Planet of the Apes is an amazing film. A political-sociological allegory, cast in the mold of futuristic science-fiction, it is an intriguing blend of chilling satire, a sometimes ludicrous juxtaposition of human and ape mores, optimism and pessimism.
Pierre Boulle’s novel, in which US space explorers find themselves in a world dominated by apes, has been adapted by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling.
The totality of the film works very well, leading to a surprise ending. The suspense, and suspension of belief, engendered is one of the film’s biggest assets.
Charlton Heston, leader of an aborted space shot which propels his crew 20 centuries ahead of earth, is a cynical man who eventually has thrust upon him the burden of reasserting man’s superiority over all other animals. At fadeout, he is the new Adam.
Key featured players – all in ape makeup – include Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore and James Daly.
1968: Honorary Award (John Chambers, for makeup design).
Nominations: Best Costume Design, Original Music Score