Planet of the Apes ★★★★½

Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!
-George Taylor

The most remarkable thing here is that a 1960s film about talking apes still holds up almost 45 years later. Some people might scoff that the makeup isn't THAT good, but it IS good enough that the movie has no problem sucking you in and you no longer think about the actor under the makeup, you only see the characters on the screen.

What really makes this film work though is that it can be enjoyed on many different levels. You can turn your brain off and just enjoy it for it's campy fun obviously. You have humans treated like animals being hunted down by talking apes, what's not to like? You can enjoy it for it's creative sci-fi conspiracy storyline. Finally, you can enjoy it for it's multiple social statements on race, religion and social class.

If all that combined didn't already make one hell of a film, you throw in Charlton Heston as the leading man and you have a damn near masterpiece. For some reason Heston can take the lead in films filled with the extraordinary while seemingly right at home. It doesn't matter if he's leading the Jews out of Egypt or letting out the secret of Soylent Green, these kinds of situations all come naturaly to Heston it seems. Talking apes? No problem.

Now with all that, how do you end a film like this? Well you end it with one of the most iconic moments in 1960s cinema. That's how.

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