Apes of Wrath

Is anyone else watching the Planet of the Apes marathon on AMC? I’ve seen the five movies in series at least four times, but every time I channel surf and see them playing, I watch again. I suppose I’m fascinated by the whole concept of humans being ruled by apes. I wonder if they would treat humans as we now treat them. Also, are humans really superior because our language is somewhat more developed than that of animals? More importantly, are we (humans) destined for self-destruction? Personally, I don’t really want to find out. But with our constant wars and turf battles, it seems that way some times. So, should the end of the world come, let me be long gone.
Btw, here are some classic lines from the movie:

Julius, Dr. Zira’s nephew, critiques human behavior:
Julius: You know the saying, “Human see, human do.”
Taylor explains his decision to become an astronaut:
Taylor: Imagine me needing someone. Back on Earth I never did. Oh, there were women. Lots of women. Lots of love-making but no love. You see, that was the kind of world we’d made. So I left, because there was no one to hold me there.
The cross-species chemistry between Taylor and the chimpanzee doctor heats up:
Taylor: Doctor, I’d like to kiss you goodbye.
Dr. Zira: All right, but you’re so damned ugly.
In the apes’ religion, man is not cast in favorable light:
Cornelius (reading from the apes’ sacred scrolls): 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, for he is the harbinger of death.
These are Taylor’s first words to his ape captors:
Taylor: Get your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty ape!
Taylor tries to wrap his mind around the new reality:
Taylor: A planet where apes evolved from men?
The infamous finale in which Taylor sees the Statue of Liberty and realizes he’s on earth:
Taylor: You maniacs! You blew it up. God damn you! Damn you! God damn you all to hell!
The evidence mounts that, indeed, humans were once the superior race:
Taylor: Doctor, would an ape make a human doll that talks?
Dr. Zaius belittles the human race:
Dr. Zaius: Dr. Zira, I must caution you. Experimental brain surgery on these creatures is one thing, and I’m all in favor of it. But your behavior studies are another matter. To suggest that we can learn anything about the simian nature from a study of man is sheer nonsense. 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.
Ouch! And this coming from an orangutan:
Dr. Zaius: 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.

4 Comments
  1. Gore Vidal wrote about how the Apes came to power. It was kind of a sucker book as there was no hint to the end as to being a prequel to Planet of The Apes. I think it was called KALKI.

  2. What’s especially interesting is that Pierre Boule, who wrote the original book, also wrote “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”
    If I recall, Boule’s original novel starts with the occupants of a spaceship finding the Taylor character’s diary, then consists of a flashback to the events of the ape planet. It ends with a final chapter in which the spaceship occupants declare the whole story unbelievable. Intelligent humans? That’s when we learn they’re apes, I believe.
    I had several problems with the new movie, but did like the role given to Charlton Heston. I think the actress who played his love interest in the original also showed up in a bit part.

  3. I’ve always the films’ ape-society hierarchy to be highly inaccurate. Chimpanzees are definitely nastier and more aggressive than gorillas, and gorillas sure seem more intelligent than orangutans. Far from being the thuglike muscle of ape society, wouldn’t gorillas be the intellectual and political power base? It’s purely human prejudice that presumes they’re stupid because they’re big.

  4. “It’s a mad house! A mad hoooouse!” I had started watching it but I was doing too many things. Yesterday I watched about half of an Addams Family marathon though.

Leave a Reply