The Naked Ape
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1 item from 2011

Monkey business: film primates

4 August 2011 4:07 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes blockbuster reboot is out next week. To celebrate, we revisit the strange and complicated history of primate films – and ask whether we've lost our enthusiasm for simians on celluloid

"Monkeys," said the Hollywood mogul Arthur P Jacobs, "make good movies. They always have." Such certainty was earned: Jacobs produced the first Planet of the Apes film in 1968 – the same year as another chimpy classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. So immediate was Planet's success ($33m from a budget of $5m) that Jacobs knocked out four sequels before his sudden death in 1973. Once unleashed, the Apes were unstoppable, spawning two TV shows, a comic book, a tonne of merchandising, a remake and a reboot, which is out next week.

Since cinema began, apes have been in on the action – evidence, says Variety's Stephen Gaydos, of the movies' debt to the carnival: "Primates were always an integral part of showbiz, »

- Catherine Shoard

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