Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes
1968 -- Rated G
Director: Franklin Schaffner
Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowell, Kim Hunter

Charlton Heston had become famous to another generation as the patriarch Moses and Ben-Hur, but to a more recent generation his fame was born in the 1968 film Planet of the Apes as George Taylor. Though sci-fi fans enjoy the offsprings (including six sequels, a TV series and a cartoon series) of this hit film only the original is considered one of the top sci-fi films of all time. Planet of the Apes is also a strong social commentary using the human / ape allusion to make a statement of the race conflict in our own society at that time (and which in a large way is still ongoing today). One scene which brilliantly captures the commentary of de-humanization is when Heston is brought before a tribunal - naked! Many fans and critics point to the films tagline scene where Heston's character screams at his captors to take their paws off of him "you damn dirty apes!" as one of the best taglines in moviedom. I prefer the point when Heston screams "It's a madhouse!" Truly a gem of a film.

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