I happened to watch the movie 'Planet of the Apes' in the year 2012 when I was in USA. This movie had run in many well-known cinema halls all over India many years ago, but somehow I had missed.

The movie stars Charlton Heston (as Taylor) and Roddy McDowall in the lead. The duo crash land on a planet inhabited by creatures who have human builds but look like apes. These apes are bipeds like us and possess all the human emotions. They speak, read and write English. Their courts and councils are similar to humans. The apes even smoke cigars, see movies in home-theatres and their physician-apes hang stethoscopes around necks. The ideal ape is a Simian Ape who is perfect like Jesus Christ. In spite of all these similarities in civilization, ways and culture, these apes consider humans dumb animals and a nuisance. But they appeared to be of a kind and understanding type. They present a girl Nova to Taylor as his permanent companion. With the help of two apes by the name Correlium and Lucius, Taylor and Nova try to escape but are recaptured. There is an interesting scene in which the fugitive Taylor is shown shaving his beard with foam and razor. Finally the fugitives succeed in escaping the planet of the apes.

The outstanding features of the film were the idea that there can exist ape-like living beings with human responses and the presence of Charlton Heston. This film clearly shows that Charlton Heston is not cut for this type of role. The sudden bringing in of Nova, as though out of thin air, looked out of the way. If I recollect correctly, Nova has not spoken a word in the movie. She only takes attractive poses. What the film makers want to convey by this, I would not like to guess.

The 1968 production was followed by 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes' (1970) and then the 'Escape from the Planet of Apes'. I felt they are overdoing these fictitious apes and never saw the films through. In all the movies, Nova remains the sole female companion to the lead men.

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