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Behind the Planet of the Apes (1998)

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The story behind the making of the 5 "Planet of the Apes" movies.



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This is not an original made-for-TV movie, but two episodes of the 1974 TV series Planet of the Apes (1974) edited together: Planet of the Apes: Escape from Tomorrow (1974) and Planet of the Apes: The Trap (1974).

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An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.

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A television movie made from two segments of the TV Series Planet of the Apes (1974), Planet of the Apes: The Surgeon (1974) and Planet of the Apes: The Interrogation (1974).

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

In 2029, an Air Force astronaut crash-lands on a mysterious planet where evolved, talking apes dominate a race of primitive humans.

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When a deadly Nitron ray strikes Earth, Flash Gordon and his friends travel to Mars to battle Ming the Merciless and his new ally Queen Azura.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roddy McDowall ... Himself - Host
Mort Abrahams Mort Abrahams ... Himself
Charlton Heston ... Himself
Richard D. Zanuck ... Himself (as Richard Zanuck)
Edward G. Robinson ... Dr. Zaius (archive footage)
James Brolin ... Dr. Cornelius (archive footage)
John Chambers John Chambers ... Himself
William J. Creber William J. Creber ... Himself (as William Creber)
Kim Hunter ... Herself
Maurice Evans ... Himself (archive footage)
Eric Greene Eric Greene ... Himself, film historian
Linda Harrison ... Herself
Franklin J. Schaffner ... Himself (archive footage)
Ted Post ... Himself
Frank Capra Jr. Frank Capra Jr. ... Himself


This documentary was shown as part of the American Movie Classics (AMC) cable TV channel's celebration of the 30th anniversary of the release of Planet of the Apes (1968). We learn how the original French novel was transformed into the first film; the problems that the producers encountered during production of the entire series (often involving shrinking budgets); how the stories related to current events (e.g., the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement); and how the series became a pervasive part of American popular culture. The film includes interviews with virtually all of the people involved in the production of the film series, including all the main performers. Personal movies taken on the shooting sets and early ape makeup test footage (with Edward G. Robinson and James Brolin!) are also featured. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@verizon.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Journey Back To The Planet Of The Apes!




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Detrás del Planeta de los Simios See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby Surround)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Host Roddy McDowall died on October 3, 1998, less than a month after the broadcast of this special. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally issued as a bonus with DVD box sets of the Planet of the Apes movies, in 2001 it was reissued on its own with additional footage and interviews. See more »


References The Ten Commandments (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

For "Planet of the Apes" lovers...ONLY! :)
9 July 2015 | by gilligan1965See all my reviews

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! :)

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