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  • This is an excellent look at how the five Planet of the Apes films as well as the television series and the animated cartoon. It also was sad too knowing that this was probably one of the last projects that Roddy McDowell worked on before he died. However, the main thing I did enjoy about this documentary was the original test footage featuring Edward G. Robinson as Zaius and a young James Brolin as Cornelius. Also, I was fascinated by some of the interesting behind the scenes tidbits that it showed. This is a great documentary about one of the most enduring film series in motion picture history.
  • A labor of love and a fine example of what a well done documentary should look like. AT LEAST watch the original 68' version first; watching the sequels before or after has its pros and cons (the insight of knowing the diminishing budgets of each successive sequel may increase an appreciation for them...even if you're not a POTA fan).

    Some facts are condensed (and distorted) that was necessary for the sake of running time (POTA didn't get the green light till after the box office returns for 'Fantastic Voyage' proved favorable enough to convince Richard Zanuck to take a gamble on a then big budget for a sci fi outing). And the million dollar monkey masks budget was closer to half a million...but a million dollars is better publicity.

    NOTE: The DVD versions have about 3 1/2 minutes more footage than the VHS & AMC broadcast versions...most notable is the religious comparisons of the ape and mutant cultures from 'Beneath...' and more summations from cast and crew toward the end.

    An intelligent and well researched documentary that's filled to the brim. And thankfully, no mention of the 2001 remake as this was produced in 1998.
  • This is a Documentary hosted by Roddy McDowall (Cornelius/Caesar/Galen) giving a history and behind the scenes glimpse of the making of the Planet of the Apes franchise, complete from the first 1968 film up to the cartoon series. There are some interesting little tidbits that may not be common knowledge to some POTA fans. I could list them, but that would spoil some of the surprises this documentary has to offer. It does not include anything about the new POTA movie with Mark Wahlberg, but that may have been made after this documentary. We learn about the adversities the original POTA makers encountered in the beginning. As well as the details of the original production such as budgets, original plot details that were later scrapped, and original casting.

    I would not recommend watching this until you have seen all 5 POTA movies, as they give out the endings of each one. Enjoy!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The original Planet of the Apes has always been one of my favorite movies. This two-hour making-of, behind-the-scenes documentary is a must for any fan of the movie. I've seen it three times now and I never get tired of the stories of the make-up, casting decisions, and screenplay rewrites. It's truly fascinating. Considering that Planet of the Apes was made in 1968, I'm always amazed that there was so much film footage available in 1998 for this documentary. My favorite clips have to be those of the make-up transformations of the cast.

    Say what you will about the man, but Roddy McDowall has always been one of my favorite actors. He was a solid and natural choice to narrate this film and I'm glad he agreed to do it. Other than Beneath the Planet of the Apes, he was there and offers good insights into how these movies were made.
  • This is a pretty good making-of documentary, insofar as it includes a lot of clips and a pretty good feeling for how and why everything was done. The thing about it that made me laugh, however, was how much they overstated the value of the series. While I will admit that the many sequels may have set an unfortunate precedent, I feel the films themselves weren't quite as important as the writers of this documentary would have us believe.
  • On behalf of this documentary I want to express myself thus. The piece of recollection narrated by Roddy Mcdowall was his last film before he died. By the way, this actor has nothing to do with actor Malcolm Mcdowell although both are almost at the same age and have physical resemblance.

    This is one thing that POTA fans should have in mind, and second I want to file a request that except for the first "Planet of the Apes" (1968) most of the dialogue boxes say nothing about the four sequels it re-produced (not connected with the french sci-fi novel). Those sequels I watched recently again and this provoked a commentary, because I firstly watched the documentary from 1998 which was in itself a very accomplished work and could register as sixth in a row for the mainstream POTA. I am not speaking about the remake movie from 2001 with Mark Wahlberg and the upcoming sequels but obviously a lot of explanatory work is expected to be done. Especially, because POTA franchise has become preparatory school topic and included in the study panels.

    Secondly, I am obliged here to reveal the timeline subject of the whole movie set the way I understand it (if the reader is sure that he knows about it he can discard it easily at free will):

    1. Now firstly come "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" (3rd sequel, 1971) which takes place in 2600 A.D. and is the time when apes astronaunts arrive on Earth in space capsule;

    2. Next come "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" (4th sequel, 1972) when the rebellious apes overtake the Earth which is devastated by virus brought with the space-craft from the above;

    3. Third come "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" (5th sequel, 1973) when humans are divided in twos - i) enslaved by apes and ii) mutant humans that are rebellious. Timeline is 3200 A.D.;

    4. Here is the catch now, original "Planet of the Apes" (1968) is fourth in story plot and first in make-up. Timeline is 3900 A.D. and another space capsule arrive on Earth with principle astronaut (Charlton Heston) and some other people. The enslaved humans are already mute because they are lobotomized and apes are warring between themselves, while the astronaut who can speak himself escapes and heads for the Forbidden city (a destructed New York marked by a fallen Statue of Liberty);

