The original Planet of the Apes hits DVD in a brand new 2-disc edition featuring a plethora of extras
In the distant Future, man will be a far more perfect creature than he is now. Charles Darwin, 1839
Somewhere in the Universe, there must be something better than man! (Poster strap-line)
Planet of the Apes was shot in the 1960's, in my opinion one of the greatest decades for film creativity, the list of classic movies from the 60's is endless but when looking at the subject of Science fiction there are not many films to rival Planet of the Apes only Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (which was released in the same year 1968) had the same impact on both audience and industry and laid down new standards that changed the way in which future sci-fi movies were created.
Times were turbulent; the Vietnam War was growing in intensity, hippy ethics fuelled a new social revolution and many boundaries were being broken down. The film reflects these times & willy-nilly debates issues such as hunting, violence, animal rights, evolution Vs creationism, the nature of freedom, class structure, and even nuclear war.
Based on a story by French novelist Pierre Boule (Author of Bridge over the river Kwai - the film adaptation of which had won him an Academy Award in 1957) and produced by Arthur P Jacobs whose previous successes included Goodbye, Mr Chips and Doctor Doolitte this project really took some getting off the ground. Six years being laughed out of film companies must have been soul destroying but gave the movie the time it needed to fully ferment in the minds of its creators. Planet of the Apes truly is a labour of love. The directing and cinematography were also cutting edge stuff for 60's film making shot in great locations such as Death Valley , Zuma Beach - California & the Fox ranch - Malibu Creek State Park , LA. The Ape world is beautifully created and the sense of other worldliness is completely believable.
The special effects budget which was mainly consumed creating the amazing ape makeup with the left over cents going into the ape village & spaceship crash landing for there time are pretty far out. Without the makeup work done for this movie a lot of what you see these days in such films as Lord of the rings may have never evolved in the way it has. This double DVD box set contains a huge amount of behind the scenes documentaries which really opened the world of Planet of the Apes up to me. Once you have seen the gruelling make-up sessions the actors had to endure and how the actors brought their new prosthetic faces to life you enjoy the movie even more - the whole experience is truly enthralling unlike some behind the scenes extras you find on a lot of DVD releases these days that only qualify as padding these extras actually add extra depth and dimension to the movie.
My favourite quote from the movie is - Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape. - The first words spoken by a human to the apes Said by George Taylor: Charlton Heston's character. This quote must rank highly in the list of famous film quotes & the movie itself also ranks very highly in the list of greatest Sci-Fi classics.
If you have never seen Planet of the Apes it is a must see movie. Dated & a touch unsophisticated by today's standards but still a true slice of silver screen history.