplyDelete
I voted Beneath. PotA is even better with mutants!ReplyDelete
As for the comment "it's hard to believe that Taylor couldn't have realized he was back on earth,." especially since he's an astronaut and would have recognized the constellations at night let alone the Moon!
Gotta love Beneath! Yes, the first one is great BUT the one I remember best & loved the most as a child was Beneath; loved NYC, loved they all died (didn't expect it the 1st time), Loved apes marching into the Forbidden Zone, was scared by the mutants, etc....ReplyDelete
Loved it even more when I saw it years later uncut and they leave in the scene of the Law Giver bleeding, and the apes being crucified upside down & on fire - The ABC 4:30 movie cut those scenes
My personal favorite is certainly the original, but as sequels go I really liked Conquest the best. I'd like to see it again before making judgement calls of this nature, but I really thought Dawn was quite good, a step up from the surprisingly strong Rise (which had such lame human characters it hurt the experience)...and Dawn also was a refreshing change of pace in a Hollywood atmosphere of relentless tiresome action.ReplyDelete