    5. Lastly comes "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" (2nd sequel, 1970) when the astronaut from above divulge the secret of the Forbidden city (an A-bomb) and together with his survived buddy and parallel with some extant mutants oppose the apes to his final death and launch of the A-bomb. The saga ends with green Earth, no living creatures on it. Thank you!
  • This informative documentary looks at the Planet of the Apes franchise in some detail. It covers all five movies, the short-lived TV series and even the kids cartoon. It's a pretty lengthy documentary clocking in at over two hours, although this allows it to cover a lot of ground. The first half looks at the first film, including the difficulties involved in convincing the studio to bring it to the screen. The second half details the subsequent sequels, etc. It is a very informative film but it will admittedly appeal mainly to fans of the series. It isn't really the most critical of docs it has to be admitted. It looks mostly favourably on everything, even though some of the later films weren't especially well received. Nevertheless, it does hone in on what made each instalment different.

    Looking back on it, Planet of the Apes was the true precursor to Star Wars with its sequels and focus on tie-in merchandise – toy figures, mugs, games, bins, you name it. It was interesting to see how similar this model was to the subsequent Star Wars one. Admittedly one considerable difference was the fact that the Apes films were reduced in budget every time, leading to the final film Battle for the Planet of the Apes appearing more like a minor skirmish. This progression in the development of the series was interesting though and I have to say that overall it made me want to re-watch them.

    It was presented by the ideal man in Roddy McDowell who appeared in almost all Apes-related stuff. It takes the form of the talking-heads format and so we get interesting input from a number of people involved in the franchise. We also get to see how the first film differed from the novel and understand why it ended up looking the way it did. There was one priceless sequence that showed early test footage, which was effectively a make-or-break moment for the first film. It ultimately convinced the studio execs that the make-up would work and led to the green light being given, however, it's interesting to see how different and primitive the make-up here is in comparison to what would be in the finished movie. There is also a fair amount of fascinating behind the scenes footage and some bits of entertaining chat, such as the way that the orang-utans, gorillas and chimpanzees ended up hanging out together at lunch for no obvious reason but probably an interesting subconscious psychological one.
  • I am no fan of "The making of....whatever" as it invariably tells you nothing and more likely than not, totally wrecks the film itself once you have seen the out-takes or "How they did...."

    This is an extremely well put together and interesting look at the original "Apes" series, more so now, having the late Roddy McDowall as narrator. (Roddy you may remember played Caesar!)

    Might have been an idea if Tim Burton had watched this before embarking on his pointless re-hash with Mark Wahlberg!
  • This has to be the best movie franchise documentary I've seen in many years.

    When I rented this DVD from the library yesterday, I thought it was only about the making of 'THE ORIGINAL' 1968 "Planet of the Apes" movie...but, it's much, much more than that.

    This brings you through the ORIGINAL 1968 "Planet of the Apes" movie, but, also through the entire "Planet of the Apes" movie trilogy -

    1. "Planet of the Apes" (1968);

    2. "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" (1970);

    3. "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" (1971);

    4. "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes: (1972);


    5. "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" (1973);

    The documentary also focuses on the live-action television series -

    "Planet of the Apes" (1974);

    and, the animated television series -

    "Return to the Planet of the Apes" (1975)...

    as well as the merchandising of the toys and accessories children my age once had but later sold for pennies in a 1980-1990 tag sale and is now worth a small fortune on eBay!?!?

    If "Star Trek" fans are called 'Trekkies,' it's only fair that "Planet of the Apes" fans are called 'Apeies!?!?' I suppose I'm both! :)

    This is a MONUMENTAL DOCUMENTARY that highlights one of the greatest movie franchises of all time! Whether you're familiar with and like "The Planet of the Apes" in any way, shape, or, form; or, you're a newcomer who's interested in seeing what it's all about...this documentary is exactly for you! :)
  • Interesting and informative documentary recounts the story of how Pierre Boulle's novel was adapted to the big screen, with the determined support of star Charlton Heston, and the growing cast of actors chosen like Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, and writer Rod Serling, with director Franklin J. Schaffner, and how its surprise box-office success led to a most unexpected franchise...

    Covers all five Apes films(at that time!) in an informative and entertaining way, with behind the scenes footage and trivia that fans often crave. The late Roddy McDowall hosted, and did a fine job, being so closely involved with them of course! Was first shown on AMC, then released as an extra disc on the DVD set, it is well worth watching.
  • During one of the Sci-Fi channel's many "Planet of the Apes" marathons, I caught this little making-of special that covers the various "Apes" movies. I thought it was an intriguing look at the first movie franchise to really milk the cow dry. Good narration by the late Roddy McDowall, good film series (the first three, anyway...), worth a watch if this happens to pop up on TV again.