A historical sci-fi adventure that revolutionized the genre, “Planet of the Apes” not only wowed audiences with awe-inspiring special effects, but it also boasted a high-level story. Charlton Heston stars in the film as astronaut George Taylor, who leads a mission that’s supposed to travel to a distant planetoid, only to land in a strange world where primates rule and humans are treated like cattle. After his crewmates fall victim to the apes, Taylor becomes a human science experiment for a pair of curious ape scientists, Cornelius and Zira, who theorize that their own species may have ironically evolved from humans.
Now Taylor must convince them that he is not like the men of his planet and lead a revolt to overthrow the ape abusers who treat humans like slaves. Pure allegory, the film was co-written by ‘Twilight Zone’ creator Rod Serling, who adapted Pierre Boulle’s French novel, adding a jaw-dropping twist that audiences could never have seen coming and that still resonates in pop culture today.
An all-time classic, it was followed by four sequels, a short-lived TV spin-off, and two rebooted movies, the second of which spawned its own multi-movie franchise. Easily the most famous of Heston’s catalog, “Planet of the Apes” features some of the most memorable moments and indelible dialogue ever seen in sci-fi cinema.