As a kid who grew up in the ‘70s, I can’t overstate the significant impact these movies had on me, especially Planet of the Apes – that movie just blew me away when I first saw it and it continues to blow me away every time I watch it again.


I realized that this movie franchise has inadvertently taught me some invaluable life lessons, principles that have irrevocably changed my life.


 1. Never give up looking for true love, even if you have to travel millions of years in the future to find it in the form of a mute swimsuit model in desperate need of a comb.


“Imagine me needing someone. Back on Earth I never did. Oh, there were women. Lots of women. Lots of lovemaking but no love. You see, that was the kind of world we'd made. So I left, because there was no one to hold me there.” – George Taylor, Planet of the Apes


2. Fear and prejudice are absolutely deadly – and in certain scenarios lead to unsightly lobotomies.


“Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.” – Cornelius, Planet of the Apes


3. Leave well enough alone! Blake had it right when he wrote “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” The original Planet of the Apes movie (1968) spawned four sequels, a television series, and two remakes. The original Planet of the Apes is a timeless classic. The rest, well, let’s just say they’re not exactly masterpieces. In fact, I really only watch them for the comic relief.


“The heavens declare the glory of the Bomb, and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” – Mendez, Beneath the Planet of the Apes


4. Follow your dreams, even if they take you into the Forbidden Zone. Yeah, I know, this sounds corny but when Taylor rode off into the sunset with Nova and Zaius said that he would find “his destiny” out there, man, that was a transcendent moment in time for me.


“I'm a seeker too. But my dreams aren't like yours. I can't help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man.” – Taylor, Planet of the Apes


5. Looking like a bearded Charlton Heston is a good thing – and may get you a little sugar from female chimpanzee psychologists.


“Doctor, I'd like to kiss you goodbye.” – Taylor

“All right, but you're so damned ugly.” – Dr. Zira



Do you have a little free time this weekend? Tune in to AMC – maybe you’ll learn something!




Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for the last two decades and has written thousands of reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can follow him on Twitter at @paulgoatallen and get all the latest Barnes & Noble book news from @BNBuzz.

by on ‎02-18-2013 06:55 AM

Thanks for the tip on AMC's marathon. It made my Saturday go fast. I think my favorite is the first movie with Charlton Heston. I did watch most of the others too and they are good.

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎02-18-2013 09:21 AM

Oh Paul, the comic relief was reading this post. Thank you for it. I was literally in my reading cave this weekend under deadline so unfortunately, or fortunately for some of these movies I wasn't able to get my Planet of the Apes fill. My favorite of your lessons was the very male oriented number 1.

You made my day.