Planet of the Apes: Evolution Collection (DVD)
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At a Glance
All seven films in the science-fiction franchise thus far. In 'Planet of the Apes' (1968) a group of astronauts, led by George Taylor (Charlton Heston), crash lands on a strange planet where mute humans are treated as slaves by intelligent apes. Taylor is hunted down and captured by horse-riding gorillas, and then taken for experimentation by sympathetic chimpanzee Dr Zira (Kim Hunter). When Zira discovers Taylor's intelligence, she and her fiancé, Cornelius (Roddy McDowall), appeal to the governing council on his behalf, but the appeal fails, leaving the astronaut no choice but to go on the run. Fleeing for his freedom, Taylor soon makes a shocking discovery about the provenance of this strange planet. In 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes' (1970) astronaut Brent (James Franciscus) is on a special mission to rescue Taylor (Heston). After travelling to the ape village where he was imprisoned, he meets Dr Zira (Hunter) and learns that Taylor was last seen in the Forbidden Zone. Setting off in pursuit, he soon discovers that his colleague has been taken prisoner by an underground society of telepathic mutant humans who worship an atomic warhead. In 'Escape from the Planet of the Apes' (1971) Zira (Hunter), Cornelius (McDowall) and Dr Milo (Sal Mineo) escape the nuclear devastation of Earth by travelling back in time in Taylor's spaceship, arriving in Los Angeles in the year 1973. They are initially held in captivity in a zoo, where Milo is attacked and killed by a savage gorilla. When Zira and Cornelius prove their intelligence they are released and hailed as celebrities, but some resent the apes' arrival, seeing them as a threat to human supremacy. In 'Conquest of the Planet of the Apes' (1972) the year is now 1991. Caesar (McDowall), the son of Zira and Cornelius, has been sheltered for 18 years by circus owner Armando (Ricardo Montalban). Following a plague which wiped out all cats and dogs, apes have been adopted as pets by humans, but when Caesar sees them being treated as slaves, he leads his brother simians in rebellion against their overlords. 'Battle for the Planet of the Apes' (1973) opens in 2670 with the ape Lawgiver (John Huston) relating how, following the 1991 simian rebellion, mankind embarked on a terrible nuclear war. In the devastation which followed, Caesar (McDowall) and the apes seized control, ruling benevolently over the human survivors, and working to rebuild society. However, civil war was being fomented by ambitious gorilla general Aldo (Claude Akins), and when Caesar ventured into the devastated city to seek out recordings of his late parents, Cornelius and Zira, he incurred the wrath of a group of mutant human survivors. In 'Planet of the Apes' (2001), Tim Burton's 're-imagining' of the 1968 original, the year is 2029, and Capt. Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) is aboard a spaceship trying to teach apes how to become space pilots. During a routine reconnaissance mission outside the mothership, Leo is sucked into a space-time hole and minutes later makes a crash landing on a strange planet where humans are subjugated by talking apes. Just as a quick death at the hands of the violent ape leader General Thade (Tim Roth) seems inevitable, Leo is rescued by the ape scientist Ari (Helena Bonham-Carter). Finally, in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' (2011) James Franco stars as Will Rodman, a genetic engineer working in present-day San Francisco who is performing scientific tests on apes in his attempt to find a cure for Alzheimer's. His first test subject is Caesar (Andy Serkis), the prototype of a new breed of apes with human-like intelligence. But when Caesar breaks free, a revolution is triggered and an epic war for supremacy breaks out between humankind and the primates of the world.