Planet Of The Apes Review: Road To Hell Film Reviews Episode 001

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Show Notes For The Planet Of The Apes Film Review

Space. The last frontier. The playground of choice for science fiction writers of the mid-20th century. It is in space that humankind’s imperial penchant may be put on full display. The dark expanse speaks to our imagination; it titillates our desire to let no potential go unfulfilled. Where might we go? How long might we last? Might we leave the Earth, and continue on forever? 1968’s Planet of the Apes sees a crew of American astronauts thrust forward, alone, into the void, to find out the destiny of the human race. Marooned on an unknown planet, they find an upside-down society dominated by intelligent apes; human beings are but mute beasts, reviled, feared, and experimented on.

Our hero, Taylor – played by the great Charlton Heston – must confront a bleak future in which the progressive dreams of 20th century man have been dashed, and convince a hostile ape society that he is no mere animal, but a rational creature lost among the stars. In the process of proving himself and his alleged human society, Taylor leaves a wake of wreckage in the ape world, only affirming to the apes the bestial nature of man. In this film’s truly classic ending, Taylor himself is faced with the fact of man’s savagery when he at last encounters the truth of where he is and what became of the world he left behind.

This movie explores the nature of authoritarianism, pits truth against established wisdom, and confronts the grimmest elements of human nature. In the closing years of the 1960s – a decade of idealism – Planet of the Apes offers a grim and grotesque look into the future of humanity if our worst traits are allowed to propagate. In their review, Nicky and Danny discuss the film’s themes while addressing some of the underlying assumptions and unanswered questions encoded in it: Can technology go too far? What is the relationship between religion, science, and politics? Are humans innately good, innately bad, or something else? Are all civilizations doomed to succumb to tyranny?

There is no better more to review for the pilot episode of The Road to Hell Podcast than Planet of the Apes. It portrays a society which is simultaneously two things: to the apes, it is a perfectly fine society, while, to the human Taylor, it is an unimaginable dystopia. This campy classic (whose screenplay was co-written by Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling) covers all the basics, and thus provides fodder for a well-rounded, thoughtful, and enlightening conversation.

 

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

Writers: Michael Wilson & Rod Serling (Based on the Novel by Pierre Boulle)

Stars:

  • Charlton Heston as “George Taylor”
  • Roddy McDowall as “Cornelius”
  • Kim Hunter as “Zira”
  • Maurice Evans as “Dr. Zaius”
  • Linda Harrison as “Nova”

Misc.:

Planet of the Apes (1968): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063442/

La Planète des Singes (“Planet of the Apes” Novel, 1963) – Pierre Boulle: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/414895.Planet_of_the_Apes

The Twilight Zone and Planet of the Apes: “Did You Know ‘Planet of the Apes’ is Based off ‘The Twilight Zone’?”: https://tvovermind.com/planet-of-the-apes-based-off-twilight-zone/

Planet of the Apes Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdqjNkHA9IA

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