"Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"
Description: Charlton Heston as astronaut George Taylor curses his captors in the science fiction motion picture Planet of the Apes (1968).
In the year 2006, George Taylor, and three other astronauts, Landon (Robert Gunner), Dodge (Jeff Burton) and Stewart (Dianne Stanley) launch a spacecraft from Cape Kennedy for a six months deep space journey to test a time travel theory.
Traveling near the speed of light, Taylor makes his final report and enters hibernation with the rest of his crew. But the ship develops a leak and causes the craft to crash into an inland lake of a seemingly unknown world. It is now the year 3079.
Escaping their sinking craft, the three astronauts inflate a rubber raft and row to safety. Stewart, the only female of the crew has died.
As the three remaining astronauts explore this strange new land, they discover human life, but soon are set upon by a band of gun-toting Gorillas on horseback, who begin to kill and capture the fleeing humans.
The Gorillas kill Dodge and capture Landon and Taylor. Landon ends up lobotimzed while Dodge is stuffed and put on display in a museum. Taylor is sent to a laboratory to be used is for experimentation by chimpanzee scientists.
"This is Commander Taylor, Astronaut. He has landed in a world where Apes are the rulers and Man the beast. Now he is caged, tortured, risks mutilation. Because no human can remain human on the Planet of the Apes." - Move Tagline
Taylor soon learns that his ape captors are divided into three camps: the gorillas as police, military, hunters and workers; the orangutans as administrators, politicians, lawyers and religious clerics; and the chimpanzees as intellectuals and scientists.
Gorilla General Urko (James Gregory) a prominent military leader of the warrior class has no time for humans. He believes, “The only good human...is a DEAD human.”
Taylor manages to temporarily escape his cell, but when netted and reaptured, he cries, “Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!” This vocal rebellion astounds all the apes since humans were not supposed to be able to speak (The apes conveniently lobotomized their captives to keep them quiet and docile. Taylor's vocal cords had been damaged upon his initial capture, and it was only after they had a chance heal did he have the ability to profess his anger to his hairy masters.
Recognizing Taylor's uniqueness, chimpanzee animal psychologist Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter) advocates further study of this 'talking' human. But Dr. Zauis, (Maurice Evans) an organgutan administrator resists her pleas, saying, "Why, man is a nuisance. He eats up his food supply in the forest, then migrates to our green belts and ravages our crops. The sooner he is exterminated, the better. It's a question of simian survival."
Their "survival" was laid out in the words of sacred scrolls handed down by the Lawgivers which instructs the residents of Ape City:
“Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.” – Sacred Scroll 29:6
Dr. Zaius fears Taylor because he knows the true history of the planet and that it was the humans who destroyed their world. Thinking Taylor a threat to the stability of his simian society, he orders Taylor to be lobotomized (earlier he was to be castrated).
Unwilling to comply, Dr. Zira and her fiancé, Cornelius (Roddy McDowell), an archeolgist help Taylor escape to the Forbidden Zone, an area that has been off limits to all of her kind. Cornelius had previoulsy found remants of an earlier, non-simian race.
Arriving at the Forbidden Zone Taylor locates a cave containing evidence of a human society. When he finds a toy in the rubble, he shouts "Doctor, would an ape make a human doll that TALKS?" Dr. Zaius had followed Taylor to prevent such a discovery.
Dr. Zaius finally admits, "You are right, I have always known about man. From the evidence, I believe his wisdom must walk hand and hand with his idiocy. His emotions must rule his brain. He must be a warlike creature who gives battle to everything around him, even himself....The Forbidden Zone was once a paradise. Your breed made a desert of it, ages ago."
|[Taylor ties up Dr. Zaius]|
|Dr. Zira:||Taylor! Don't treat him that way!|
|Dr. Zira:||It's humiliating!|
|Taylor:||The way you humiliated me? All of you? YOU led me around on a LEASH!|
|Cornelius:||That was different. We thought you were inferior.|
|Taylor:||Now you know better.|
At the film’s finale, Taylor leaves his captors to find a new life, but before he goes, he offers to kiss Dr. Zira. She agrees, but admits, “You’re so damn ugly.”
Dr. Zaius is rescued, but allows Taylor and Nova (Linda Harrison), a mute human to leave, but destroys the entrance to the cave to cover up any remaining evidence of a human presence on his world. Unfortunately, Cornelius, Dr. Zira, and her nephew, Lucius (Lou Wagner) who aided in Taylor's escape are charged with heresy.
As Taylor travels the coastline on horseback with his female companion, he advances further into the Forbidden Zone. Suddenly, he sees the remains of the Statue of Liberty protruding from a rocky beach. In shock and angry, Taylor laments, “Oh my God! I’m back. I’m home. All the time. You finally really did it. You maniacs! You’ve blown it up. God damn you! God damn you all to hell!”
Note: Based on Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel, "The Planet of the Apes" movie spawned a number of sequel films and TV series, including:
- Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
- Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
- Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
- Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
- PLANET OF THE APES (TV Series 1974)
- RETURN TO THE PLANET OF THE APES (TV CArtoon) (1975)
- Planet of the Apes (Remake 2001)
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Remake 2011)