Oscar Movies: Planet of the Apes (1968)

At the time, John Chambers’s latex makeup was praised for allowing the actors full range of expressive facial gestures.  Chambers won a special Oscar for his simian makeup, which while impressive was excruciatingly uncomfortable for the cast. In fact, Edward G. Robinson had to bow out because of the makeup demands; he was replaced by Maurice Evans.


In 1968, there was not standard Oscar category for Makeup; it was established in 1981.  John Cambers became the second artist in the Academy’s history to win a special award, following William Tuttle, who won for the movie “Seven faces of Dr. Lao.”

Impact of the 1968 Movie

This impressive sci-fi film, which has held up quite well, spawned four sequels, an animated cartoon series, a live-action TV series, bubble-gum cards, Halloween masks, and a rash of plastic models.

None of the sequels, “Beneath the Planet of the Apes,” “Escape from the Planet of the Apes,” “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes,” and “Battle for the Planet of the Apes,” lived up to the 1968 original movie.

Over the years, the “Planet of the Apes” series inevitably escalated self-parody, with some of the text entering into movie lore.

In 2001, Tim Burton directed a remake of “Planet of the Apes,” starring Mark Wahlberg, which was commercially successful but artistically disappointing.  (See our review).

Oscar Nominations: 2


Original Score: Jerry Goldsmith

Costume design: Morton Hack

Oscar Awards: 1

Honorary Oscar for John Chambers for his outstanding makeup achievement


Oscar Context:

The winner of the Original Score Oscar was John Barry for the historical drama, “The Lion in Winter.”

Danilo Donati received the Costume Design Oscar for “Romeo and Juliet.”