Connect with us

Movies

Planet Of The Apes (1968, Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall)

Published

on

 

In the same way that the re-make of Godzilla was unfavourably compared to the early Toho classics, so Tim Burton’s remake of Planet of the Apes had to withstand comparison to Schaffner’s mould-breaking interpretation of Pierre Boulle’s novel. In all, there were five movies in the Planet of the Apes series (this was followed by Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes) and the original is now recognised as one of the finest science fiction movies ever made. At the time, it only received one Academy Award, for best make-up, but along with 2001 it revitalised a moribund genre.

Charlton Heston (who cameoed in Burton’s film) stars as astronaut George Taylor, a cynical man who’s on a space mission with three fellow travellers. Landing on an alien planet 2000 years into the future, the three survivors discover a world where everything is topsy-turvy. Uniformed gorillas who speak English rule the planet, with humans merely a mutant species, pored over by the scientific ape culture, who abhor the gorilla regime but are subservient to it. Taylor’s life is initially spared because he’s lost the power of speech and his captors are amazed to discover that the human has signs of intelligent life.

Aided by Dr Zira (Kim Hunter) and her fiancé Cornelius (Roddy McDowall), Taylor is soon able to communicate with the apes. Dr Zaius, the head of the state, doesn’t like what he’s hearing, however, and orders the prisoner to be lobotomised. The rebellious Zira and Cornelius help Taylor and his ‘mate’ Nova (Linda Harrison) escape to the so-called Forbidden Zone, a vast area where archaeologist Cornelius previously found human artefacts. Pursued by Dr Zaius and guerrilla soldiers, Taylor is about to find out the unpalatable truth about the planet of the apes in one of the most memorable movie endings of all time.

Classic quotes
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.

USA / 1968

Director: Franklin J Schaffner
Writers: Michael Wilson, Rod Serling, based on Pierre Boulle’s novel

Cast: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly, Linda Harrison

Advertisement












Movies

California Split (Columbia 1974, Elliott Gould, George Segal)

Published

on

By

California Split

California Split is a movie about the adventures of two card players, and it stars two of 70s-era Hollywood’s most prolific male actors. Elliot Gould (M*A*S*H, 1970) plays Charlie Waters, a small-time card player who has the charisma and moxie of someone who’s way better at the tables than he actually is. Alongside him is George Segal (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, 1966) who plays Bill Denny, a magazine writer who moonlights as a casual player. Charlie and Bill meet in a California poker parlour game that turns heated over a dealt card hitting the floor, raising concerns of cheating. Despite this, the game continues, and one of them wins. This leads to the two players getting mugged by one of the game’s sore losers, giving them an experience that’s worth bonding over. The two become fast friends and this starts them off on a poker adventure that will test and reveal their true spirit.

In a 1974 review, Roger Ebert called California Split a “magnificently funny, cynical film”, which is probably the best way to describe the succeeding events following Bill and Charlie’s meet up. Regarded by many to be one of the best poker movies ever made, California Split is a quirky but ultimately realistic and darkly comedic look into the life and mind of card players. Despite this, you don’t really need to know a thing about poker beforehand in order to enjoy the movie. It’s a classic American adventure movie that has inspired countless other road trip movies and casino films.

From start to finish, California Split follows Bill and Charlie through the race tracks, seedy bars, private poker parties, Vegas’ second-rate casinos, treating bruises with hot shaving cream, waking up to massive hangovers, and even another mugging in which their instincts are put to the test. The result is less of a movie with careful exposition, and more of what feels like an inside look into the hilariously nightmarish world of America’s casino scene. The Telegraph calls the film one of Robert Altman’s best out of his extensive catalogue. It is brilliantly pieced together by his signature subtle visual prose, realistically overlapping dialogue, and the bravely understated introductions of his many quirky characters, California Split is one of the 70s’ definite must-see adventures. Such was the film’s realism that PartyPoker state that legendary player Thomas Austin Preston Jr. aka ‘Amarilo Slim’ had a small part. In his time Slim was known as one of the greatest ever poker players, winning 4 WSOP bracelets, and would have been an inspiration for the two main characters.

