Thursday, 14 July 2011

Planet Of The Apes (1968)

Sci-fi Brilliance - 4/5
So I saw this film today called Planet Of The Apes and, after previously reviewing the rather poor 2001 Tim Burton effort, and with Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes on its way in less than a month, I thought I had better go back and see how the films all got started. Of course the 1968 version is miles apart and wholly different to the 2001 version and the list of reasons why the film featuring Charlton Heston is far better would be infinitely long. Therefore I am not going to even bother to compare the two films. I watched the Burton film first and now, after watching the original, I find it hard to believe he managed to get that film out of something that was originally so brilliant.

I used the word brilliant there because that's exactly what this film is. Brilliant. There is something about the beginning of a retro sci-fi film that lets you know that you're in for a treat. After becoming a sci-fi fan in the last few months, after watching Logan's Run and Alien, I thought it about time to watch Planet Of The Apes. It turned out to be right up my street and it was a totally magnificent two hours of film.

Let us begin with the cinematic scenes that were brought to us by director Franklin J. Schaffner. The stunning scenery was quite enthralling, as were the special effects which wouldn't have looked outdated in a film from five years ago. The final scene with the statue of liberty was extremely
impressive for a 40+ year old film. It almost rivalled the similar scene in Cloverfield in which you see a half destroyed statue of liberty. The make-up and costume was sublime so it's no wonder that at the 1969 Academy Awards the film was nominated for Best Costume Design and that, at the same awards, John Chambers was awarded for his outstanding make-up achievement.

Another thing I love about retro sci-fi is that the scores manage at the same time to be so cheesy and yet so brilliant. The film was nominated for an Oscar for its score in the same year. Shame it didn't win anything really. But with films like Oliver! cleaning up that year it isn't so surprising that this didn't win an award.

I'm sure you're glad I haven't rambled on about how this was so much better that the 2001 effort and I decided not to because I think that argument has been made on perhaps too many occasions. The two films should not be judged side by side because, in my opinion, this was a masterpiece. A brilliant sci-fi adventure and a perfect film to watch right now before another remake effort is released. I doubt it will rival the original at all.

You May Also Like:
'Planet Of The Apes (2001)' Review
'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' Trailer
'Logan's Run' Review


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