Planet of the Apes: Classic or Dud

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I recently saw this movie listed on "". sure they gave it a top review, and i mean, this movie is clearly without it super-camp, but what does everyone really think of it?

Andrzej B. (Andrzej B.), Wednesday, 9 March 2005 04:48 (seventeen years ago) link

Saw it first at age 11 on TV and it blew me away (I saw all the sequels within a year); even moreso with the widescreen later in theaters. Certain adolescent elements emerge with adult viewings (Serling's doomsaying T Zone-style preachiness, cheap monkey puns, the conveniently mute savage girl-model, and the last scene's inevitability), but it's an indelible Hollywood adventure movie of its time.

The makers (director, DP) won Oscars for the inferior film they made next -- "Patton." Also likely Heston's best perf, playing what Kael called an arrogant "American Adam."

While none of the sequels can touch the first for imagination and class, they make a fascinating crypto-study of Watts/Black Power-era race relations (with all the accompanying queasiness). "Beneath" was on TV in a bar the other night, with its crazy Mutant Mass scene.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 9 March 2005 14:43 (seventeen years ago) link

With Victor "King Tut" Buono as one of the mutant priests, if I remember correctly.

Ken L (Ken L), Wednesday, 9 March 2005 16:19 (seventeen years ago) link


Chuck Heston's best role, great Jerry Goldsmith score, great cheesy twilight zone ending...MONKEYS (ok, actually apes but whatevah)!

there's no way in hell it's not classic

latebloomer: correspondingly more exaggerated mixing is a scarifying error. (lat, Wednesday, 9 March 2005 18:50 (seventeen years ago) link

cheap monkey puns

Can there be such a thing????

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Wednesday, 9 March 2005 20:52 (seventeen years ago) link

ha seriously those are like the best thing about it.

ryan (ryan), Wednesday, 9 March 2005 21:22 (seventeen years ago) link

Anyway, classic film, and despite their relative qualities, you have to see the rest of them at least once through. Personally, I like #3 the best, I think, although for the sheer chaos of the mf'ing revolushun, ya gotta go for #4. I enjoy the first from time to time, but to me it's like A New Hope - a lot of waiting and building...foundations to be laid that I don't have the patience to sit through as much on subsequent go arounds.

Girolamo Savonarola, Thursday, 10 March 2005 00:42 (seventeen years ago) link

Referring to STAR WARS as A NEW HOPE = dud. :)

(and in a better world, no sequels for either)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 10 March 2005 14:27 (seventeen years ago) link

Sweet Jesus...I agree with Dr Morbius for once...

**sound of water crystallizing as hell freezes over**

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Thursday, 10 March 2005 14:34 (seventeen years ago) link

Dr. Morbius's first post basically OTM. I forgive the sequels most of their flaws because they've still got the great makeup, because of the race-relations commentary mentioned above amd because sci-fi movies, like oriental rugs, just always seem to have little flaws in them.

Fun fact: J. Lee Thompson, who directed the fourth film, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, also directed the original Cape Fear.

Ken L (Ken L), Thursday, 10 March 2005 14:39 (seventeen years ago) link

I fight with friends about this, but I never saw a racism subtext, at least in the original. One of the astronauts is black, for one thing. The movie is obviously pro-animal rights and anti-nukes. Heston was pretty liberal in the '60s, and a generous supporter of the Civil Rights movement. The whole "damn dirty ape" thing gets blown way out of proportion...

Movie, toys, masks, record-comics, and Marvel comics based on it = classic.

Pete Scholtes, Thursday, 10 March 2005 22:59 (seventeen years ago) link

Not *racist*, but racially themed. The fourth movie in particular, "Conquest," cribs from the Watts riots (see the DVD box's documentary).

I've eaten out of an "Apes" cereal bowl for 30 years.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 March 2005 14:37 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm going to have to go with dud. Once you got past the basic premise of the film (what if the animal/man relationship were inverted and we got a taste of what its like to be enslaved) there doesn't seem to be much more to the movie. Since this premise was communicated to me within the first 15 minutes of the movie, there's not a lot left to do but listen to a lot of boring dialogue from actors in latex masks. In a lot of ways, this reminds me of Logan's Run which starts off with a great premise ("No one has to work but everyone dies by law at age 30!") and then has no where to go with it. You end up listening to some old guy in a library talk for like 45 minutes and you wonder what happened to the movie being about science fiction. Then there's Zardoz...

Endicott Peabody, Sunday, 13 March 2005 07:33 (seventeen years ago) link

Big premise with disappointing follow-through? That's typical of all science fiction in all media. You've got to make allowances for that. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm sure you can come up with a counter-example or two, but still.)

Ken L (Ken L), Sunday, 13 March 2005 12:24 (seventeen years ago) link

The original and its sequels rock. What I really like about them is how stoner-y they are... the pacing and camera angles seem to assuming that everyone watching them has been hitting the doob big time.

The Tim Burton remake - one of the worst films ever made. After this I swore never to watch another Burton film.

DV (dirtyvicar), Sunday, 13 March 2005 13:28 (seventeen years ago) link

the burton version sucked, for sure. but was it really one of the worst movies of all time?

OTM about the stoner-isness of the original,'s a large part of why it's so entertaining.

latebloomer: damn cheapskate satanists (latebloomer), Sunday, 13 March 2005 21:29 (seventeen years ago) link

Dude. and the answer to your first question is: yes, yes it is.

DV (dirtyvicar), Monday, 14 March 2005 17:22 (seventeen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

I've eaten out of an "Apes" cereal bowl for 30 years.

Do you still have this bowl?

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 12 January 2020 20:53 (two years ago) link

great revive

que pasa picasso (bizarro gazzara), Sunday, 12 January 2020 22:42 (two years ago) link

Wondering if you mean that in same spirit as this

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 12 January 2020 23:57 (two years ago) link

I do have that bowl, and now two of the same bcz my sister bought me a duplicate.

It always pays to be married to a producer of a 'franchise':

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 15 January 2020 17:18 (two years ago) link

Linda “Nova” Harrison better watch her back.

Disco Cladistic (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 16 January 2020 00:12 (two years ago) link

fun fact: the writer of "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" - Paul Dehn - actually wrote the covert ops training manual for the US in WW2 that was basically the blueprint for the CIA's manual currently in place

sarahell, Thursday, 16 January 2020 15:54 (two years ago) link

Convenience link to other thread: Planet Of The Apes movie series - Classic or Dud

Disco Cladistic (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 16 January 2020 16:03 (two years ago) link

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