Charleton Heston is one of three astronauts who crash land on a planet that they soon find to be populated by humans who are herded like cattle by a superior race of apes.
During a round up all of the men are caught and Heston learns that his friends have been stuffed and put in a museum or had their frontal lobe of the brain removed. Hestons' character, Taylor, is saved by Zira, and ape scientist that wants to study him. She finds his intelligence level very high for a human.
After being shot in the neck Taylor cannot speak for a while, but the scene where he finally tells the gorilla soldier to "Take your stinking paws off of me you damn dirty ape" is a classic scene.
Taylor finally manages to escape with the help of Zira (Kim Hunter) and her husband Cornelius (Roddy McDowell). he sets off on his own along with a lovely mute female companion named Nova (sexy Linda Harrison). The ending is one of the most iconic images ever to grace the silver screen.
Heston has always been one of my favorite actors, and in this film he really shines. At the beginning of the film he tells his friends he is sick of humanity yet by the end of this film he is fighting to save it and his own.
A great, groundbreaking film that is very highly recommended!! The rest of the cast includes James Daly, Maurice Evans as Dr. Zaius, James Whitmore, and Norman Burton.
Avoid the pointless and stupid CGI trash remake, and see this instead.