Directed By: Franklin J. Schaffner
Written By: Michael Wilson and Rod Serling
From the Novel: "La Planete des singes" by Pierre Boulle
Charlton Heston as George Taylor
Roddy McDowall as Cornelius
Kim Hunter as Zira
Maurice Evans as Dr.Zaius
James Whitmore as President of the Assembly
James Daly as Dr. Honorious
Linda Harrison as Nova
Robert Gunner as Landon
Lou Wagner as Lucious
Woodrow Parfey as Dr. Maximus
Jeff Burton as Dodge
Buck Kartalian as Julius
Norman Burton as Leader of the hunt
Wright King as Dr. Galen
Paul Lambert as Minister
Diane Stanley as Stewart
AKA: Monkey Planet (1968)
Runtime: 112 Minutes
Sound: 4-Track Stereo
Released: February 8, 1968
Planet of the Apes Buy new: $12.99 / Used from: $6.99
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Written By: Ken Hulsey
In memorey of Charlton Heston
"I can't help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man. Has to be." - George Taylor
In 1966 Franklin J. Schaffner had purchased the rights to what he thought would make excellent movie. Pierre Boulle's novel "La Planete des singes." He peddled the idea to almost every studio in Hollywood, but nobody wanted anything to do with his "Monkey Planet." Studio executives thought the idea of talking apes would be laughed at. A ray of light came when he presented his idea to both Arthur P. Jacobs and Charlton Heston. Both signed on to produce and star in his movie. Now he had what he needed a huge star and some credibility. This got him in the door with Fox and got him his chance. Once again there were hesitations. What if the apes looked too fake? Could it be believable? A test scene was shot to test early ideas for the ape makeup. The test would feature Heston, Edward G. Robinson as Dr. Zaius, and Linda Harrison as Zira. It worked. The makeup test proved it could be done without looking cheesy. The movie was a go.
The next major hurdle would lie in the story itself. The Boulle novel featured the apes as a highly advanced civilization with modern vehicles and cities. The early Rod Serling scripts followed these themes. However the budget that Fox had assigned was not sufficient enough to handle both huge effects and a huge makeup tab. The makeup was crucial to the success of the production. The apes had to be more primitive. Michael Wilson was brought on board and together with Serling the two hammered out the finished screenplay with the apes having a more technologically challenged society. With this and John Chambers makeup ready the production began. The film with all it's technological difficulties was completed on time and on budget.
"Beware the beast man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, for he is the harbinger of death." - The Sacred Scrolls
1. During lunch periods and breaks in shooting the actors portraying a certain species would all hang out together. Gorillas with gorillas, chimps with chimps, and orangutans with orangutans. Funny how that would naturally happen since class and race diversion was a underlined theme in the film.
2. Although Charlton Heston's character is listed in the credits as "George Taylor", the name George is never mentioned in the actual film. He is always called just "Taylor."
3. Roddy McDowall often drove home in his ape make up to freak-out other drivers.
4. John Chambers's ape make up was first used as an ape-faced alien in the popular science fiction TV show "Lost in Space."