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Films to See Before You Die: #47 Planet of the Apes


Planet of the Apes (1968)

Director: Franklin J. Shaffner

Cast: Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter, Roddy McDowall, Maurice Evans, Linda Harrison

Synopsis: Astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston), and three companions are traveling through space to find intelligent lives on other planets. After the spaceship crashes into a lake on a strange planet Taylor realizes that their only female companion has died and that the year is  3978 A.D. more than 2000 years after they departed. While on this planet they discover humanoid creatures that like humans but cannot speak, and they are hunted by talking apes who rule the planet. While being captured Taylor is shot in the neck and cannot speak so he is thought to be simple like the rest. He is brought into the laboratories and is worked on by Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter) who realizes that Taylor is special and she puts him in a cage with Nova (Linda Harrison) in order to mate. When Taylor begins to show the ability to read and write Zira brings him to see her partner Cornelius (Roddy McDowall), where he dismisses Taylor being special. After being abused by the other Apes in charge of the Lab Taylor escapes and almost gets away before being captured again but this time he speaks to the apes horror. Taylor is brought in front of Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans), who decides to have Taylor lobotomized. Zira and Cornelius decide to free Taylor and Nova, then they head to the forbidden zone where Taylor’s future awaits.

Trivia: Roddy McDowall, an experienced actor, recommended to his companions in makeup that they should frequently add tics, blinks and assorted facial gestures to add a sense of realism and keep the makeup from appearing “mask-like”. McDowall reportedly became a merry prankster with the makeup, driving home with his make-up on, and shocking some of the other drivers on the freeway.

Why I think you should see this: I am a huge science fiction film fan and in my opinion the original Planet of the Apes is one of the few perfect sci-fi films. Charlton Heston is amazing as Taylor and Roddy McDowell does a great job as Cornelius, Kim Hunter is also pretty awesome as Zira. The makeup done for the films is insane considering the time it was done and it just looks like it was a fun film to make.  This is a great older film that basically started the franchise films in Hollywood. Check it out sometime it is super fun.


About Trevor

Hi my name is Trevor and this is my blog! Films are a passion of mine. I am a total film geek. I own over 700 films and the collection is ever growing. I studied Film Studies and Scriptwriting in College. What I have learned about films is mostly self taught.

5 responses to “Films to See Before You Die: #47 Planet of the Apes

  1. I Love ALL The Apes Flicks…
    …But A Guilty Secret I’ll Share With You…
    …Is That CONQUEST Of The Planet Of The Apes (the 4TH Film) is Actually MY Fave-Fave. Shh. 😉

  2. Absolute classic
    Still, I always think of the Simpsons when I think of the movie…

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