Posts Tagged ‘Charlton Heston’

Movie Review – Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Back in 1968, the film Planet of the Apes introduced people to a concept of a world where apes rule society and human beings are feral creatures.

Planet of the Apes followed along as astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) was forced to deal with being on a strange and hostile planet.  He was ultimately successful in proving to the apes that human beings are smarter and more resourceful than the apes gave them credit.  Planet of the Apes had a shock ending where Taylor discovered that he was really on planet Earth the whole time.  At some point in the past humanity destroyed itself in warfare, and apes evolved to become the dominant species on the planet.

We know that there’s more to the story of what really happened on planet Earth.  We know that there must be more human artifacts out there.  And we know that there’s more to be discovered.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes was released two years later in 1970.

In Beneath the Planet of the Apes, a second spacecraft (one that was sent to search for Taylor’s spacecraft) travels through a time warp and crash lands on the same planet that’s now ruled by apes.  Astronaut Brent meets Nova, he is shocked to witness the ape’s society, and he ultimately discovers a hidden underground city inhabited with mutant human beings, descendants from the war that destroyed humanity.  It’s a race against time as an army of apes advances and aims to crush the underground city once and for all.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) - movie poster

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) – movie poster

Directed by Ted Post, Beneath the Planet of the Apes stars James Franciscus as Brent, an astronaut who accidentally travels through time while he’s sent on a mission to rescue George Taylor.  Charlton Heston reprises his role of George Taylor, and so does Linda Harrison as Nova, Kim Hunter as Zira, and Maurice Evans as Dr. Zaius.  This time around David Watson plays the role of Cornelius.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) - (c) 20th Century Fox

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) – (c) 20th Century Fox

Beneath the Planet of the Apes begins at the ending of Planet of the ApesGeorge Taylor (Charlton Heston) and Nova (Linda Harrison) find the remains of the Statue of Liberty, and Taylor realizes that he’s been on Earth the whole time, just several thousand years into the future.  Humanity is virtually extinct and apes are in control of society.  Depressed, he and Nova ride on horseback further into the Forbidden Zone, hoping to find other signs of life.

A short while later, Taylor and Nova discover a wall of flames that appears and just as quickly disappears.  This is followed by a few quick bolts of lightning.  Taylor suspects that there’s more to the story of these phenomena, so he grabs a rifle and takes a closer look.  Just as it looks like Taylor discovers the secret behind the apparitions, he suddenly disappears into a rocky wall.  Nova is terrified by the sight, and she flees on Taylor’s horse. Read more…

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - June 30, 2015 at 11:27 pm

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Movie Review – Planet of the Apes (1968)

Imagine suddenly being placed in a world where things were the opposite, where human beings were running wild and apes were in control of society.

That’s the premise for 1968’s hit science-fiction film, Planet of the Apes.

In Planet of the Apes, George Taylor and two other astronauts crash land on an alien planet where human beings are wild with no permanent homes, no form of communication, and no real society.  They live in packs and stay on the run from the apes, advanced creatures that can speak, they have clothing and weapons, and they have a functioning society complete with their own city.  When Taylor is captured by the apes, the apes are shocked to see that he’s very different from the other human beings.  Some apes believe that Taylor is a missing link that explains their society, while other apes believe that Taylor is a mutation that must be destroyed.

Planet of the Apes (1968) - movie poster

Planet of the Apes (1968) – movie poster

Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, Planet of the Apes stars Hollywood legend Charlton Heston in the lead role of astronaut George Taylor.  Co-starring in the film are Roddy McDowall as Cornelius, Kim Hunter as Zira, Maurice Evans as Dr. Zaius, and Linda Harrison as Nova, one of the human beings.

Planet of the Apes (1968) - (c) 20th Century Fox

Planet of the Apes (1968) – (c) 20th Century Fox

Planet of the Apes begins out in space as astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) readies their spaceship for their trip back home to Earth.  Joining him are astronauts Landon (Robert Gunner), Dodge (Jeff Burton), as well as a female astronaut already asleep and in stasis.  Although there’s no mention of the spaceship’s name in the 1968 version of the film, a 2008 Blu-ray edition of the film includes a short film where it’s mentioned that the ship is called Liberty 1.

Liberty 1‘s mission left Earth in 1972, and it travelled faster-than-light through a wormhole to distant galaxies.  As a result, while the mission itself has only lasted for six months, it’s theorized that 700 years have passed back on Earth.

