"Planet of the Apes" remains a great and special movie within its genre, that also still remains a perfectly watchable and effective one now days. After almost 50(!) years it hasn't lost any its power and might still very well make a big impact on you, when you go and see it for the fist time.

The movie is still original to watch now days, so imaging how things must have been like for viewers back in 1968. It was something unseen, the way the movie approached its genre. Science-fiction at the time hadn't been a very profitable genre but more importantly, it was a genre that wasn't taken very seriously by critics and lots of film-makers. Yet this movie managed to get made, with lots of talents and acclaimed persons involved, in front and behind the cameras.

This movie is all the more an accomplishment when you look at it from the perspective and context of its time period. Even though the movie is science-fiction and is definitely filled with lots of fiction, it still is one that puts its emphasis on its science. The movie takes a very reasonable approach to its story, events and characters. Everything gets looked at from different perspectives and asks itself a lot of questions, dealing with topics such as religion and what is it that makes a civilization an advanced and civilized one.

But even when you don't read too deep into the movie and its themes, you'll still get plenty of enjoyment out of this movie. Even though it's most definitely not an action filled one, it's still fast paced and makes sure that there is always something happening or progressing within its story. I remember watching this movie ever since I was a young kid, when I probably couldn't even read subtitles yet but I never was bored with it, also not even now that I have seen the movie countless times already and know it by heart.

It's a movie that is a quite serious one within its genre when you purely look at its story but luckily they managed to make the movie at the same time a very entertain and enjoyable one to watch. It's because the movie is filled with plenty of great and unforgettable moments and overall is an extremely well made one in every regard.

One of the things obviously is its make-up. All of the apes are so fantastical but above all also realistic looking. They have a great look to them and it would had been very easy to mess up. Imaging how much this movie would had been laughed at and not taken seriously if it wasn't for the convincing and Oscar winning make-up effects, by John Chambers.
Another thing that always stood out to me was the Jerry Goldsmith musical score. It's unlike anything else really and quite daring for its time as well. It suits the atmosphere and madness of the movie so well and over the years has grown out to be one of his most iconic and appreciated scores.

What the movie always did so well to me was creating a sort of atmosphere of madness and absurdity. The main character finds himself in a pretty absurd situation from pretty much the start on already and things soon start to get worse and worse and more unusual for him. Just like the main character, you really want to scream out, when he gets treated incredibly unrighteously and hold prison by the apes. All of these elements get strengthened due to the entire way the movie got shot and told by Franklin J. Schaffner, along with its sets, experimental style of film-making, make-up, music and acting performance by Charlton Heston.

Yes, of course I can see how incredibly over-the-top Charlton Heston is going with his performance at times but I actually think this adds to the movie its madness and unusual style and story. I wouldn't want to have it any other way really. Also amazing to see lots of other great actors from the earlier days of cinema behind the ape make-up. Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall were pretty big acting names once and this so easily could had been a movie that would had done more harm than good for their careers but needless to say that it all turned out alright. Not that they had big shining careers after this movie but it at least added some wonderful and memorable roles to their resume and legacy as actors.
And talking about memorable; it's definitely true that this movie has one of the absolute best surprise endings and shots out of movie history. I'm not going to spoil it for you, some DVD covers are doing that already. But man, I would love to see some of the surprises off people's faces who see it for the first time. It's however hard to imaging though that there are actually still people out there who haven't seen this movie yet.

A classic, not just only within its genre and an absolute must-see for everybody.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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