FILM ONLY REVIEW
Taylor is an explorer and astronaut who has been on a long mission, the crew of the spaceship have been in hibernation and awake to find they are crashing into a planet. Unfortunately one of the team have not survived the hibernation leaving only the 3 men on board. The ship crashes into a sea and the men are left wondering where they are.
The land they have landed on looks a lot like Earth but there are no human inhabitants or building. They set of in search of help and a better understanding of where they are but they soon uncover something they wish they had not. The land is run by apes and the few humans are treated as inferior, they do not talk and cannot communicate. The apes collect humans to do tests on them and treat them a slaves and so Taylor and his friends are captured.
Taylor is soon locked in a cage on his own as has to try and tell the research apes that he can in fact talk and is not inferior but as he is wounded he is unable to talk. Will Taylor be able to communicate with the apes and secure his freedom and just what planet and indeed what time has he crash landed in?
It was purely by chance that I watched this film as I said hubby could decide what film we watched and as this one as just about to start on the film channels he decided on it. I have never seen this film or the modern remake before so really did not know what to expect. I did find the story was quite good and unique for the year this film was made but for me it was very old and so dated and I just could not see part all the flaws in the film to be able to enjoy it fully.
The acting for me was very wooden. Charlton Heston took the lead role of Taylor and he did an average job but every time he spoke it was as if he was reading it from somewhere, none of his lines came naturally and it all seemed very forced. He was a strange character who had problem being with other people and I would have liked some background on him to be able to understand why he was like this. He did seem to have a good friendship after a bit of time with his other team members but there was no real banter or camaraderie between them. When it came to the action scenes with Taylor they really were hard to watch we could clearly see he was not actually hitting anyone and think Heston should have been more natural and at ease in these scenes to make them more believable. We did have a few support role in the film and these included appearances from Roddy McDowell, Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans. They did slightly better job with their roles but they all still seemed very wooden. There was a good mix of characters in the film though.
The appearance of the apes was very strange. They had faces of apes and bodies of humans which were always covered, they were made to walk funny and I just had to laugh every time one of them would start to shuffle around as in the next scene they would be walking normally. I did notice that some of the apes had strange hands but some of them had normal ones which just had hair added to them, I am not sure what the desired effect was with them but for me it was as if they were trying to save money and not bother to much with the continuity of the film. The sets were all very basic and we could clearly see that the majority of this film was shot in a studio. The buildings all looked like they were made form cardboard and very cheap cardboard at that. There was no real detail in any of the rooms which we saw and I found it looked quite rubbish. The outside shots were slightly better as we did get to see some wonderful landscapes. Unfortunately we had a few dodgy effect in these scenes and I noticed some very good polystyrene stones and rocks and this did spoil these shot for me.
There was a few fight scenes in the film and they were very poorly made, we could clearly see that the actors were not touching each other and there was always a delay in t he punch being thrown and the actor jumping back, they did make me giggle a few times as they appeared so staged and choreographed and there was nothing natural or violent about them at all. The music was also rubbish. When I first hear it all I could think of was one man in a room playing a short basic tune of the piano and then moving onto the glockenspiel and then a drum and when he had done this he would go back to the beginning. This film would have benefited from a decent soundtrack which had a classical feel to feel try and help with the tension and emotion of the story.
I am only reviewing the film so there are no DVD extras to speak about. The running time of the film is 112 minutes and I did find this was slightly too long considering how poor the film was and the rate is a PG. the rate is suitable as there are no scary or violent parts to the film. The DVD can be bought for just a few pounds now from online retailers but I would not waste money on it.
I have been quite harsh on this film and we really do need to take into account the age of the film, it was made in 1968 and I suppose t would have looked amazing and state of the art then but for me it has not aged well at all and there are just too many negatives for me to be able to recommend it. I am going to be kind and give it 2 stars instead of one due to the age. I really would not waste time on this film and I may try the remake to see if that is any better and getting this potentially good story across.