Originally intended as a project for Blake Edwards, the film version of Pierre Boule's semisatiric sci-fi novel came to the screen in 1968 under the directorial guidance of Franklin J. Schaffner. Charlton Heston is George Taylor, one of several astronauts on a long space mission whose spaceship crash-lands on a remote planet, seemingly devoid of ...
Originally intended as a project for Blake Edwards, the film version of Pierre Boule's semisatiric sci-fi novel came to the screen in 1968 under the directorial guidance of Franklin J. Schaffner. Charlton Heston is George Taylor, one of several astronauts on a long space mission whose spaceship crash-lands on a remote planet, seemingly devoid of intelligent life. Soon the astronaut learns that this planet is ruled by a race of talking, thinking, reasoning apes who hold court over a complex, multilayered civilization. In this topsy-turvy society, the human beings are grunting, inarticulate primates, penned-up like animals. When ape leader Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans) discovers that the captive Taylor has the power of speech, he reacts in horror and insists that the astronaut be killed. But sympathetic ape scientists Cornelius (Roddy McDowell) and Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter) risk their lives to protect Taylor -- and to discover the secret of their planet's history that Dr. Zaius and his minions guard so jealously. In the end, it is Taylor who stumbles on the truth about the Planet of the Apes: "Damn you! Damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!" Scripted by Rod Serling and Michael Wilson (a former blacklistee who previously adapted another Pierre Boule novel, Bridge on the River Kwai), Planet of the Apes has gone on to be an all-time sci-fi (and/or camp) classic. It won a special Academy Award for John Chambers's convincing (and, from all accounts, excruciatingly uncomfortable) simian makeup. It spawned four successful sequels, as well as two TV series, one live-action and one animated. Hal Erickson, Rovi
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This is by far the best of any of the Planet of the Apes movies (including the newest version). Charleton Heston gives a brilliant performance in the role of astronaut Taylor. The story is riveting and although Pierre Boules's original novel is only a generously loose guide, the cinematic presentation is absolutely incredible. The drama and action as well as the depth of concept is incredible. The final scenes with the Statue of Liberty drive home the conclusion of the storyline, which is teasingly insinuated throughout the movie - Taylor really is on planet Earth and the terrifying reality of what mankind has done to his home.