When the chimpanzees come to rule the world Aug. 5 in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," it won't be for the first time. "Rise" reboots one of science fiction's most enduring series, which ruled 1970s sci-fi before "Star Wars" thanks to its mix of action, satirical humor, and twisty endings. Here's a look back at some of the best, weirdest and most memorable moments of the original "Apes" series.
BEST LINE, MACHO CATEGORY
Playing an astronaut who crash-lands in a world run by apes, Charlton Heston spends most of his time in "Planet of the Apes" grumbling, grizzled and grouchy. But he's never madder about being manhandled by monkeys than when he fires off the series' most famous quip: "Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"
BEST LINE, NON-MACHO CATEGORY
In "Escape From the Planet of the Apes," married chimp scientists Cornelius and Zira are being questioned. After a congressman hears Zira speak, he asks if Cornelius can talk too. Cornelius' wry response shows that the same rules apply to husbands of any species: "Only when she lets me."
BEST TWIST ENDING
Just because everyone nowadays knows it doesn't make it less awesome when, in the original movie, Charlton Heston stumbles across the wrecked remains of the Statue of Liberty, and realizes the Planet of the Apes was Earth all along. "YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP!"
BLEAKEST TWIST ENDING
In the second movie, "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," Heston sets off a nuclear device that kills all life on Earth. Why? Because Heston hated the idea of another sequel, and insisted on that ending so there'd be no characters left to make a third "Apes" movie.
SLIGHTLY LESS BLEAK TWIST ENDING
After the humans are overthrown in "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes," the rebellious simians are out for blood. But we're in luck! At the last moment, they change their minds, and merely destroy human civilization, instead of killing us all. And that was the happy ending: In an early version, the apes really did slaughter everyone.
BEST APE CLICHE
Heston is put on trial in "Planet" by a trio of orangutan judges who react badly to a piece of news by assuming the classic monkey "hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" pose.
CREEPIEST APE SCENE
In 1973's "Battle For the Planet of the Apes," we find out what happens when the monkeys put someone on trial for murder — they surround the guilty party and chant "Ape has killed ape! Ape has killed ape! Ape has killed ape!" until he freaks out and climbs a tree to get away from them. It's maybe not the best legal system ever devised, but on the other hand, they don't need any lawyers.
CREEPIEST HUMAN SCENE
In "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," mutant Manhattanites live underground and wear rubber masks to hide their deformed faces — sort of like "Scooby Doo" villains. Except these guys have also picked up a real fruitcake of a religion, worshipping the nuclear weapon that blew up New York in the first place. Hear their freaky prayer: "Glory be to the Bomb, and to the Holy Fallout. ... The heavens declare the glory of the bomb, and the firmament showeth his handiwork."
BEST USE OF SOMEBODY ELSE'S OLD MOVIE PROPS
The sets used to depict post-apocalypse New York in "Beneath" were the same ones used the year before in the musical "Hello Dolly." There's an even more chilling concept than the hideous mutants — Barbra Streisand might live among them!
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