One Frame: The Shattered Statue of Liberty in the movie “Planet of the Apes”

Articles How to shoot the famous shot with the destroyed Statue of Liberty for the original movie “Planet of the Apes”, which on February 8 turned 50 years old. February 8, 2018

One Frame: The Shattered Statue of Liberty in the movie "Planet of the Apes"“Planet of the Apes” (1968)

February 8 marks the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the legendary sci-fi movie “The Planet of the Apes” by Franklin J. Schaffner. Within the new rubric “One Frame”, KinoSearch tells how the most famous and most spectacular shot of the film was shot and shot – with the destroyed Statue of Liberty.

In the frame: shock

Year of the 3978th. The cynical astronaut and explorer George Taylor (Charlton Heston), who lost faith in humanity, as a member of a special expedition and in search of better light, left his native planet a couple of millennia ago (in space, time goes differently). And finally the team decides to return to Earth, but on the way and away from home the ship crashes.

“Far” – it’s still gently said. Now Taylor is a prisoner on a strange alien planet of intelligent / crazy monkeys who command a parade and in a slavish manner keep silent people as livestock. He manages to escape from the monkeys, but not from himself and not from humanity. Raging along the seashore, the traveler notices the needle crown of the Statue of Liberty – all this time he was already at home. Once here stood New York, but two thousand years of self-destructive wars and misunderstandings changed the geological and psychological landscape beyond recognition. “O God! I returned! I’m at home … Maniacs! You’ve ruined everything! Be cursed! Be you all cursed! “

One Frame: The Shattered Statue of Liberty in the movie "Planet of the Apes"

“Planet of the Apes” (1968)

Behind the scenes: authors

The year 1967. Preparations are under way for the filming of the film “The Planet of the Apes” directed by Franklin Schaffner on the novel of the same name by Pierre Boole. The idea of ​​an incredibly gloomy, hopeless ending arose in the early stages of script development. However, there is no definitive answer about who invented the cultic denouement and its powerful visual image.

Recollects producer Arthur P. Jacobs: “We wanted to make viewers believe that this is another planet, unlike Boule’s novel, because there it was another planet! In the first version of the script, everything was pretty predictable. ” Indeed, in the original source, the protagonist first gets on someone else’s planet – the planet of monkeys – and only then returns to Earth, where he discovers that she too managed to fall under the power of cruel primates. The final of the film suggests something disastrous, which eventually resulted in the degradation of mankind on Earth for two thousand years.

One Frame: The Shattered Statue of Liberty in the movie "Planet of the Apes"

“Planet of the Apes” (1968)

“It’s funny,” Jacobs continues, “I remember how Blake Edwards and I were going to take a director’s chair and dined at the Yugo Kosherarna diner across the street from Warner Studios in Burbank, California. I then told him: “It does not work, it’s too predictable … And what if this really was the Earth, but the characters and the audience did not know about it?” Blake in reply: “Great, let’s get in touch with Rod!” ( Rod Serling, author of the script – Note. Ed.) Having paid for the sandwiches with ham, we went out into the street, raised our heads and saw the statue of Liberty on the advertising poster of the diner. Then we looked at each other and at the same time exclaimed: “Rose bud!” (Mackaffin from “Citizen Kane” Note. Ed.) I doubt that without this snack bar there would be such a picture. Once I sent a finished script to Buly, who answered that the finale was more inventive than his own: “It’s a pity I did not invent it”. “

True, other sources say that Boule did not always think so: at first he disliked the changed ending and spoke out against him.

One Frame: The Shattered Statue of Liberty in the movie "Planet of the Apes"

Artist Don Pieters with sketches for the film “Planet of the Apes” (1968)

Blake Edwards argues that he came up with the final along with former Disney artist Don Peters, adding: “Basically it’s all Don”. Peters, for his part, is sure that he created the junction himself, alone, because it was he who first showed sketches of the destroyed statue when he was making preliminary sketches for Arthur Jacobs, who was developing the project at Warner studio. There is another opinion that the idea could belong to the talented Rod Serling, besides the author of the cult series “Twilight Zone”. Second producer Mort Abrahams laconically reports: “This is Rod’s ending”. Many variants of the script, written in 1964-1965, clearly demonstrate the evolution of the concept – the location changed (it could be a jungle) and the state in which they found the dilapidated monument. Ultimately, Serling suggests that after all, it was an idea invented and implemented by several authors, even if they did not know about each other’s contributions.

