A team of astronauts crash land on a planet that is ruled by a race of highly evolved simians who treat the mute, primitive human population like animals.
On the surface, Planet Of the Apes looks like just another sci-fi monster movie but the real strength of the film is in its wonderful script. Beneath the – still rather good – ape makeup and polystyrene sets is a cunning social satire that tackles subjects as wide ranging as science versus religious dogma, the teaching of evolution, the treatment of animals by the human race and its propensity for the abuse of the environment, all wrapped up in some nice cold war paranoia. Charlton Heston puts in one of his most dominating performances as the misanthropic, cynical man lost in this topsy-turvy madhouse and despite being masked by their extensive prosthetics, the cast of simians are all fantastic too, particularly Maurice Evans as Dr. Zaius, the stubborn minded bureaucrat who is desperately trying to maintain the status quo so threatened by the appearance of a talking human. But the real kick in the teeth comes during the final scene which stands up as one of the best endings of all time, astonishingly ruined by the films own DVD cover!
One of the best sci-fis certainly, Planet Of The Apes is also probably one of the best films ever made full stop.