Monday 22 August 2016

Planet of the Apes (1968)


Adventure | Romance | Sci-Fi


Franklin J. Schaffner




Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly, Linda Harrison, Robert Gunner, Lou Wagner, Woodrow Parfrey, Jeff Burton, Buck Kartalian, Norman Burton, Wright King, Paul Lambert


An astronaut (Charlton Heston) crash lands on a distant planet ruled by intelligent, talking apes who enslave and oppress humans.


In 1968, two films came out that would have eventually changed science-fiction films forever. While "2001: A Space Odyssey" is still the most popular - even though it was a dreadful experience for me -, "Planet of the Apes" is the better one. Of course it is not spectacular because of today's standards, but it deals with some interesting philosophical questions - unlike Kubrick's film that was too tedious to even care about the meaning.

Once again I didn't know the plot, and having only seen the new films - "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" - I was expecting something completely different. That being said, I'm so glad it was different. Actually it was the opposite of those other two movies, having apes enslaving and making experiments on humans. And the story is very entertaining, absorbing and fresh.

What I've able to understand and appreciate is the philosophical questions about existence and becoming raised by the film. The film also deals with many important issues such as evolution, human rights, animal rights, racism and also makes an excellent commentary on religion and its conflict with science.

But how about the effects? Are they good? Yes, they are. They are not as impressive as they were in "2001: A Space Odyssey" - it's quite impossible to top the film on that -, but they are surprisingly good. There are no high-budget CGI effects nor impossible/ridiculous stunts, and I think that's what makes the film more appealing.

The costumes, even though you can tell they are fake, were pretty impressive for the time and combined with the effects they give a much more realistic look that allows you to get into the film.

And finally, there's Charlton Heston's performance. He is terrific in the role of the astronaut captured by the apes, giving a portrait that is a balanced blend of boldness and vulnerability.


  1. I agree with everything in this review, right down to 2001 being a dreadful experience.

  2. Another great review! I loved Roddy and Kim in their roles and this make up cemented the reason makeup needed to be recognized. I am so glad what you said about 2001....I keep quiet about that flick because i have been "spoken to" by friends of mine about this film and I just find it one big drug trip

  3. Uno dei cult che preferisco in assoluto!