Parents' Guide to

Planet of the Apes (1968)

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Original Apes mixes smart sci-fi and fighting, sexy stuff.

Movie G 1968 112 minutes
Planet of the Apes (1968) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 15+

A hard film for younger kids to understand

You’d think a movie about people in monkey masks would be pretty black and white. Boy would you be wrong. I chose 15+ because that’s when I felt comfortable watching it with my kid. They have to understand there is no real hero in this film. The apes are religious zealots squashing the truth through inquisition like methods. But they also have reason. Humans are evil and destructive. Taylor is proof of this. He has the right to survive and not be lobotomized, but he’s also a eugenacist who looks down on the physical weaknesses of other people and left earth to create a “stronger” race. He also takes a mute, pet-like woman as a trophy. In essence, he’s as monstrous as his captors. Human beings seem to have nuked themselves to the point that the ground is radioactive and Taylor mistakes bomb craters for massive asteroid strikes. If your kids can get all this, show it to them. If not, wait a little longer. Heck, I’m not sure most adults get it.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.
age 2+

Im in love with Charleston Heston

This movie is perfect for kids of all ages. It shows how destructive human nature can be. Kids should be shown this early on since they have such an open mind and could make interesting interpretations of this movie. It dives subtly into the contradictions between science and religion. I love the movie and appreciate how it is a G rating so kids of all ages can enjoy this amazing deep and thought provoking work of art !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10):
Kids say (25):

The direction by Franklin J. Schaffner -- who would win a Best Director Oscar two years later for Patton -- is impersonal and uninspired in this film. Charlton Heston's lead character is hard-headed and inflexible. But somehow Planet of the Apes' melding of clever science fiction ideas with old-fashioned popcorn thrills just clicked. Perhaps screenwriter Rod Serling, creator of the legendary Twilight Zone TV series, is part of the reason. Or perhaps it was the novelty of seeing apes riding horses and shooting guns.

Heston gets some memorable lines, but it's Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter as the two ape scientists that anchor the movie, embracing communication and connection between two species. Their open-mindedness and open-heartedness are key. The question of science versus faith is still relevant, but perhaps even more so is: What happened to the humans? How could they wipe themselves out? If viewers don't feel like answering those questions, then there are the good chases and battles to focus on.

Movie Details

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