Reviewed by: Eric Paddon
|Featuring:||Charlton Heston … Colonel George Taylor
Roddy McDowall … Cornelius
Kim Hunter … Dr. Zira
Maurice Evans … Dr. Zaius—Minister of Science
James Whitmore … President of the Assembly
James Daly … Dr. Honorious—Deputy Minister of Justice
Linda Harrison … Nova
Robert Gunner … Landon
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|Director:||Franklin J. Schaffner|
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Arthur P. Jacobs
|Distributor:||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation|
Probably one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made, “Planet Of The Apes” tells the tale of cynical, misanthropic astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) who leaves Earth in search of “something better than man.” Instead, he finds himself 2000 years in the future in a living nightmare on a planet where apes are the dominant being, and humans are savage, mute primitives kept in cages. As he struggles in this world where the concept of an intelligent human is unheard of, Taylor finds himself becoming a defender of his race for the first time, but the end of the movie offers a shocking climax that shatters his newfound faith in humanity and instead vindicates his earlier instincts.
“Planet Of The Apes” is terrific moviemaking, with an outstanding script, direction and score, and magnificent performances. This is Heston’s finest role outside the Biblical epics he’s best noted for, while Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans excell under layers of convincing Oscar®-winning ape makeup in their parts.
The cautionary note for Christians when viewing this movie has to do with a reverse evolution/creation debate that comes up in this movie. The religious apes come across as intolerant bigots, and this can be seen as a hidden slam against the traditional theological Christians of our own world. At the same time though, one should keep in mind that ultimately the instincts of the religious leader, Dr. Zaius are proved right by the film’s climax, and one can perhaps see in the film a cautionary warning to Christians about what the most effective way of defending religious principles should be.
Made in 1968, there is no graphic violence (some mild shootings) or language. There is one “God damn” uttered in this movie, but as Charlton Heston noted in his journal, it was meant as a literal plea for God to bring judgment, and not a profane taking of His name. Apart from that, it is fine sci-fi entertainment for those at least 10-11 and above.