Did man descend from the apes or will he one day turn into one himself? Is Franklyn J. Schaffner’s moving picture a journey into the future or into the past? Three American astronauts are time-travelling on board a spaceship and land on a planet ruled by a race of evolved apes where humans are incapable of speech and thought. Only Taylor manages to survive an ape hunting party but is captured and left at the mercy of two young primates who want to use him to prove that apes descend from humans. But this reversed evolutionary theory is opposed by an old ape-priest. The astronaut ends up finding out that the mysterious planet he landed on is nothing but … Winning the first Oscar for best make-up in history - awarded to John Chambers - and a nomination for best costume design and soundtrack, the movie was the legendary forerunner of various sequels and one remake (by Tim Burton in 2001). A philosophical tale about the origin and destiny of humankind with political and sociological implications (the violence of power, the foolishness of humans, the nuclear threat … ), Planet of the Apes paved the way to modern cinematic sci-fi, and its premise and moral inevitably link it with Kubrick’s Odyssey, which was released in the same year. Seen with modern eyes it looks naive and unscientific in places (one example for all is the final sequence showing the Sun setting over Hudson Bay, whereas the Sun can only rise over Hudson Bay … ) which are made up for by the flick’s great visual impact and an extraordinary, wrong-footing finale that have earned it the title of one of the cult films in movie history.