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PLANET OF THE APES (1968) retro screening

As part of its “Rod Serling: Other Dimensions” series, the UCLA Film & Television Archive presents a screening of the 1968 version of PLANET OF THE APES, co-written by Serling, along with “Nightmare at Ground Zero,” an episode of the SUSPENSE television series. Far superior to the ill-conceived remake, directed by Tim Burton, the original PLANET OF THE APES is remarkable for its use of real-life locations to suggest a convincing alien landscape – an approach that ties in well with the famous surprise ending (which recycles Serling’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE episode, “I Shot an Arrow Into the Air”). Charlton Heston stars as the astronaut who finds himself on a planet dominated by apes, with mankind reduced to mute savagery. Roddy McDowell is a sympathetic chimpanzee. John Chambers won a special Oscar for his makeup work.

Program details below:

“Planet of the Apes” (1968). Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. Producer: Arthur P. Jacobs. Screenwriter: Michael Wilson and Rod Serling, from the novel “La planete des singes” by Pierre Boulle. Cinematographer: Leon Shamroy. Editor: Hugh S. Fowler. Cast: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore. 35mm, color, 112 min. Print courtesy of the Packard Humanities Institute Collection at the Academy Film Archive

Time-traveling astronaut Charlton Heston crashes on an unknown planet two millennia in the future and finds himself in a world run by highly-advanced apes who treat humans as beasts and slaves. Offering a bracing look in the mirror, the iconic adventure film is vintage Serling: transplanting social concerns onto a fantastic future world.

“Suspense: Nightmare at Ground Zero” (CBS, 8/18/53). Directed by Robert Mulligan. Screenwriter: Rod Serling. Cast: O.Z. Whitehead, Louise Larabee, Calvin Thomas. Beta SP, b/w, 30 min. In this eerily atmospheric live television drama directed by Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird), a henpecked artist hired by the U.S. Army to supply mannequins for an atomic test plots a horrific solution to dispose of his nagging wife.

“Rod Serling: Other Dimensions” continues through September 19, 2012.

Location: The Billy Wilder Theatre, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024, (310) 206-8013

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Date: September 9, 2012 at 7pm