With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hitting theaters early next month, American Way looks back at the previous seven films to examine five of their finest moments.
Planet of the Apes (1968): After marooned astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) escapes from the tyranny of an intelligent ape society on a planet in the future, he discovers the half-submerged Statue of Liberty and realizes that he has been on Earth all along and that man unleashed nuclear war.
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971): Talking apes Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) and Zira (Kim Hunter) travel back in time to our era and are treated like celebrities. A charming, funny shopping montage belies later human attempts to neutralize the apes when the truth about our future ape masters is discovered.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972): After leading an ape revolt against their human subjugators, Caesar (Roddy McDowall) delivers a rousing speech about launching a violent revolution. The Blu-ray disc includes the full speech, which was redubbed in the original version due to the film’s misanthropic ending. But it’s the ending that actually fits.
Planet of the Apes (2001): Tim Burton’s remake features an amazing, large-scale showdown between oppressed humans and their ape masters that the original series longed for.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011 reboot): After being mistreated by a human caretaker (Tom Felton) who invokes the original Heston line, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape,” the highly intelligent chimpanzee Caesar (Andy Serkis) startles him by bellowing, “No!” Thus begins his simian revolt in San Francisco.