Planet of the Apes (1968)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Director: Franklin J Schaffner
Starring: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter

A misanthropic astronaut crash-lands on a planet ruled by sapient apes who take him captive.

This is one of the major works of science fiction cinema and certainly deserves its reputation. The ending has likely been spoiled for you already, but it's a good twist (and little surprise that Rod Serling worked on the script). There is of course great irony in having the main character be as jaded as Charlton Heston's Taylor put in a situation like this, but it's another example of the Rod Serling touch. The social commentary is a bit heavy-handed, but everything's better with monkeys. Besides Heston, the primary ape characters of Zira (Kim Hunter), Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) and Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans) are all quite good. The score by Jerry Goldsmith also deserves noting. This is an iconic film and well worth seeing.

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