Planet of the Apes

After I went out to do my laundry, I browsed through the record store. I thought about what my trip this weekend would be like. I heard on the news that the Berkeley City Council voted to use gender neutral language in municipal codes, such as “maintenance hole” replacing “manhole.” I thought of what they might do to Beatles songs if given the chance, such as changing “She Loves You” to “They Love You.” I watched “Planet of the Apes.” I couldn’t help thinking of how stupid the astronauts were to leave their clothes and backpacks unguarded as they went swimming. The plot seemed to require the traces of their intelligence to be destroyed. People like Edward G. Robinson, Ingrid Bergman, and Raquel Welch didn’t want to be in the movie. I think their presence could have made it better. The apes originally were more advanced, but for budget reasons, that was changed. Also, the ending of the novel was more like the Tim Burton version, which would have been more believable but less dramatic. I liked how we don’t see the apes until half an hour into the movie. It makes the anticipation greater. I wasn’t impressed with the apes’ intelligence. The one with the fire hose was especially stupid. Linda Harrison was Nova, and she appeared to get the part because of her relationship with Richard Zanuck. Nova was going to be pregnant, which seemed likely to happen, but that idea was nixed. Harrison would go on to appear in “Beneath the Planet of the Apes,” “Airport 1975,” and “Cocoon.” She did make an appearance in the Tim Burton film. She is 73 years old now, and she will be 74 on July 26. Kim Hunter won an Oscar for playing Stella Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” She was in two Planet of the Apes sequels and the TV movie “Born Innocent.” One of her last films was “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” She died of a heart attack at age 79 in New York City on September 11, 2002. I enjoyed watching “Planet of the Apes” again because of its Twilight Zone connection with Rod Serling. It has interesting implications with racial issues and other social issues. I wished the sequels hadn’t been made.

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