Making of Planet of the Apes 1968: Stunning Behind-the-Scenes Pictures From Classic Sci-Fi Movie

Planet of the Apes is one of the best science fiction film of the late 1960s with a memorable cast, simple plot. The film was based on the novel by Pierre Boulle. It tells the story of an astronaut landing on a distant planet and discovering that man’s role as the superior life form has been reversed with the apes. The film was made when there was no CGI or modern editing tools.

Most of the early scenes of a desert-like terrain were shot in northern Arizona near the Grand Canyon, and the ape village scenes were filmed on the Fox Ranch in Malibu Creek State Park, northwest of Los Angeles. The film was nominated for Best Costume Design and Costume designer Morton Haack won an honorary Academy Award for John Chambers for his outstanding make-up achievement.

Have a look at these stunning behind-the-scene images of the making of the Planet of the Apes.

#2 Charlton Heston enjoys time with a fellow cast member.

#4 Maurice Evans begins his transformation into Dr. Zaius, Planet of the Apes, 1968.

#5 There was said to be 80 make-up artists, hair stylists and wardrobe staff who all had a hand in making the 200 apes that appeared on screen

#6 Actors Lou Wagner, Roddy McDowall, Charlton Heston, and Linda Harrison on set of the Planet of the Apes, 1968.

#8 Actors Maurice Evans and Charlton Heston prepare to shoot a scene.

#9 Director Franklin J. Schaffner and Charlton Heston discuss a scene during shooting.

#10 Actor Maurice Evans relaxes (in character) on the set of the film, Planet of the Apes, 1968.

#11 Charlton Heston prepares to shoot an early scene in the film, Planet of the Apes, 1968.

#12 Roddy Mcdowall in character as Cornelius, Planet of the Apes, 1968.

#14 Actor Maurice Evans hanging out, post-makeup and -hairdressing session.

#17 Hunter’s transformation into Zira is almost complete.

#19 Kim Hunter gets one last touch-up on her Zira makeup.

#20 Actor Roddy McDowall gets his wig adjusted by an unidentified makeup artist on the set of the film.

#22 The actors enjoying downtime while in-between takes including this goofy character posing next to two women in a car

#23 Actors spent roughly three hours getting their faces done, using at-the-time innovative techniques created by the make-up artist

#24 The massive production for the film paused several other film productions with its large scope

#25 An ape lounges and waits for his next scene out in the California sun

An ape lounges and waits for his next scene out in the California sun

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#27 Foam-rubber make-up being applied to actor Maurice Evans’ face

Foam-rubber make-up being applied to actor Maurice Evans' face

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Written by Jacob Aberto

Sincere, friendly, curious, ambitious, enthusiast. I'm a content crafter and social media expert. I love Classic Movies because their dialogue, scenery and stories are awesome.

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  1. I can’t remember if it was Charlton Heston or Roddy McDowall. Still, somebody mentioned how lunch was called on a big shooting day with many chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan actors. The chimpanzees sat with the chimpanzees, the gorillas sat with the gorillas, and the orangutans sat with the orangutans. Nobody working behind the scenes had instructed the actors to file themselves that way; they just did it naturally.

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