Planet of the Apes is a 1968 epic science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner based on the novel La planète des singes by Pierre Boulle. The film stars Charlton Heston and features Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, veteran Shakespearean actor Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and Linda Harrison. The script was originally written by Rod Serling but had many rewrites before eventually being made.
The film was ground-breaking for its prosthetic makeup techniques by artist John Chambers, and was well received by critics and audiences, launching a film franchise, including four sequels, as well as a short lived television show, animated series, comic books, various merchandising, and eventually a remake in 2001. Roddy McDowall, in particular, had a long-running relationship with the Apes series, appearing in the original series of five films (one only via stock footage from an earlier film), and also in the television series.
Most of the early scenes of a desert-like terrain were shot in northern Arizona near the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon and other locations near Page, Arizona
Most scenes of the ape village, interiors and exteriors, were filmed on the Fox Ranch in Malibu Creek State Park, northwest of Los Angeles, essentially the backlot of 20th Century Fox.
The concluding beach scenes were filmed on a stretch of California seacoast between Malibu and Oxnard with cliffs that towered 130 feet above the shore. Reaching the beach on foot was virtually impossible, so cast, crew, film equipment, and even horses had to be lowered in by helicopter.
The remains of the Statue of Liberty were shot in a secluded cove on the far eastern end of Westward Beach, between Zuma Beach and Point Dume in Malibu.
As noted in the documentary Behind the Planet of the Apes,] the special effect shot of the half-buried statue was achieved by seamlessly blending a matte painting with existing cliffs.
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