Run The Series: The original Planet Of The Apes series became more daring from movie to movie

With Run The Series, The A.V. Club examines film franchises, studying how they change and evolve with each new installment.

Let’s begin with the ending, which is what most people do when they think about the original Planet Of The Apes. For nearly two hours, 20th Century Fox’s 1968 adaptation of Pierre Boulle’s 1963 science fiction novel depicts a world gone topsy-turvy, where humans are inarticulate savages, and civilized society is governed by intellectual chimpanzees, officious orangutans, and militaristic gorillas. When a shipwrecked American astronaut named Taylor (played by Charlton Heston) goes in search of the secret of how this “planet of the apes” came to be, he discovers the crumbling vestiges of a familiar human civilization, including the remnants of the Statue Of Liberty. In an instant, he realizes where he’s been all this time: on a far-future Earth, laid to waste by nuclear …

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