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Planet of the Apes (1968)

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An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.

Writers:

Michael Wilson (screenplay by), Rod Serling (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,484 ( 222)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... George Taylor
Roddy McDowall ... Cornelius
Kim Hunter ... Zira
Maurice Evans ... Dr. Zaius
James Whitmore ... President of the Assembly
James Daly ... Honorious
Linda Harrison ... Nova
Robert Gunner ... Landon
Lou Wagner ... Lucius
Woodrow Parfrey ... Maximus
Jeff Burton ... Dodge
Buck Kartalian ... Julius
Norman Burton ... Hunt Leader
Wright King ... Dr. Galen
Paul Lambert ... Minister
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Storyline

Taylor and two other astronauts come out of deep hibernation to find that their ship has crashed. Escaping with little more than clothes they find that they have landed on a planet where men are pre-lingual and uncivilized while apes have learned speech and technology. Taylor is captured and taken to the city of the apes after damaging his throat so that he is silent and cannot communicate with the apes. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hunted . . . haunted . . . wanted . . . like beasts of prey! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Three years earlier Charlton Heston starred with Maurice Evans in the medieval film, The War Lord (1965), where he describes his trials in previous battles as: "...sweating in that damned, dirty armor" with the same seething delivery that he does in this film. See more »

Goofs

Taylor says to the other astronauts - "Your loved ones are dead and forgotten for 20 centuries. 20 centuries! Even if you could get back, they would think you were something that fell out of a tree."

Humans evolve nowhere near that fast - e.g. 20, 000 BC was only the age of the Kebaran people (in modern Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel etc) and they were obviously Human. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
George Taylor: And that completes my final report until we reach touchdown. We're now on full automatic, in the hands of the computers. I have tucked my crew in for the long sleep and I'll be joining them soon. In less than an hour, we'll finish our sixth month out of Cape Kennedy. Six months in deep space - by our time, that is. According to Dr. Haslein's theory of time, in a vehicle travelling nearly the speed of light, the Earth has aged nearly 700 years since we left it, while we've aged ...
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Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: Cars & Cars 2 (2017) See more »

User Reviews

 
Of Monkeys and Men
12 November 2005 | by sophie_lou21See all my reviews

In recent years sci-fi have been filled with flashing lights, high-budget CGI effects and ridiculous stunts like in THE MATRIX and I, ROBOT. If you don't like one sci-fi film you're unlikely to like any as they're all the same. However, my dad took down PLANET OF THE APES from our video shelf. Unlike most sci-fi films it was made in a time that had to deal without CGI and relied completely on the break through movie make-up as well as providing what people have voted time and time again "The Greatest Film Ending". PLANET OF THE APES has a memorable cast, simple plot and it keeps your attention even as the credits are rolling at the end. Based on Pierre Boulle's lesser novel (La Planète des singes AKA Monkey Planet) tells of an astronaut landing on a distant planet and discovering that man's role as the superior life form has been reversed with the apes. The film has many needed changes to it to make it more watch-able and tap into the true fears at the time the film was made. In 1968, everyone lived in fear of an atomic bomb attack and PLANET OF THE APES truly taps into that fear, for reasons I will not reveal but it is understandable why the story was so popular at the time and why it shocked everyone.

PLANET OF THE APES tells the story of George Taylor (Charlton Heston), when he and his doomed astronaut friends find themselves stranded on a distant planet. It seems to be inhospitable with no life. However, after travelling throughout the place, which is famously referred to as "The Forbidden Zone", discover plenty of life including ape like humans and human like apes. Taylor is shot in the neck rendering him unable to speak. Treated as a wounded animal he is taken to a human-ape study lab where he meets Zira (Kim Hunter), a sympathetic and friendly chimpanzee. She almost straight away notices that Taylor's intelligence goes far beyond that of any other human, and she encourages him to speak. However, orangutan leader Dr Zaius sneers on Zira's and her fiancé Cornelius' (Roddy McDowall) belief in any human intelligence, and won't listen to reason. Despite Cornelius' skeptical feelings towards Taylor, he agrees to help prove his intelligence which is proved once he finally says his famous line: "Take your stinking paws of me you damn dirty ape!"

Heston is anything other then a likable character. Unlike Ulysse Merou in the novel Taylor is slightly moody, but a likable character who values his friendship with Zira and Cornelius. He represents what humans truly are that is self-centered, violent and dangerous. Though on stage he is reportedly (according to Laurence Olivier) truly a talented actor, on screen and in PLANET OF THE APES, Heston basically turned up and played himself. Nonetheless the character of Taylor works as you either love him or you hate him. The rebel Taylor is no different from the other pushy characters Heston has played over the years. With his tough, physical god-like body you suppose that in a film where the apes are pushing us humans about because we're basically behaving like apes he is just what the doctor ordered.

Of course we all know that it's the two lovable chimps Zira and Cornelius that we remember the most in the PLANET OF THE APES films for their charm and humor they bring to the story. Hunter's portrayal of Zira was a masterpiece on its own, giving one of the most powerful performances. It's fair to say that Zira is the strongest and most developed character in the film. Indeed she is the only ape that Taylor actually likes! With her wit and admirable sense of humor it's not surprising that most people asked who their favorite character is reply "Zira". Hunter manages to make Zira what she was meant to be, more human then ape. In fact, she's more human than most of the beautiful female actresses of the 60's films. Despite the fact she looks as ugly as hell in her ape make-up the charm still shines through.

Of course, if you don't love the intelligent and cool Zira, you always have intelligent and nerdy Cornelius. McDowell, next to Heston, is the most celebrated male actor in the films as he comes over as the nerd of the rebel gang that you just want to hug. In the film, Taylor seems to have a love-hate rivalry with Cornelius as they constantly challenge each other like full-blooded males do no matter how civilized. A good example of this is when Zira allows Taylor to kiss her on the lips as a goodbye and Cornelius makes his jealousy clear. However Taylor sticks up for him against Zaius, which shows not as much friendship as understanding. McDowell is an irreplaceable member of the cast who is near impossible to live up to.

PLANET OF THE APES is a mark in cinema history, famous for these talented artists, gripping story and an amazing ending that shocks you, scares you, breaks you and brings you to tears with the realization that you'll never truly experience a film like this again. Anyone who is anyone owes it to himself or herself to watch this film and experience the feeling. Even people who dislike sci-fi are likely to enjoy this. A film that truly did break STAR WARS and challenged it like no other film ever could. PLANET OF THE APES will live on in all of us. It will go on forever, find its way to younger audiences and will win them over just it won over us.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Planet of the Apes See more »

Filming Locations:

Kayenta, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$32,589,624

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,599,045
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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