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Topic: The Making of PLANET OF THE APES Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Posted: November 18 2018 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Picked up this informative tome the other day. Full of behind-the-scenes stuff, most interesting being the background on how the project was developed.* Lots of early ape designs, including makeup and clothes.

One small surprise was learning that the impressive shot of Taylor and Cornelius talking across a rocky gorge above a river was an actual, practical shot, not a matt!

A brief synopsis of the novel reminded me that much of what I do not like about the way the films "developed" was actually from Pierre Boulle's book. The business about the apes being brought into human homes as pets/servants, and slowly taking over, for instance. Not a whisper of nuclear armageddon as the springboard for human devolution.

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* An almost STAR TREK "crossover": Angelique Pettyjohn in a wardrobe test for one of the (topless!) human females. I wonder if anyon really thought they could make the movie acceptable to the general populace with just lots and lots of strategically placed hair!!

(Based on the slate, this was about a year before she shot "The Gamesters of Triskelion".)

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: November 18 2018 at 11:57am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I haven’t gotten ‘round to rewatching the films via the Blu-Ray set I picked up, last year. I should probably get this book in anticipation of my eventual rewatch. Thanks for the heads-up, chief!


I hadn’t ever seen the original POTA until a few years back, but, once I did, I immediately understood why it’s so beloved. A brilliant film from top to bottom, and one of the best science-fiction films ever made. The sequels are entertaining, but totally unnecessary. Like so many genre films which were turned into cash-grab franchises, the original is a perfect, self-contained entity. Beginning, middle, end. Nice and neat. It tells its story gracefully and succinctly, and it tells it well.
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John Byrne
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Posted: November 18 2018 at 12:27pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

As a huge fan of the original, I was of course delighted to hear there would be a sequel. Obviously, there were places to go after that shocker of an ending. I just didn't expect THOSE places!

This is one of the first instance I can recall where the sequel basically scrapped the original in order to find its story. And, as noted above, as more sequels were unleashed, the filmmakers turned back more and more to the source material, to the detriment, I thought, of the original.

(This is one of a few instances where I do not demand absolute fidelity. Two reasons: one, I was but a wisp of a lad when I saw PotA in the theater, and had no idea it was so different from the book. By the time I found out, my love for the movie was carved in stone. Secondly, the novel is not called PLANET OF THE APES, so an argument could be made that the film is "inspired by" rather than "based on".)

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Matt Reed
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Posted: November 18 2018 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Coincidentally, I just ordered this book last night.  As a huge fan of the franchise, I'm looking forward to it!
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Michael Penn
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Posted: November 18 2018 at 5:07pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The original French La Plančte des singes ("The Planet of the Monkeys") is so radically other than the film adaptation that I would call it "loosely based on."
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Brian Miller
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Posted: November 18 2018 at 9:42pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Got the book years ago. A pretty quick read,IIRC. 
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Matt Reed
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Posted: November 18 2018 at 11:58pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

The book JB is talking about just came out this year.  You're thinking of a different book, Brian.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: November 19 2018 at 5:42am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Ha! I thought you meant the book the movie was based on. Sorry ‘bout that. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: November 19 2018 at 7:09am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I thought you meant the book the movie was based on.

•••

Cannot imagine how you got there based on my first post.

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Brian Miller
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Posted: November 19 2018 at 1:32pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Not you, JB, Matt. 
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Matt Reed
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Posted: November 25 2018 at 2:39am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Started reading last night.  Really great book.  I'm barely in and am "all in" if you get my meaning.  Pure Apes candy if you're of a mind for that sort of thing.  
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Matt Reed
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Posted: November 25 2018 at 2:42am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

 Greg Kirkman wrote:
I hadn’t ever seen the original POTA until a few years back, but, once I did, I immediately understood why it’s so beloved.

You're only a recent convert?  Color me surprised!  I thought this would have worked its way to the top at some point sooner.  
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