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Planet Of The Apes (1968)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Planet Of The Apes (1968) It's been since boyhood Saturday afternoon TV views since I've watched this old fave, so I wanted to revisit it all these years later to see how it held up. Had a great time viewing it again, love the ominous, eerie opening as the astronauts crash-land on an unknown planet and explore their way into finding a society run by intelligent APES, where humans are the lesser regarded species. The music score is riveting, suspenseful, and cutting edge [for the time] and holds up perfectly today. Jerry Goldsmith at his best---when you think of all the classic movies that Goldsmith gave "soul" to [from APES to ALIEN to FIRST BLOOD to BASIC INSTINCT, just to name a few!], it'll spin your head. Charlton Heston is splendid in his role as astronaut Taylor, struggling to comprehend, understand, and communicate with the alien world he finds himself in. Actors Roddy McDowell and Kim Hunter shine in their parts underneath the groundbreaking late '60's ape makeup and sexy Linda Harrison as NOVA was a doll to watch again all these years later. No wonder I had a crush on her as a boy, wow, what a skimpy wardrobe she wore as Heston's girlfriend, and she always keeps your attention with that luscious bod! I was constantly waiting for a wardrobe malfunction, and if you watch closely, there is a nip slip or two that'll give your remote PAUSE! And the ending---now widely known, borrowed, and even parodied to death, still packs a wallop in the context of the film. When Heston figures out he is actually on Earth---and we nuked ourselves centuries ago and the ape became the new intelligent species---it still sends a chill down your spine as you see the tattered remains of the Statue Of Liberty [a most excellent matte painting, I might add]. Nearly fifty years old now, PLANET OF THE APES still shines as one of the best sci-fi movies ever made and it was instrumental in introducing the world to franchise moviemaking, later "aped" by STAR WARS, STAR TREK, and...well, you get the picture! APES is definitely a classic, and deservedly so.

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