Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Planet of the Apes (1968)

IMDb plot summary: An astronaut crew crash lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.
Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. Starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, and Maurice Evans.

(Spoilerish hints at the ending.)

Even though I already knew the famous twist ending going into this one, I was delighted to find it was incredibly engaging all the way through -- and I'm not exactly sure why. It did a lot of things that *should* have irritated me or made me roll my eyes, but somehow I was just able to suspend disbelief and get wrapped up in the story. I loved watching Taylor's attempts to communicate with the apes at first, and I was fascinated with the ape lore and culture. Sure, it was cheesy and weird at times, but it managed to make that part of its charm instead of making it feel too awkward. And that final ending was surprisingly powerful even though I knew it was coming -- that is one I wish I hadn't known about, because it was handled beautifully and I think it would have been a very cool moment.

4 stars.

Flickchart: #540 out of 2208, below The Red Violin and above Pretty Woman.

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