Planet Of The Apes (1968) Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
When astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) crash lands on an unfamiliar planet, he discovers a world where Apes rule and humans are treated like animals.
Setting out on a six-month-long deep-space exploration, a group of astronauts awaken from hibernation when their ship crash-lands on an unfamiliar planet, only to find that due to some technical malfunction they have actually been traveling for a year and a half. Escaping from their vessel moments before it sinks into the depths of the sea, the stranded threesome set out across a desolate desert landscape in search of food or life.
But when they find them, the hostile landscape proves kinder than the world’s inhabitants. Fooled by the simplicity of the primitive group of mute humans they first stumble upon, the aliens are unprepared when a group of armed, and highly civilized apes attack, killing many people and taking the survivors captive.
Held behind bars and unable to talk because he was shot in the throat, the cynical and abrasive astronaut Col. George Taylor (Charlton Heston) has reason to question his long held belief that “Somewhere in the universe there must be something better than mankind,” as he helplessly witnesses apes beating, caging, and leashing people, as well as using them for experimental medical research. Desiring to be treated as more than a mere animal, Taylor tries to communicate with Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter), a psychologist involved in human behavioral studies, and her archeologist fiance Dr. Cornelius (Roddy McDowell). Astonished beyond their wildest imaginations when they learn Taylor can write, the young chimp couple cannot understand the negative reaction their discovery receives from Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans), their superior and Keeper of the Faith.
When it becomes apparent that Dr. Zaius plans to silence Taylor forever, Zira and Cornelius must act quickly to protect what they believe to be the long searched for evidence supporting some theories the pair have been formulating, but have been unable to get the scientific community to embrace.
Resonating with some of the cultural concerns of the late 1960’s when the film was made, Planet of the Apes sets up the classic battle of evolution verses religion, which may prove offensive to some (although the story’s construct leaves room to argue that faith and science are not as different as the opinions of those who interrupt them). On the other hand, anyone with sensitivities about how inhumane man can be towards animals will likely appreciate the messages conveyed in this film where man gets a taste of his own medicine.
Consequently, Planet of the Apes, based on a novel by Perrie Boulle, provides plenty to think about, but parents should be warned that it also contains enough battle scenes and rear male nudity to discourage showing it to less than teenaged children. Forging a strong link in the evolution of modern science fiction films, this classic was nominated for an Oscar, and won an honorary award for outstanding makeup. Because the public went ape over it, the concept eventually grew into a set of 5 movies, and inspired 2 television series.
Starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall. Theatrical release February 8, 1968. Updated March 31, 2009
Planet Of The Apes (1968)
Rating & Content Info
Why is Planet Of The Apes (1968) rated G? Planet Of The Apes (1968) is rated G by the MPAA
Overall: B After a malfunction in their spacecraft, the crew crash-lands on an unfamiliar planet where they find a primitive species of man who are hunted and abused by a ruling class of educated apes.
Violence: C Spaceship crash lands in water. Aged but preserved dead body shown. Armed apes shoot at people, catch them in nets, hit them, and chase some over a small cliff, others into a pit. Men injured when falling off cliff. Man shot and killed. Man shot in throat, blood shown. Dead men’s bodies shown hanging by their feet or in piles on ground. Man with hands and feet bound to pole is carried to caged cart, man fights off other people who are trying to restrain him, burning torch is used to threaten a man on several occasions, apes control unruly behavior by capturing the offending man using a long pole with noose on the end or beating them back with a club. Man clubs ape in escape attempt, apes chase, throw rocks, whip him, and try to capture him with throat hooks and nets. Stuffed human bodies shown in a taxidermy museum display. People sprayed with water, man is leashed, man is bound, clubbed and netted, man threatened with prospect of having experimental brain surgery performed, ape knocked unconscious during kidnapping, weapons distributed, gun fight results in ape being shot and killed, another held hostage, rebellious teen expresses lack of trust for elders.
Sexual Content: C- Male rear nudity shown when characters skinny dip, male and female characters dress in scanty primitive clothing, woman presented to man as present, ape characters touch their mouths together in an affectionate kiss and hold hands on several occasions, man shown sleeping beside a woman (no sexual inference is made), man comments on a world with "lots of lovemaking but no love," man is disrobed causing humiliation and male rear nudity is shown, talk of emasculating a man.
Language: B At least 12 mild profanities, and 2 terms of Deity used as expletives.
Alcohol / Drug Use: B Man uses needle to inject himself with hibernation medicine, main character and incidental ape character shown smoking cigar on a couple of occasions, blood transfusion performed with primitive medical equipment.
Page last updated March 31, 2009
Planet Of The Apes (1968) Parents' Guide
The apes have a very poor opinion about man’s intelligence and behaviors. Are Taylor’s actions likely to improve their image of mankind? What kind of person would you choose as an ambassador of our species?
The most recent home video release of Planet Of The Apes (1968) movie is March 27, 2006. Here are some details…
DVD Release Date: 21 August 2001
The 30th Anniversary Edition of this classic includes a making-of documentary titled Behind The Planet Of The Apes.
DVD Notes: Planet of the Apes: The ultimate DVD Collection
DVD Release Date: 28 March 2006
If you’re bananas over the Planet of the Apes, you’ll want to keep you eyes peeled as this popular sci-fi franchise releases on DVD in a variety of packaging options. Remastered in anamorphic widescreen and featuring TXH certified 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound, you can purchase separately each of the five movies (Planet of the Apes, Beneath the planet of the Apes, Escape From the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes). Or you can pick up a Planet of the Apes: Legacy Edition Box (which offers a sixth bonus disc with the documentary Behind the Planet of the Apes, as well as theatrical trailers and TV spots). Last but not least, there’s the 14-disc limited edition Planet of the Apes: The Ultimate DVD Collection. This guerilla-sized set not only includes the original five movies, it also provides a copy of the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes (starring Mark Wahlberg), the complete series of the 1974 TV show titled Planet of the Apes, and the 1975 Saturday morning cartoon series Return to the Planet of the Apes. Of course there’s a monkey barrel full of other extras too, like audio commentates, featuretts, image galleries, outtakes etc.
Related home video titles:
In the film Contact Jody Foster’s character is chosen to represent when an alien intelligence offers to make contact with Earth’s inhabitants. Tim Burton has remade (or re-imagined) Planet Of The Apes for the 21st century.