Planet of the Apes (1968)

Planet of the Apes (1968), directed by Franklin J. Schaffner.

I've never known how to take this one. It's not straight science fiction, nor fairy tale, nor exactly a social satire, although you could take it as a message about evolution or cruelty to animals or race hatred or religion. Or just a funny one about the world turned upside down.

People are animals, but animals are people? The whimsically dark tone is due to our main character Taylor, who is unaccountably sour throughout. Where did a space explorer get such a bad attitude?

How could he not know he was on Earth? Are the moon and stars gone in 3978 AD? Did he not think it strange that the apes spoke English and used latin letters?

Charlton Heston seemed to like science fiction and really liked stripping off his clothes. Tall, big shouldered, impressive physique: it works for him.

The Forbidden Zone has spectacular Colorado River locations, but ape-land itself is obviously Malibu.

Jerry Goldsmith provides a combined eerie-planet and action score, but it is not one of his better efforts. (Later: several commentators tell me I am nuts to say that. I'll give the score another listen next time).

Available on Blu-ray.