When French writer Pierre Boulle wrote a satirical novel in 1963, he couldn’t have known those apes would have legs. The franchise would yield five initial films, two TV series (including one Saturday morning cartoon), and a rebooted series launched by Tim Burton in the new century.
It all would have petered out fast without the impact of the first film in 1968, as directed by Franklin Schaffner with an eye toward preserving some of the satire in the middle of a sci-fi adventure about astronauts landing on, well, a planet of apes. Charlton Heston growls up a storm as the hero enslaved by “damned dirty apes” while Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans make an impact as civilized and sympathetic characters under a ton of Oscar-winning makeup. The twist ending is as good as anything from co-writer Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone
. Alamo Drafthouse revives the enduring classic in conjunction with its The Nerd 411 podcast.
$5, Mon Aug 20, 7:30pm, Alamo Drafthouse Park North, 618 NW Loop 410, (210) 677-8500, drafthouse.com.
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