Tuesday, January 13, 2009


"Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"

There are often many reasons to watch the original versions of well-known films, rather than their remakes. In this case, you might be surprised to know that the original, 1968 version of Planet of the Apes, starring Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell, is rated G, while the 2001 Tim Burton remake (starring Mark Wahlberg) is rated PG-13.
I haven’t seen the Burton version, but the originals have far too much of their own personality and charm for me to even be interested in checking his out.

We watched the first and the second in the series of five Planet of ... films when K was ten years old. He was fascinated. I was a little hesitant, as I couldn’t remember many of the details from my own first viewings, but these two (the second is 1970’s Beneath the Planet of the Apes, with James Franciscus sent to the rescue) are really pretty innocuous. The hardest scene to watch may be when a hunting party bears down on a group of mute humans (the apes rule, of course; humans are the “lesser species”) and there is a bit of implied brutality and general nastiness). (K says he would think these movies would be rated PG today, and he’s probably right.)

George Taylor:
Doctor, I'd like to kiss you goodbye.
Dr. Zira: All right, but you're so damned ugly.

There is great food for thought in these films for kids, about equality and race and science, to name just a few topics. There were occasional moments in both films where the dialog was so openly directed at the human rights and civil rights movements of the times, that husband D and I said, “Wow!” to each other, and later had to explain to K what they were referring to.

They were really pretty forward thinking movies for the time.
I give both films the go-ahead for kid consumption (sorry, I haven’t seen the others), except for younger ones, naturally, and honestly think -- even with the silly ape costumes -- that most sophisticated video-playing, movie-watching kids of today would still be engaged and enjoy the experience.


  1. I also love the idea of showing kids movies that are classic and helping them to appreciate filmmaking so they don't just grow up to become common demoninator filmgoers who put Marley & Me at #1 for TWO WEEKS. Not that I'm bitter about that or anything...

  2. Hard to believe it's #1 with all the great films out now! a shame... Yeah, I hope I'm helping out parents who will enlighten their kids and get 'em started early... that was certainly half my intent here, at least. :)

  3. What about when the apes shoot Franciscus in the head? You see blood an everything.

    It was quite scary to me when I was a kid in the 70's.

  4. Heston's penis can actually be seen very briefly as he jumps into a lake. I don't care about it personally, but that along with the violence would make this movie at least PG-13 today.


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