Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

beneath the planet of the apes poster 1970 movie
4.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10

The ape make-up is still good

Bad story, low budget

Movie Info

Movie Name: Beneath the Planet of the Apes

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): May 26, 1970

MPAA Rating: G


Seriously…I’m not Taylor…I’m Brent! How can I get that through your thick ape skull!

Brent (James Franciscus) has a mission.  He is to locate the missing astronaut Taylor (Charlton Heston).  Traveling in time, Brent finds himself on a planet ruled by apes where humans are their slaves and pets.  With help from Taylor’s allies Cornelius (David Watson) and Zira (Kim Hunter), Brent is about to voyage into the Forbidden Zone after Taylor and his love Nova (Linda Harrison)…unfortunately, Brent is also about to learn that the danger might not just be the apes but something lurking beneath the surface of the planet.

Directed by Ted Post, Beneath the Planet of the Apes was the follow-up to the immensely popular Planet of the Apes from 1968.  The movie faced multiple production problems and despite being released to much less favorable reviews became a financial success.

I’ve always found Beneath the Planet of the Apes to be a bit of a train wreck.  After the popularity and success of Planet of the Apes, it was obvious that a sequel was going to be made if possible.  Heston unfortunately had all these stipulations if he was to appear in the sequel (including barely appearing and a stipulation to “end the series”).  His miniscule role almost diminishes the first movie…either the movie should have been about Brent or it should have been about Taylor.


Listen lady…you and Taylor might have been an item…but I’m Brent…Not Taylor…Brent!

James Franciscus is also strangely cast.  Instead of getting an actor that had his own look, they picked an actor that looked remarkably similar to Charlton Heston.  Once again, if Heston wasn’t going to be in it and they had to replace him with Franciscus that would be one thing but since Brent and Heston are in it, it doesn’t make much sense casting too leads that look alike.

The plot of Beneath the Planet of the Apes is also troublesome.  It is really irritating how Franciscus’ character comes looking for Taylor.  In the first movie, Taylor was part of a team of astronauts…apparently, the people of Earth’s past don’t care about the rest of Taylor’s team (or even think to look for them).  All that matters is Taylor…fortunately, he’s the one who survived from the first one!


For the love of God! I’m Brent, you’re Taylor…I’m not Taylor!

The psychics and their war with the apes also falls flat.  The idea of them worshipping the doomsday weapon is alright, but the unbalanced movie feels like it has a lot of plots that could have just been developed into individual stories.  Instead the makers crammed it all into this bloated movie.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes is pretty unsatisfying (and one of the worse sequels to the Planet of the ApesBattle for the Planet of the Apes also is up there).  It is important to the plots of the other sequels but should maybe be avoided unless you are a diehard fan.  Beneath the Planet of the Apes is followed by Escape from the Planet of the Apes in 1971.

Related Links:

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

Planet of the Apes (2001)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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