Monday, April 07, 2008

Get your stinking paws off me, you damn, dirty ape!

Arguably one of the best lines in movie history. A friend once told me about his experience seeing the actual first run theatrical release of Planet of the Apes back in '68, when all people knew of it was a crazy trailer and its bizarre premise. By the point in the film where Taylor is strung up about to be lynched by the apes, people were kind of freaked out by the striking and fearsome reality of the ape society. But upon delivery of that signature line, the crowd "went fucking nuts." The theater stood up and cheered as if it were a stadium event. In context, to that point in the film's fiction no human had ever spoken to an ape, which makes the line ten times more powerful. To witness that as a moviegoer in the theater for the first time, what an amazing show that must have been.

Heston's portrayal of a stalwart astronaut brought to a future never meant to be was one of his many, many roles that left an indelible mark on cinema-- and myself. Chuck had a very good run.

Charlton Heston Dies at 84

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