California Split is definitely a treat not just for card players, but for anyone who likes well-crafted movies about friendship and the makings of the American Dream.

main stars
George Segal, Elliot Gould Ann Prentis, Gwen Welsh, Edward Walsh, Joseph Walsh, Bert Remsen

crew details
Director: Robert Altman
Producer: Joseph Walsh, Robert Altman
Director of Photography: Paul Lohmann
Editor: O. Nicholas Brown, Lou Lombardo
Composer: Phyllis Shotwell
Screenwriters: Joseph Walsh
Production Designer: Leon Ericksen

Video:

Continue Reading

Movies

Long Good Friday, The (1980, Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren)

Published

on

By

Long Good Friday

Before Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels and Sexy Beast came along, this slick thriller ruled the roost among East End gangster pics. Armed with a strong script by Barrie Keefe and star-making performance by Bob Hoskins as a hard-as-nails East End ganglord, John MacKenzie’s film successfully transports the American gangster pic to these shores with gripping and incendiary results.

Good Friday is turning out to be anything but satisfactory for Harold Shand (Hoskins), whose negotiations with members of the American Mafia for aid in a multi-million pound Dockland development are interrupted by a series of attacks on his gang by an unknown aggressor. Following an attempt to kill his mother and the murder of his best friend, Shand leaves his girlfriend Victoria (Helen Mirren) looking after the Americans while he hunts for the perpetrators. A fearsome interrogation of other local gang bosses brings no clues, but a bent police officer (DAVE KING) notes that a councillor, Harris (Bryan Marshall), recently had explosives stolen from his demolitions firm with strong Irish connections. The scene is set for a final confrontation, but is Harold out of his league?

The filmmakers had to fight a fierce battle to get the film released in British cinemas, with the ITC initially planning to cut all the violence and merely show the film on television. Luckily, Handmade Films rescued the film, enabling viewers to see it in all its gory detail (meat hooks et al). The Sunday Telegraph called it “a gangster thriller with all the pace and brio of the old Warner Bros melodramas, brought bang up to date with authentic settings,” while The Times singled out Bob Hoskins’ performance, noting: “His Harold is a chilling creation in his unpredictable shifts from maudlin sentiment to bestial ferocity.”

Long Good Friday

UK / British Lion – Handmade / 114 minutes / 1980

Writer: Barrie Keeffe / Director: John MacKenzie

cast
BOB HOSKINS as Harold Shand
HELEN MIRREN as Victoria
PAUL FREEMAN as Colin
LEO DOLAN as Phil
BRYAN MARSHALL as Harris
PATTI LOVE as Carol
KEVIN McNALLY as Irish Youth
DEREK THOMPSON as Jeff
P.H. MORIARTY as Razors
RUBY HEAD as Harold’s Mother
DAVE KING as Parky
PIERCE BROSNAN as Ist Irishman
DARAGH O’MALLEY as 2nd Irishman

Continue Reading

Movies

Chance Of A Lifetime (1950, Kenneth More, Bernard Miles)

Published

on

By

Chance of a Lifetime

In Chance Of A Lifetime when industrialist Dickinson (Basil Radfrod) sacks a worker and has a strike on his hands, he remarks that he would willingly change places with the workers. They take him at his word and he rents them the factory.

Employees Stevens (Bernard Miles) and Morris (Julien Mitchell) are appointed managers by their fellow workers and win a large foreign order for a new plough. But when the order is almost completed, it is cancelled due to the dollar shortage and the workers’ management has to dispose of a large number of modified ploughs…

The film was not a commercial success in spite of excellent reviews, particularly from the Evening Standard : “The story this film has to tell is as significant and urgent as today’s dock strike… As a skilful piece of filming it is well above average and it has brilliantly evoked the authentic atmosphere of an English factory…”

UK / Pilgrim Pictures / 93 minutes / 1950 black and white

Writers: Bernard Miles, Walter Greenwood / Cinematography: Eric Cross / Producer: Bernard Miles / Directors: Bernard Miles, Alan Osbiston

Cast: Bernard Miles, Basil Radford, Niall MacGinnis, Geoffrey Keen, Julien Mitchell, Josephine Watson, Kenneth More, John Harvey, Hattie Jacques,

Continue Reading

More to View