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The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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‘Planet of the Apes’ an intro course on ethics

Sia DeyKoontz
Gunnar Olson

The summer blockbuster “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” released into theaters back on May 10. Today we take a look back at where it all got started with the film “Planet of the Apes”, which first debuted back in 1968. 

From director Franklin J. Schaffner, we follow the story of George Taylor played by Charlton Heston. An astronaut, who, with his crew crash lands on a planet that they think is not earth.  

Talor and his crew start to explore, before they find a herd of wild humans. Soon after, an army of apes roll in and proceed to hunt down the humans one by one. This is where Taylor gets captured and is brought to captivity to be studied by the researcher Zira.

In this world apes can talk, and humans cannot. When Taylor – a talking human – comes into the picture the apes’ entire world view is thrown into question, as they now debate if a human has the right to fair and equal status in this ape society.   

During the movie, the audience is shown very intense scenes of cruelty from the apes against the humans. Showing the parallels of the real-world angle of animal cruelty in society. 

One of the best scenes of the film comes at the halfway mark, as we get to see a division in the ape society based on ethics. The catalyst for this divide happens during a trial to see if Taylor has rights in the ape society. As ideology and theology collide in the courtroom, the audience gets to experience many powerful pieces of dialogue.  

A very interesting performance to pay attention to is the character of Nova, played by Linda Harrison. In the world of the film humans cannot talk so watching Harrisons completely non verbale performance is very captivating. As she is the main example in the film of what the standard of human is at the time.  

This film has stunning costume design that is still very impressive to this day.  

Most of these great costumes are the work of Morton Haack. Putting together very realistic and lifelike ape masks that form seamlessly to the actors faces. These masks move one to one with the characters’ actual faces. So, you do not miss out on the expressions of characters like Zira and Dr. Zaius throughout the film.  

It is a remarkably interesting contrast to look at the costumes used in this film to show what evolved apes would look like, compared to the CGI used to bring them to life for the modern-day films.   

This movie did unlock a new fear. That fear is gorillas on horseback. It is super intense, and it is super intimidating. There is no out when it comes to gorillas on horseback. It is like a fusion of some of nature’s strongest animals that are then on a hunt.   

Another thing that this film had me thinking about is the functionality, and the wide use of nets. They use a ton of nets in this movie. One of the biggest moments from this film — which is one of the most memorable moments in pop culture from this movie — happens while the main character is trapped in a net. 

Overall, this film on paper would sound like a fun gimmick, but with many questions on how to pull it off. The script holds itself up with an interesting twist ending. Making for a very interesting battle for animal rights.  

“Planet of the Apes” really holds up even after being over 50 years old. 

Rate it a 4.5/5 

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About the Contributor
Gunnar Olson
Gunnar Olson, Newsletter Developer
Gunnar Olson is a junior broadcast journalism major and can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

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