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Poster for "Planet of the Apes" (Apjac / Twentieth Century-Fox, 1968)

This Thursday (November 30) at the Mary Pickford Theater at the Library of Congress (Washington, DC)

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Poster for “Planet of the Apes” (Apjac / Twentieth Century-Fox, 1968)

PLANET OF THE APES (Apjac / Twentieth Century-Fox, 1968). Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. Screenplay by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling, based on the novel of the same name by Pierre Boulle. With Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly. (112 min, DeLuxe Color, Panavision, archival print from the Twentieth Century-Fox Collection).

A team of astronauts crash-land on an unknown planet and find that it is ruled by apes, with humans relegated to the status of lowly animals. One of the most profitable and popular science fiction films of the 1960s, “Planet of the Apes” spawned four sequels, two TV series, and a host of toys, games, trading cards and other merchandising items. While its science is suspect, the film’s statements on totalitarianism, religion, bigotry, and nuclear war make it a fascinating reflection of the turbulent era when it was made. Above all, however, it is the visuals that impress, both Leon Shamroy’s widescreen cinematography (most of the filming was done in Utah and Arizona) and the exceptional makeup designed by John Chambers, which enabled the actors playing the apes to create memorable, fully-fleshed characters. Selected for the National Film Registry in 2001.

Thursday, November 30 at 7:00 p.m.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.


  1. In 1968, parents brought me, then age 6, to see this as my first movie. I was excited but a bit scared, entering an already dark movie theater for the first time, unaware of the story ahead, and unfamiliar with the alternate reality that only cinema can create. Especially discovery of the crew member who perished aboard the ship’s bizarre time/space journey, and the film’s epic ending, left indelible memories.

    In middle school 6 years later, I read the book, then worked as movie theater projectionist through high school and college.

    Fast forward to 2010, humankind still dominates, film is still celluloid, I’m father of 6-year-old twins, and Packard Theater at Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC) screens this film.

    3 of us sat front-row, for their own first cinema experience!

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