Three astronauts, Taylor (Charlton Heston), Landon (Robert Gunner) and Dodge (Jeff Burton) awake from hibernated sleep to discover they have crashed landed on an alien world n the year 3978 AD. But they quickly discover on this planet, apes are the dominant species and humans are killed or hunted for manuel labor or experimentation. Taylor is taken as an experiment and his intelligence is discovered by ape scientist Zira (Kim Hunter), her archeologist fiance` Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) and the Ape Minister of Science Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans). While Zira wishes to further research Taylor, Zaius demands Taylor to be sterilized. This all boils down to the discovery that once, humans on the planet were the dominant species, but then the roles were reversed. How did that happen? How are humans dumber than apes? What is in the Forbidden Zone? It all leads to one of the greatest twists in cinema, I'll tell ya that.
"Planet of the Apes" is one of my favorite movies of all time, no matter how many times I've seen it, the film never gets old. It's brilliantly paced, brilliantly acted and it has a strong message against nuclear war. To be frank, it's a brilliant movie. Especially Charlton Heston, I'm not entirely fond of his tough guy acting that he always has in all his films (yes, that goes for Ben-Hur) but in this film, it seems his acting style works well here. Everyone else is okay but it's Heston everyone remembers because he's the only human you really effectively root for.
I've heard people complain about the makeup for the film and, yeah, I'll be frank, it doesn't look like a real ape but, come on people, suspend disbelief! The makeup for the apes for the time was simple to put on and simple to remove for the actors and even if it's not 100% accurate, if it doesn't look human then it's just an ape.
This film is a masterpiece in my opinion. It's true, there's The Day the Earth Stood Still and there's 2001 a Space Odyssey; but to me, this is the perfect combination of camp and science-fiction with ingenious writing. It's a brilliant movie, I positively love it.
My Rating: a Masterpiece of Film-Making
Sigh* I should smartly stop right here and just wait until Sunday to give my review for the new Planet of the Apes. Sadly, I have an obligation to keep and I keep my obligations. So, sit tight everyone, next up is the film that killed the franchise; "Beneath the Planet of the Apes"