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Planet of the Apes [1968]

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Director:Franklin J. Schaffner
Writer:Michael Wilson
Rod Serling
Composer:Jerry Goldsmith
Length:112 minutes
(1 hour 52 minutes)
MPAA Rating:G
Suggested Event Use:Friday 13
Sorting Category:SciFi
IMDB Rating:7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:86%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Classifications:
  • Drama
  • Sci-Fi
  • Action
  • Mystery
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Synopsis: A mission to another world lands an astronaut on a planet where he is considered the dumb animal.


Reaction: Cliché and familiar by today's standards, but how do you think it became cliché?


Personal Rating: 9/10


Highlights
"Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"

Select Cast and Crew
Franklin J. Schaffner => Director
Michael Wilson => Writer
Rod Serling => Writer
Jerry Goldsmith => Composer
Pierre Boulle => Novel "La planète des singes"
Buck Kartalian => Julius
Charlton Heston => George Taylor
James Daly => Honorious
James Whitmore => President of the Assembly
Jeff Burton => Dodge
Kim Hunter => Zira
Linda Harrison => Nova
Lou Wagner => Lucius
Maurice Evans => Dr. Zaius
Robert Gunner => Landon
Roddy McDowall => Cornelius
Wright King => Dr. Galen

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Edward G. Robinson was the original choice for the role of Dr. Zaius, and actually filmed a test scene with Charlton Heston to prove to the executives at Fox that make-up could be used to create believable simians. However, Robinson suffered from a weak heart and didn't think he could endure the day-to-day rigors of performing in the ape make-up.
  • In the novel, the ape society is technologically comparable to the 1950s or 1960s, with cities, automobiles, televisions, etc., technology left over from the planet's human population. However, the budget could not accommodate the setting, so a more primitive depiction of ape society was used.
  • The apes don't make their first appearance until 30 minutes into the film.
  • The "See No Evil Hear No Evil" gag was entirely ad libbed on the set of the day of shooting. It was kept in because people found it amusing when the film was threatening to get too serious.
  • Charlton Heston kept a diary while the film was in production. After filming the scene where Taylor and Nova are forcibly separated, he wrote that he was feeling like hell while shooting because of his illness, and felt even worse "every time that damn fire hose hit me".
  • All the Ape actors and extras were required to wear their masks even during breaks and in between shots because it took so much time to make them up. Because of this, meals were liquefied and drunk through straws.
  • Early scenes in the movie where the spaceship crash-lands in a lake on an unknown planet were filmed at Lake Powell. It straddles Utah and Arizona and was formed by a dam on the Colorado River.
  • Director Franklin J. Schaffner deliberately used odd, skewed angles and hand-held cameras to create a disorientating effect, much like what Charlton Heston's character experiences in this brave new world.
  • Marlon Brando was approached at a very early stage about taking the lead.
  • Make-up designer John Chambers's honorary Oscar was presented by Walter Matthau and a chimpanzee in a tuxedo.
  • There was an attempt by censors to have the final scene edited for profanity but Charlton Heston was able to argue that his character was actually asking God to damn those responsible for the destruction of the world to hell, rather than simply using the Lord's name in vain.
  • The final scene with Taylor coming across the Statue of Liberty was suggested by Rod Serling.
  • When Cornelius and Zira are showing Taylor the map of the Forbidden Zone, you can see the coastlines on the map strongly resemble the current New York, New Jersey and Connecticut shorelines (once you take into consideration the 2000 years of a post-nuclear apocalyptic worlds dramatic land mass shift). Although the Hudson and East Rivers are gone, you can clearly identify on their map Long Island, Long Island Sound, Lower NY Bay, Staten Island & the Atlantic Ocean.