Primate Primer: Your Film-By-Film Guide to the 'Planet of the Apes' Movies
Confused by all those Planet of the Apes movies and the Rise, Dawns, Battles, and Conquests that seem to keep happening during them? Before you see the new edition this weekend, read our handy primer on the eight theatrical Apes below:
Planet of the Apes (1968)
The first in the original five-film series delivers on the promise of its admittedly intriguing title: The crew of spaceship (led by a gruff Charlton Heston) find themselves stranded on a suspiciously Earth-like planet ruled by simians.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
Nothing metaphorical about this title! Much of the action in this sequel — in which a second astronaut seeks to discover the fate of Heston’s crew — does, in fact, take place below the surface of this (spoiler alert!) future Earth, specifically, among the ruins of a New York City subway station.
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
Following the climactic nuclear destruction of the future Earth in Beneath, a trio of apes manage to survive by piloting Heston’s spaceship. They make good on their titular escape, but a time-warp sends them back to Earth of 1973. Violence and philosophical musings ensue.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
The Earth of 1991 is no place to live: A global pandemic has wiped out every…cat and dog. Luckily, there is a population of easily trained apes just waiting to be domesticated — and, ultimately, enslaved. An intelligent chimp named Caesar (son of Cornelius and Zira of the previous films) leads a successful revolt and begins a new Planet of the Apes.