The Planet of the Apes may not be a name that denotes instant cinema classics, but the series never lost its knack for gripping moments - not even in the 2001 reboot.
With that in mind, we've assembled our 25 favorite moments from across the decades of Man vs. Monkey Movies, spanning from heartwarming laughs to shocking violence to gut-dropping revelations. Bet you'll never guess which of them makes No. 1.
25. Closing Credits Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)
The Moment: Just a little touch, but a lovely bit of animation closes out Rise as the end credits chart the humanity-killing virus as it spreads across the globe through flight routes.
Why It's Great: Its understated but chillingly effective for that very reason, dispassionately documenting the outbreak of the deadly disease. Next up, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
24. General Thade Planet Of The Apes (2001)
The Moment: Well, any moment in which Tim Roths General Thade appears - whether hes beating other apes to death with his bare hands, going on a screechy rampage or - er - sniffing his enemies ear lobes
Why It's Great: Tim Burtons remake isnt exactly the best thing on the goth filmmakers CV, but he got something right when he cast Tim Roth as one of the coolest villains of the franchise. Hes genuinely terrifying.
23. Forbidden City Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973)
The Moment: Caesar (Roddy McDowall), MacDonald (Austin Stoker) and orang-utan Virgil (Paul Williams) sneak into the Forbidden City, which has been destroyed by a nuclear blast. For as far as the eye can see, the citys now a ruined wasteland
Why It's Great: The monkey masks are ridiculously dodgy by this point in the franchise, but even they dont rob this sequence of its tension and elegance. Matte backdrops never looked so good.
22. Ape Kill Ape Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973)
The Moment: General Aldo (Claude Akins) forms a coup and ignores the first rule of ape society - ape shall never kill ape - by murdering Caesars son, Cornelius (Bobby Porter).
Why It's Great: It has massive implications for Caesar, and its a genuine shock that Aldo stooped so low as to break the fundamental laws of ape civilisation.
21. Kiss Planet Of The Apes (1968)
The Moment: Doctor, Id like to kiss you goodbye, Taylor (Charlton Heston) says to Zira (Kim Hunter) as he prepares to head into battle. After a bit of shifty awkwardness, Zira agrees, but not before proclaiming, All right, but youre so damned ugly. That doesnt stop the two from sharing a perfectly polite little lip-smack.
Why It's Great: Even under piles of ape make-up, Hunter captures the discomfort perfectly - and delivers her line brilliantly, ensuring its both really funny and sort of moving. Even if it is essentially bestiality.
20. Gunned Down Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)
The Moment: Its a moment already shown in the trailer and a clip released online for the film, so technically not really a spoiler, but you might want to click on anyway if you want to stay totally spoiler free. Still here? OK, in this moment, Koba (Toby Kebbell) monkeys around with two human mercenaries, playing up to the daft ape act before grabbing one of their machine guns and pumping em both full of lead.
Why It's Great: Its the first time an apes picked up a gun in the new set of films and is shockingly effective. It also shows off Kebbells fantastic mo-cap performance as the scarred bonobo.
19. Drunk Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971)
The Moment: Having time-travelled back to 1973, apes Zira and Cornelius become celebrities - well, they ARE talking chimps. In one revelatory moment, Zira gets drunk and lets slip that she kept humans in her lab, even dissecting some of them
Why It's Great: A funny moment gives birth to one of horror. We learn more about Zira and our allegiance is somewhat dimmed by her shocking revelation
18. The Truth Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972)
The Moment: Ape sympathiser Armando (Ricardo Montalbn) is questioned by the authorities over his ape, Caesar. Subjected to the terrifying Authenticator, a machine that forces its victims to tell the truth, Armando manages to escape and throws himself through a window to his death.
Why It's Great: Montalbn is awesome and this scene really ratchets up the tension. It also sets the cogs in motion for Caesars rebellion. Plus the Authenticator is a terrifying invention.
17. Gawp Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971)
The Moment: Apes Zira and Cornelius crash land Taylors space ship off the Pacific coast, having time travelled back to 1973. Welcome gentlemen, says the human captain, saluting as they emerge from the ship - but his face becomes a picture of bewilderment when the astronauts remove their helmets, revealing theyre apes
Why It's Great: Its a neat little funny moment. Wed all react that way, too, right?
16. Testing Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971)
The Moment: Having been imprisoned by scientists, Cornelius, Zira and Dr. Milo are subjected to a number of games intended to test their intelligence. Not rising to the bait, the trio of apes - who dont reveal they can speak play dumb (mostly) as theyre forced to endure insultingly simplistic tests like having a banana dangled above their heads
Why It's Great: Ziras exclamation of I loathe bananas wraps up the humorous sequence perfectly.
15. Underground Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970)
The Moment: Newly crash-landed human Brent hides in a cave in order to escape the gorillas and soon discovers the ruins of the Queensboro Plaza station, a remnant of the old New York from over a thousand years ago. Following the sound of voices, Brent discovers the ruins of St Patricks Cathedral
Why It's Great: Its a nice nod back to the first film and shows that there are other parts of New York that have survived the ape-ocalypse alongside the Statue of Liberty.
14. Lousy Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972)
The Moment: Its 1993 and apes have become trained slaves to the humans - all except Caesar (Roddy McDowell), whos treated as sort of an equal to owner Armando (Ricardo Montalbn). When Caesar witnesses an ape being drugged and disciplined, he shouts Lousy human bastards! After a policeman steps in, Armando takes the blame for shouting the insult
Why It's Great: Its a total about turn from the first Apes film, with apes now enslaved. Also, the relationship between Caesar and Armando is fascinating. Frankly, we cant get enough of Montalbn.