One Frame: The Shattered Statue of Liberty in the movie "Planet of the Apes"Sketch for the film “Planet of the Apes” (1968)

Behind the scenes: shooting

The image of the destroyed statue appears in 1968 in art not for the first time. American artist and illustrator Alex Schomburg once drew covers for two tabloids of science fiction magazines with a similar picture, one of which was performed 15 years before the release of “Planet of the Apes”.

In the film itself there are curious hidden clues of a possible outcome – not only the threatening warning of a mighty monkey, Dr. Zeus (“Do not look for your own destiny, Taylor, you may not like what you find”), but also the remark of the heroes immediately upon arrival at “someone else’s “The planet:” The question is not so much where we are, how much is it when it happens? “And some viewers claim that the portholes on the Icarus spacecraft, shown in the beginning from inside the salon, resemble the eyes of the statue.

One Frame: The Shattered Statue of Liberty in the movie "Planet of the Apes"Sketch for the film “Planet of the Apes” (1968)

The scene was filmed on August 3, 1967, the last week of exhausting filming, during which Heston, for example, was constantly ill and even hit the thickets of some poisonous plants. From the very beginning, something necessarily went wrong: the work was postponed because of the thick morning mist, it was interrupted because of the cargo ships constantly falling into the frame.

For the first plan, taken from above, when we see only the crown teeth, the artist William Crebert built a model of a head and a torch (with half the scale) using papier-mache and cardboard with giant forests. Operator Leon Shamroi, who had just turned 66 years old, refused to climb a structure taller than 20 meters, and assistant director William Kissell admitted that he was afraid of heights. So, according to Kreber, who eventually took the shots, director Shaffner, as always dressed in snow-white clothes, with a cigar in his mouth, turned to him and barked: “You built it. I’ll see you at the top. “

One Frame: The Shattered Statue of Liberty in the movie "Planet of the Apes"

Work footage from the movie “The Planet of the Apes” (1968)

The second plan – actually the statue itself and the tiny figure of Heston nearby – was created using the method of painting. The artist Emil Koza performed a picture on the glass, the super-smooth surface of which allowed to achieve high detail, and imposed it when shooting on the frames of these rocks.

By the way, if someone wants to personally see these rocks and the coast (but without the Statue of Liberty), it can be done in California. The secluded bay is on the far east side of Westward Beach, between the beaches of Zuma and Point Dume. Experts say that you should not pay attention to the curved sea line near the parking lot, but you need to climb mountains, taking to the east, until you reach a small beach surrounded by rocks.

One Frame: The Shattered Statue of Liberty in the movie "Planet of the Apes"Planet of the Apes by Tim Burton

In the frame: influence

Allusions to the canonical scene constantly arise in all sorts of sequels, prequels, restartings and novels-sequels. In the unfulfilled scenarios of Pierre Boole (The Planet of the People, 1968), Adam Rifkin (Return to the Planet of the Apes, 1988) and Terry Hayes (The Return of the Apes, 1995), the characters try to restore the statue, then build a small copy of it just sit side by side. Director Tim Burton (“Planet of the Apes”) paid tribute to the cult finale, turning the remains of a broken ship into a kind of crenellated crown half-buried in the sand. In the “Revolt of the Planet of the Apes” (2011), the chimpanzee Caesar collects a toy model of the statue. And in the parody of “Space Eggs” Mel Brooks there is this scene:

One Frame: The Shattered Statue of Liberty in the movie "Planet of the Apes"«Space eggs»

The final could be different not only visually. In the script, the hero exclaimed only: “My God.” The rest was improvised by Heston. The creators worried that his cursing words would not pass the censorship prohibitions that still existed then. Censors really were going to undercut blasphemy and foul language. But Heston tried to defend himself: Taylor does not simply vainly remember the name of the Lord, but really calls on the god to punish those who are responsible for the destruction of civilization. He (Heston, not Taylor) happened: the scene was left untouched.

One Frame: The Shattered Statue of Liberty in the movie "Planet of the Apes"“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011)

The image of the ruined Statue of Liberty, which once as a token of friendship one nation was presented by another and which lively meets everyone who decides to go to America for happiness, sounded loud and furious in 1968, when a shadow of the atomic threat hung over the disparate country and the world and all still echoed by the past wars. Since then, the ruins of a grandiose monument, symbolizing the loss of everything free, bold and friendly, arose in the films “Monstro”, “Artificial Intelligence”, “Conflict with the Abyss”, “Independence Day”, “The Day After Tomorrow”, on the posters to “Escape from New “York” and “Threat from Jupiter”. And, probably, will appear on the screens more than once.

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