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At the end of a six month trip, four American astronauts fail on an unknown planet. Left in 2673 for a star around the Orion constellation, they are now on November 25th 3978. Only Dodge, London and Taylor have survived to the trip. Carol, will have bad luck. Having supplies for only three days, the small groups goes to explorate this arid planet. They will soon discover a primitive people, human origin, but mute.
Suddenly, an organized gorup of monkeys ridding horses tracks and hunts humans as vulgar cattle, not hesitating to fire on runaways. Dodge will not survive to this frightful man hunt and Taylor is injured to the neck and captured. He is taken in a veterinary center directed by the doctor Zaïus and the Doctor Zira, a oran-outang and a chimpanzee who undertake experiences on human brains. It seems as if Taylor has arrived on a planet governed by apes. Primitive but intelligent apes and endowed with speaking who treat humans as an inferior race.
Despite his injury at the throat that prevents him to speak, Taylor gets communicate by the handwriting with Zira and Cornelius, his friend. This last, although scientist, do not believes what Taylor tells him. Apparently without hope, Taylor escapes and after a long pursuit race in the streets of the city, gorillas, soldiers in this society, apprehend him. It is at this moment that he gets pronounce words "I forbid you to put your paws on me", spreading the astonishment of gorillas and the amazement of Zira persuaded that Taylor is the lacking link in the evolution of her race. A human comes to speak.
Taylor is judged and considered as an harmful animal. Nobody wants to believe in his story and when he finds back his friend London to help him to prove his says, the former has been trepaned and resembled henceforth to a zombie. Deep inside, Zaïus, knows that what tells Taylor is probable and that he tells the truth. But it is impossible to spread this word that would put the balance of the ape people and the planet in a unstable state. The monkey descends from man, it has always been and will always be.
Taylor and his chaming new
While all seems to be lost, Lucius, Zira's nephew makes escape Taylor destined for a brain operation and his new girlfriend Nova. Zira and Cornelius have nothing important to lose since defending the humans they have attracted many troubles that costs them deferred prison. These ones count on Taylor to demonstrate the truth about his saying. If Taylor gets prove that man was there before monkeys, the scientists will be acquitted.
In the forbidden zone
Cornelius takes Taylor in expedition beyond the forbidden zone, a place as many others unknown by monkeys that documents forbid to approach...
Spoiler ! the end of the story is revealed below…
During his searches, Cornelius, had found the existence of a strange cave or some evidences that would seem to go opposite to the monkey's beliefs.
Zaïus and gorillas following them, it is necessary to archieve a quick demonstration that a human intelligent civilization was existing before the ape's. Although Taylor succeeds in demonstrating Zaïus that his anointed rolls are not as old as he believed it, this one refuses to release Taylor. This is only by threatening Zaïus, that Taylor is given a horse.
With Nova they follow the beach that leads them to a monument buried in the sand, evocative of what has happened to the humanity; the statue of the liberty. Taylor comes to have the proof that he returned on Earth. The holocaust had taken place and the humanity was upset.
Planet of the Apes, deals as many other sci-fi films with the becoming of the humanity. But here it is an original variant. In the behaviors of tha apes, we find all lines, defaults and stereotypes of man. Themes of racisms are equally approached. Racists between them, in a castes society, the oran-outang form the intellectual elite, chimpanzees the scientists and gorillas the soldiers. The Planet of the Apes is a film on the human condition and on the will to survive.