Manual Planet of the Apes and Philosophy: Great Apes Think Alike (Popular Culture and Philosophy)

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Then of course there was the toys, models, comics, cartoons and T shirts - it at times felt in the 70s that there really was a Planet of the Apes, only this one was driven by commerce.

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The aftermath of the original film has not done it any favours, the lines have become blurred, with so much muck and tack about, it often gets forgotten just how clinically great Schaffner's movie is. If ever there was a film that deserves to be a standalone, this is the one. Follow Heston's brawny Taylor from the pitiful planting of the stars and stripes at the beginning, to that monumental ending, and then leave it at that, do not pass go, do not venture further into any sort of monkey business.


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No sequel necessary, for Planet of the Apes to truly hit you with maximum impact, it all needs to end right there on that shoreline. As the great Rod Serling intended in fact. Thematically the picture is acknowledged as being caustically strong, a sociological allegory, with pinches of racial animus just for flavouring.

It might be under the guise of a sci-fi movie, but the makers aren't trying to hide it. Whilst the narrative twitches with comment, whoosh was that an aside to the Scopes trial? Film is also full of visceral thrills, pop-culture references and unnerving alienation like photographic beauty.

All enhanced by Goldsmith's aural pinging percussive led score. And while we continue to remember some of those famous bits of dialogue, we also pick up on each revisit to the film those little slices of humour slotted into the story - human see, human do indeed and the visual cheek of hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil Film of course hinges on Heston's central human performance, of which he delivers athletic guts and subtle nuances in equal measure.

Taylor's character arc demands repeat viewings to fully appreciate what Heston brings to the role. Take in the cynical Taylor who wanders through the Forbidden Zone in the first quarter, then marry it up to the Taylor fighting for his life in the middle, and finally to the Taylor at the denouement, it's a three pronged acting turn of some undervalued distinction. Around him in the monkey suits are true professionals, Hunter, McDowall, Evans coming in for Robinson who feared for is health in the suit and Whitmore, while Harrison in the non speaking human role of Nova does her job of looking gorgeous!

All that's left to say is that Schaffner, who would win the Academy Award for Best Director two years later for Patton, pulls it all together neatly. When Simians Take Over Chrysanthepop 8 January I had been avoiding watching 'Planet of the Apes' for a long time as I thought it would be one of those silly futuristic sci-fi movies with men fighting monkeys.

However, the movie turned out to be so much more. The limited use of special effects give it an authentic look. Schaffner makes fine use of his equipments and crew. The reddish mountainous desert-landscape is mysterious and fascinating. The cinematography is good too. The makeup is terrific and beats what any CGI could have done.


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The plot is simple and yet engaging. One wonders what Taylor's fate will be. Just one you think it will take a predicted turn, you are thrown away with a surprising but layered twist. Some parts of the film are quite disturbing to watch the museum sequence and the ending.

The legendary Charlton Heston does a great job. Even though he brings the same persona that was evident in his other works, it is what Taylor required. Hunter's funny, witty, compassionate and clever Zira and McDowell's nerdy, dedicated and devoted Cornelius bring a wonderfully humane quality to their characters.

Charlton Heston is the only survivor of a space expedition that has crashed on a planet some millions of light years from earth, and thus some 2, years in the future. He stumbles into a rude civilization in which apes rule, while the tribes of speechless humans are treated as wild animals and periodically rounded up for experimentation or extermination.

Heston is wounded in the throat during his capture and is rendered mute like the others. Since he demonstrates signs of intelligence, he is singled out for behavioral examination and kept in a cage with a female of the species. The apes argue over whether he actually has brains or is simply aping his betters. When he regains his speech, it upsets everyone's view of life as it should be, as it's written down in the "scrolls" by the "law giver.

With the help of two enlightened scientific chimpanzees, Kim Hunter and Roddy MacDowell, he manages to escape with his Significant Other, only to discover that he has landed back on earth, whence he came, but that a war has destroyed humankind and left an ecological vacuum that has been filled by the great apes. Actually, the movie runs along three parallel tracks. One is the unraveling of the mystery of how the apes came to be superior to humans, and the moral behind the puzzle. A second involves the internal dissent among the apes, pitting those who scoff at the idea of man and culture, and those who believe Heston and want to see him saved and set free.

The third is a running commentary on Western culture circa , the era of flower power and hippies and rebellious youth and disgruntled, resentful elders clinging to old concepts. I discount the relationship between Heston and the young lady, since she doesn't speak and was in real life the mistress of the producer, Richard Zanuck. It all may seem a little preachy now, and in some respects incomprehensible to those who don't remember the tumultuous s. The morphed wisecracks are still amusing though.

Probably not. The apes seem to be getting righter all the time. There are other instructive evocations of current social dynamics. On Planet Ape, the lighter you are, the better off you are. The buff orang-utans are the aristocratic leaders.

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The grayish chimpanzees are their middle-class intellectuals and technicians, rather like today's nerds. The black gorillas are the grunts. They do all the wet work. They're the guards and the police force and the flunkies and the shoe-shine boys. An interesting remark by Heston in a commentary on the film: the three simian strata subjected themselves to voluntary segregation. The separate species hung out together, ate lunch together, and though they showed no evident hostility towards the others, they clearly preferred their own kind.

Is this movie telling us more than we need or want to know? Shouldn't a sociologist find this as disturbing as Heston finds the wreck of the Statue of Liberty? Except for Charlton Heston, there's no acting worth commenting on. The others are buried in carefully designed make up.

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They can only project the most rudimentary expressions -- a slight frown, a weak smile -- and their voices could have easily been dubbed. Every actor, down to the extras, underwent this lengthy and elaborate disguise. Later versions of the tale, as the concept became degraded and decadent, saved time and money by giving the lesser performers simple rubber masks. They probably could have lowered the budget on this initial entry by using cheaper techniques.

Few people would have noticed, and, really, the story is determinedly middle-brow, like Rod Serling's simple sermons on the excellent "The Twilight Zone" series. Not particularly subtle or challenging, the story is what might be called "thought provoking. If there's a nickel left to be made out of the franchise we can expect another one any minute. Yet it's an enjoyable movie -- amusing and, well, though provoking. Nice location shooting and imaginative art direction.

See it with the kids. Explain to them that "we hold these truths to be self evident" is from a charter document, that Pope said "the proper study of mankind is man," and that Orwell wrote "some are more equal than others.

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Absolutely incredible. Easily in my top 10 all time, and that's saying something. This movie kept me captivated from the beginning all the way to the end. It combined a super setting and effects at least for '68 and the casting was perfect. This movie included, in my opinion, one of the most memorable line in film history, "get your damn paws of me, you stinkin' apes! Not to ruin it for anyone, the ending is also one of the best in film history.


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This easily won my award for most entertaining and original story ever, because it captivated the imagination, especially considering the fact that it could actually happen it's a stretch, but This is a rather short response, but I could just go on and on saying how great it was, but it would only be redundant. Overall, this movie was absolutely incredible 9. This film, directed by Franklin J. Schaffner "Patton" , is one of the most stylized films of the late 's. The film's post apocalyptic look is breathtaking, and Roddy McDowall Dr. Cornelius , Kim Hunter Dr. Zira and Maurice Evans Dr.

The ending - which is still considered one of the best twist endings of all time - still doesn't disappoint. The film spawned four sequels, novelizations, cartoons, a TV series, as well as a nicely done remake by Tim Burton.