Taylor is the last astronaut still awake before going into stasis.  He records his thoughts into the ship’s recorder before climbing into his sleep chamber and entering a form of hibernation.  The Liberty 1 continues on autopilot and continues its journey back to Earth. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - June 23, 2015 at 11:09 pm

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Movie Review – Ben-Hur (1959)

Today we’re taking a look at 1959’s Ben-Hur, an epic historical drama and one of the biggest films in the history of Hollywood.

Ben-Hur tells a classic tale of Judah Ben-Hur, a wealthy Jewish merchant who is falsely imprisoned and made into a slave, his heroic actions that set him free, and his return home to seek revenge against those who wronged him.  The film also features highlights from the life of Jesus Christ, from His birth to His life as a carpenter to His teachings and finally the crucifixion and death.  Judah Ben-Hur witnesses many of those events, and he becomes one of Jesus’ followers in the end.

Ben-Hur (1959) - movie poster

Ben-Hur (1959) – movie poster

Directed by William Wyler, Ben-Hur stars Charlton Heston in the lead role of Judah Ben-Hur.  Supporting him are Stephen Boyd as Messala, Haya Harareet as Esther, Hugh Griffith as Shiek Ilderim, and Jack Hawkins as Roman Consul Quintus Arrius.  The film’s score was conducted by Miklos RozsaBen-Hur has a running time of a whopping 212 minutes.

Ben-Hur begins with a brief overview of the land of Judea and how the Jewish people were being ruled by the Roman Empire.  The Jewish people are enduring it and looking forward to the long-awaited arrival of a redeemer, a person to finally bring them salvation and freedom.

Ben-Hur (1959) - (c) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Ben-Hur (1959) – (c) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

One night the people throughout Judea see a star moving across the sky.  This is taken as a sign that their redeemer has finally arrived.  They follow the celestial object and discover that, sure enough, a child, Jesus of Nazareth, was just born.

Ben-Hur then advances to 26 A.D. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - March 8, 2015 at 10:47 am

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Movie Review – Earthquake (1974)

The 1970s were known as being the golden era for disaster films.

From 1970′s Airport to 1972′s The Poseidon Adventure to the pinnacle of disaster films in 1974′s blazing hit, The Towering Inferno, it’s no wonder that movies from that time period were also known as “shake and bake.”

Disaster films would continue to be popular through the 1990s and 2000 era, but it’s still argued that the early 1970s produced some of the best disaster films of all time.  One of my personal favorite disaster films is 1974′s EarthquakeEarthquake has its minor flaws and wasn’t the best of the disaster films, but my fascination of earthquakes and the realistic profile of “the Big One” striking Los Angeles keeps this disaster movie near the top of my listing.

Earthquake (1974) - movie poster

Earthquake follows the lives of several Los Angeles residents before, during, and after the devastating earthquake destroys much of L.A.  They’re forced to deal with the situation along with their emotions while dealing with aftershocks and a variety of dangerous situations.

Directed by Mark Robson, written by George Fox and Mario Puzo, and with music composed by John Williams, Earthquake has a handful of popular 1970s movie stars in its cast.  Today’s audience will most likely only recognize a couple of the actors including George Kennedy as Lew Slade, a tough cop who resents bureaucracy and red tape in the police organization, Richard Roundtree as Miles Quade, a stunt motorcyclist hoping to impress a Las Vegas casino, Walter Matthau as a town drunk, and Hollywood legend Charlton Heston in the starring role as Stewart Graff, a building engineer caught in the mess of the Los Angeles earthquake.

Earthquake (1974) - Stewart's wife tries to fake an attempted suicide.

Earthquake (1974) – (c) Universal Pictures

Earthquake begins with Stewart Graff (Chalton Heston) out jogging and returning to his home in Los Angeles, California.  He continues exercising as his wife, Remy Royce-Graff (Ava Gardner) tries to pick a fight with him.  Stewart refuses her attitude and takes a shower.  When he returns to the bedroom he finds Remy on the bed and barely conscious.  It looks like she swallowed a bunch of pills in an attempted suicide (again).  Just as he’s about to induce vomiting, there’s a small earth tremor.  The movement jolts Remy awake and shows that she was faking the suicide attempt.  Disgusted at his wife’s dire attempt for attention, Stewart leaves for work at the engineering firm. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - November 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm

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