When we were in our pre-adolescent years, our interests were girlish and simple: flowered dresses, Barbie dolls, Nancy Drew mysteries, and repeated viewings of The Planet of the Apes.
Yup, The Planet of the Apes. We saw all five of the original movies made between 1968 and 1973, and we watched each one between eight and twenty-five times.
We know you’re dying to ask, so here’s the story.
When we were little, we lived in a rural area without cable or satellite. (Ask your grandparents what this was like.) There were only two channels we could receive, one of which was a public broadcaster – and you know how that is when you’re a kid.
The other channel, though, had more interesting fare. It aired popular sitcoms, exciting game shows, and lots and lots of movies.
Our parents, however, didn’t really like television. They believed it to be a waste of time. Therefore, television was strictly rationed; each of us were allowed one favourite show to watch during the week, and we were never, never allowed to watch television on a sunny day.
Except, strangely, our mother allowed us to watch The Planet of the Apes movies every time they aired on television. We couldn’t get enough of these movies. Dystopian themes? Who cares! Tyrannical horseback-riding military apes? Bring ’em on! Creepy uber-white people who worship the atom bomb? Fantastic!
Our mother let us watch these movies every time, tsk-ing only at the use of the word “damn” when Charlton Heston ordered the apes to unhand him. (Like television, swear words were frowned upon in our house.)
Watching The Planet of the Apes movies as a kid made us feel a little more grown up. We were sophisticated because we felt we were watching Important Truths About Humanity, even though most of it went over our heads.
We admit these movies practically give us nightmares when we watch them now. But in our youth, sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the television, we devoured each one repeatedly as though we were seeing it for the first time.
The Planet of the Apes, to us, represent a time when nothing beat an angry, gun-toting ape on horseback.
Bonus Feature! The five original Planet of the Apes trailers:
This post is part of the Movie Memories series hosted by Brandie at True Classics. For more fab movie memories, click here.