I have to be honest, I never thought I would like this movie. Growing up, I had seen several clips from it, and though it looked interesting, it looked really out dated. The make-up looked cheesy, the plot looked typical, and the “twist” ending looked basic and boring. Then, I realized that the 2001 version wan’t the first, and I actually watched the good one.
All jokes aside, I really enjoyed this film. Charlton Heston delivers an amazing performance as the lovable George Taylor. In fact, the entire cast is very convincing. The ape-effects are all done practically, and had up remarkably well. They actually hold up more than the 2001 version’s. Maurice Evan’s in particular stands out for his portrayal of the evil Dr. Zaius. He sings a unique blend of malevolence and naivety that helps the character truly stand out amongst the sea of other memorable figures. Of course, the plot still holds up remarkably well. Class/race struggles still exist today, and the journey of Taylor to prove himself human and worth mercy is remarkable. All the characters act very realistically, and many of the actions of the apes are excusable under the circumstances. Heck, if a monkey fell out of the sky, started talking about how it was a functioning member of society, and denounced every religion as well as all facts of science, we wouldn’t be too kind either.
Writing this review is hard because I do not want to give too much away. I hope everyone has the same delightful experience I had when I first saw it. Sure, there is a fair amount of campiness thrown into the mix(it was the sixties for Christ’s sake) but this film is far from ridiculous. The apes are not even revealed for a good 10-20 minutes and yet I was still thoroughly engaged. I won’t even mention the spectacular twist, because you all know it by now, I’ll just say that it is very well executed. I love this movie, and I hope you do as well.