Thursday, 23 July 2015

I've Just Seen: The Planet of the Apes (1968)

The Planet of the Apes (1968)

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Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

This is another watch-it-with-my-sister film that I had already seen. She had seen the ending (one of the worst kept secrets in film history), but wanted to see the beginning. This is a good film to re-watch: the first time I saw it I focused on the more overt, and at times clumsy, analogy of this world with 1960s America. On second viewing I picked smaller parts of the story and the characters.

Heston's Taylor's relationship with Doctor Zaius is rather complicated, and the most interesting part of the film (for me). Dr Zaius knows the truth about the whole situation, more than any other character in the film. While Taylor believes himself to be on another planet that is hospitable, Zaius warns Taylor at the film's end that Taylor may be in for a rude shock. And, call me stupid, but the first time I watched the film, I didn't quite piece together that the 'You blew it up' quote was a reference to the Cold War. Derrr!

Though this is by no means a perfect film, it is a must-see. As I said, this has the worst kept 'surprise' ending; I wish that I had been able to see it without knowing the ending (though it is quite obvious: they speak English for goodness sake!).

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