13. San Francisco Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)
The Moment: Another moment you can see in the trailer, so not really a spoiler. We wont say anything about the context of the scene, but the sight of apes pouring into a decrepit, ruined San Francisco is nothing short of heart-stopping.
Why It's Great: The setting of a ruined San Francisco affords heaps of foreboding to this sequence. Combined with the spectacle of all those apes, this is unforgettable.
12. Horses Planet Of The Apes (1968)
The Moment: Having crash landed on an alien planet at the start of the first Apes, astronaut Taylor (Charlton Heston) and his compadres discover humans working in a field. Then figures on horses ride in - and we discover that the riders are in fact gorillas. WHAT MADNESS IS THIS?!
Why It's Great: Its the first time weve seen the apes of the title and a memorably odd sight. Apes on horses? Whatever next?!
11. Ape Escape Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)
The Moment: Its the bit weve all been waiting for as the apes bust out of their primate shelter, pausing to enjoy the view of San Francisco before heading into the city. On a suburban street, leaves start to rain from above and people see shapes swooping and grunting through the trees. Then Caesar (Andy Serkis) and co. bust into the research facility where they imbibe a little ALZ-113 and receive an intelligence boost
Why It's Great: The aerial shots of the break-out are beautiful, and the raining leaves are a lovely touch.
10. Paws Planet Of The Apes (1968)
The Moment: Having run away, Taylors quickly captured in a net and prepared for transportation, despite Ziras protests. Which is when Taylor growls: Take your stinkin paws off me, you damn, dirty ape! Needless to say, every ape stops and gapes.
Why It's Great: That gravelly growl is enough to give us chills, and its a fun twist as the apes are surprised that a human can actually talk. Oh the insanity!
9. Helicopter Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)
The Moment: As the battle of the Golden Gate Bridge comes to a bloody end, Koba shows a worrying lack of mercy when he nudges a helicopter off the edge of the bridge, condemning Steven Jacobs (David Oyelowo) to a watery grave.
Why It's Great: It subtly establishes Koba as a ruthless ape who has zero pity for the humans. Thats going to become important by the time Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes swings around.
8. No! Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)
The Moment: Caesar has remained mute for the whole of the film until he suddenly roars NO! Finally taking matters into his own hands, Caesar follows up his unexpected vocalisation by electrocuting the dastardly Dodge (Tom Felton).
Why It's Great: Not only do we get to witness first-hand the moment that an ape speaks, its also an unexpected delight that gives us chills whenever we watch it.
7. Machine Guns Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972)
The Moment: Milos all grown up and calling himself Caesar - and hes gone and got himself a gun, which he uses to head up a revolt. Taking out the riot police in a thrilling sequence, he brands himself the leader of the apes.
Why It's Great: In an age of CGI, the sight of hundreds of extras all dressed as apes in red jumpsuits cant help but drop jaws. Theres also a raw, shaky-cam quality to the sequence that makes it ridiculously gripping.
6. Baby Milo Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971)
The Moment: Hasslein (Eric Braeden) tracks down Cornelius and Zira, finding them in a derelict ship in the LA harbour. Ziras just given birth, but Hasslein shoots her. Hes then killed by Cornelius, who himself is taken out by a sniper The plus side? They manage to save their baby, Milo
Why It's Great: It packs just as much of a punch as the ending of the last Apes film (keep reading), and is genuinely upsetting. Weve followed Zira and Cornelius for three films and they feel like our ape buddies. And now theyre gone
5. Worship Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970)
The Moment: A group of telepathic humans gather in a ruined city where they plan to detonate their Divine Bomb, an object they treat with religious reverence. During a ceremony, they start peeling off their faces, revealing that theyre actually masks. Really, they have horrifically mutated features...
Why It's Great: Not only is it a WTF moment of pure horror as the humans remove their faces, its also a terrifying idea - that somebody would actually worship a bomb. The Cold War analogies are impossible to miss and still chilling to this day.
4. Death Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970)
The Moment: As Taylor and Brent attempt to stop the mutants from setting off the bomb, they end up shot to pieces in the shocking climax to this first Apes sequel. Oh, and then the Earth is blown to smithereens.
Why It's Great: Its a bloodbath! A BLOODBATH! In an attempt to capture the same shock and horror as the first films twist, this final shoot out/big bang goes for gut-punching thrills and leaves us feeling truly shell-shocked.
3. Golden Gate Bridge Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)
The Moment: Caesar and his fellow primates attempt to make it to the redwood forest, but first theyll have to get past a police blockade on the Golden Gate Bridge. This is war
Why It's Great: This is the sequence that Rise is often remembered for--its a seminal action set-piece that doesnt hold back when it comes to the ape vs. human violence. Losses are incurred on both sides and the spectacle is jaw-dropping.
2. Madhouse Planet Of The Apes (1968)
The Moment: You hairy scum! bellows Taylor as hes indiscriminately hosed down by the apes in his holding cell. They dont hold back, either, drenching him right through. Which is when Taylor delivers the defining line of the franchise: ITS A MADHOUSE! A MAAAADHOUSE!
Why It's Great: Not only is it instantly iconic, you also really feel Taylors pain. This is just one step away from full-on waterboarding.
1. Liberty Calling Planet Of The Apes (1968)
The Moment: Obviously. At the shocking climax of Planet Of The Apes, Taylor discovers the Statue Of Liberty half-buried in the sand, corroded by time and the lapping waves. Its a moment of maddening, terrifying clarity as Taylor realises hes been on Earth all along
Why It's Great: Its one of the greatest movie endings ever; a massive rug-pull of a twist that has stood the test of time and then some.