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Trivia / Planet of the Apes (1968)

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  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!
    • The iconic line begins as "Take your stinking paws off me...", not "Get your stinking paws off me..."
    • The wham line is "God damn you all to hell!" "God" is often omitted when quoted.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: A decade before Star Wars, it was raking in money from sequels and merchandise.
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  • Dueling Movies: In a sense. This wasn't the only film of 1968 to mix apes, astronauts and groundbreaking special effects.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Charlton Heston's voice during his famous "take your stinking paws off me" line was made more realistic by the fact Heston was quite ill during the filming of the scene.
  • Franchise Zombie: The sequels and TV shows. Both the second and third movie were intended to be the last in the series (5 were made).
  • He Also Did: The first script was written by The Twilight Zone (1959)'s Rod Serling. The other writer, Michael Wilson, worked on another famous Pierre Boulle adaptation (though he went uncredited for McCarthyism blacklisting).
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Fox only greenlighted the movie because they felt Arthur P. Jacobs could do it on a low budget compared to the Troubled Production that was Doctor Dolittle, the movie they were hopeful to turn into a Cash Cow Franchise. Dolittle bombed, Apes became a seminal sci-fi film which started a profitable series.
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    • Animal Is the New Man
  • Science Marches On
    • The film makes it clear that Ape society is composed of all (non-Human) apes: chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. Back when the film was made, bonobos were thought to be chimpanzees, but nowadays they're known to be a separate species. This leads to some Fridge Horror: if bonobos are not present at all, it means they all died at some point (How? By whom?); on the other hand, if they're still around, given that we don't see them in the movies and the most notorious aspect of their society, it's not unreasonable to assume they are sex slaves, imprisoned in the homes of the other apes.
      • With bonobos, it's quite possible that if human knowledge on bonobos was incomplete back in those days, then all of ape society would be just as unaware of bonobos being a separate species. Therefore, it's not unreasonable to assume that bonobos were merely seen as chimps also and were assimilated into the chimpanzee sub-culture of ape society.
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    • Also, the apes fit the stereotypes at the time: orangutans as leaders, gorillas as brutes, and chimpanzees as scientists. The first and last were inverted in the 2001 and 2011 reinventions given orangutans are solitary compared to the more social chimps - who were also given an uptick in aggressiveness, with gorillas in turn being more levelheaded (chimpanzees are prone to even attacking each other, while gorillas are usually calm unless disturbed).
  • Throw It In!
    • Taylor's final rant at the end was thought up and written down by Charlton Heston on the day of shooting that scene. It adds much more power to that Wham Shot, even after repeat viewings.
    • The shot of the three judges doing the "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" pose wasn't meant to be in the movie, it was just the three actors goofing around between takes and they decided to put it in the film.
  • Trope Namer
  • What Could Have Been
    • Zaius was originally going to be played by Edward G. Robinson, who got as far as filming the early test footage, but his ill health did not mix well with the heavy makeup, and he quit. The surviving footage shows Robinson playing Zaius as a cynical Deadpan Snarker, in contrast to Maurice Evans and his interpretation of Zaius as a bombastic authoritarian.
    • Also, Linda Harrison played Zira in early makeup test footage, but was later cast as the human Nova. (Both roles are due to dating the the studio head, but her former beauty pageant looks helped with the latter.)
    • Ursula Andress, Raquel Welch, and Angelique Pettyjohn were all offered the role of Nova, but either turned it down or were not available.
    • Ingrid Bergman was offered the role of Zira and turned it down. Later in life, she admitted to regretting her decision.
    • The early scripts for the movie had a closer resemblance to Pierre Boulle's novel, but budget constraints forced the change to the primitive ape society of the film.
    • Marlon Brando, James Brolin, Sean Connery, James Garner, Rock Hudson, Burt Lancaster, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Rod Taylor and John Wayne were considered for Taylor.
    • Yul Brynner, Alec Guinness, Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov and Orson Welles were considered for Dr Zaius.
    • Ursula Andress and Raquel Welch were considered for Nova.
    • Scenes were scripted and filmed revealing, near the end, that Nova was pregnant with Taylor's child. The scenes were cut out of the final print, as it was felt that they changed the focus of the ending, leaving the door open to a sequel Heston didn't want (but got anyway).
    • In the early scripts and the test footage, Taylor's name is John Thomas.

  • Interestingly, there was a sort of segregation behind the scenes during filming; the chimpanzee actors ate with other chimps, gorillas with gorillas, and orangutans with orangutans.
  • Once, some of the gorilla actors rode from the makeup area to the set in a convertible with the top down, wearing their full gorilla makeup, wigging out some observers on the way.
  • The Statue of Liberty scene was based on a scene from an earlier sci-fi story.
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