1968: Oscar for "Outstanding Achievement in Makeup": John Chambers
"Planet of the Apes"
Astronauts from 20th century Earth are flung into the future and crash land on a planet ruled by apes.
Producer: 20th Century Fox
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Starring: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans
Makeup & Hair Credits:
Special Makeup: John Chambers
Makeup: Ben Nye and Dan Striepeke
Hairstyles: Edith Lindon
This science fiction film follows a cynical astronaut, Taylor (Charlton Heston,) and his crew on a space mission testing light-speed travel which will return them to Earth a hundred years in the future. In his final log entry before entering suspended animation sleep, Taylor hopes when they return, that “Mankind” will have outgrown their baser behaviors and be a better race of beings.
The crew awakens to a crash landing and Taylor with two companions escape the sinking spacecraft and find themselves on another planet 1000 years in the future. They eventually find themselves amongst a tribe of mute “human” creatures who are being hunted by Apes (specifically gorillas). Tayor is wounded in the throat during the gorilla raid and captured. He ends up as a prized laboratory specimen for Drs. Zira and Cornelius (chimpanzee played by Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall) and held in contempt by Dr. Zaius (an orangutan played by Maurice Evans).
The movie turns the tables on human/animal relations. In fact, all modern culture is satirically mirrored: from showing humans as the subjects for experimentation. to museum exhibits with stuffed “human” artifacts, to the deliberate censoring of scientific facts in favor of religious tenets.
In the end, Taylor’s hopes are dashed regarding his hopes for the betterment of the “human race” and the film, as a whole, does what any good science fiction film should do, hold up a mirror so we can see ourselves for what we are and offer us a viewpoint for change.
Almost every major Makeup artist of my generation speaks of “Planet of the Apes” as one of the seminal moments in their careers, one that sparked their initial interest in Makeup.
|Drs. Zaius, Cornelius and Zira|
(Maurice Evans, Roddy McDowall, and Kim Hunter)
|Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter)|
|Dr.Zaius (Maurice Evans)|
Dr. Zaius is also a part of a classic “send-up,” when Taylor is on trial for heresy and the three orangutan judges enact a classic “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” moment.
|"See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil"|
|Taylor & Dr. Zira|
(Charlton Heston & Kim Hunter)
|Drs. Zira and Zaius |
(Kim Hunter & Maurice Evans)
For my money, the original “Planet of the Apes” will never be surpassed, if for no other reason than that first glimpse of the gorilla raiders. Filmmaking doesn’t get any better than that!
Use this link for further info about John Chambers: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0150357/