Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Planet of the Apes Details


Originally intended as a project for Blake Edwards, the film version of Pierre Boule's semisatiric sci-fi novel came to the screen in 1968 under the directorial guidance of Franklin J. Schaffner. Charlton Heston is George Taylor, one of several astronauts on a long space mission whose spaceship crash-lands on a remote planet, seemingly devoid of intelligent life. Soon the astronaut learns that this planet is ruled by a race of talking, thinking, reasoning apes who hold court over a complex, multilayered civilization. In this topsy-turvy society, the human beings are grunting, inarticulate primates, penned-up like animals. When ape leader Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans) discovers that the captive Taylor has the power of speech, he reacts in horror and insists that the astronaut be killed. But sympathetic ape scientists Cornelius (Roddy McDowell) and Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter) risk their lives to protect Taylor -- and to discover the secret of their planet's history that Dr. Zaius and his minions guard so jealously. In the end, it is Taylor who stumbles on the truth about the Planet of the Apes: "Damn you! Damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!" Scripted by Rod Serling and Michael Wilson (a former blacklistee who previously adapted another Pierre Boule novel, Michael Wilson), Planet of the Apes has gone on to be an all-time sci-fi (and/or camp) classic. It won a special Academy Award for John Chambers's convincing (and, from all accounts, excruciatingly uncomfortable) simian makeup. It spawned four successful sequels, as well as two TV series, one live-action and one animated. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:November 15, 1968


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Morton Haack Best Costume Design 1968 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jerry Goldsmith Best Original Score 1968 Nominee


Charlton Heston
as Taylor
Roddy McDowall
as Cornelius
Kim Hunter
as Zira
Maurice Evans
as Zaius
James Whitmore
as President of the Assembly
James Daly
as Honorius
Linda Harrison
as Nova
Lou Wagner
as Lucius
Woodrow Parfrey
as Maximus
Buck Kartalian
as Julius
Robert Gunner
as Landon
Diane Stanley
as Female Astronaut
Norman Burton
as Hunt Leader
Harry Monty
Robert Gunner
as Landon
Diane Stanley
as Female Astronaut
Norman Burton
as Hunt Leader


Franklin J. Schaffner
Mort Abrahams
Rod Serling
Michael Wilson
Pierre Boulle
Book Author
Leon Shamroy
Jerry Goldsmith
Composer (Music Score)
Jack Martin Smith
Art Director
Norman Rockett
Set Designer
Walter Scott
Set Designer
Morton Haack
Costume Designer
David Dockendorf
Sound/Sound Designer
Herman Lewis
Sound/Sound Designer
Art Cruickshank
Special Effects
William Kissell
First Assistant Director