Damn Dirty Apes: 5 Ape Characters From 'Planet Of The Apes'
It's true that all humans look alike to apes: But did you know that humans often report an inverted similar phenomenon? Nevertheless, the ape characters of "Planet of the Apes" manage to delineate themselves from each other nicely. But in case you have trouble telling apes apart, here's a helpful guide to those lovably articulate primates.
The ape scientist played by Roddy McDowall. As a scientist, he runs toward the conservative end of the spectrum, although he has his questions about the superstitious beliefs of the ape establishment. Did apes evolve from humans? Cornelius isn't sure one way or the other, but he believes in the power of science to answer the question. He's also engaged to our next ape guest:
Played by Kim Hunter and Helena Bonham Carter, Dr. Zira is Dr. Cornelius' more liberal scientist comrade (and fiance). She's the best hope for Charlton Heston's character, an astronaut stranded on a planet populated by talking apes (and silent, animalistic humans). She's the one who discovers that the astronaut, who was wonded in the throat, preventing him from speaking, appeared to be intelligent. Nice work, Zira!
Probably the most famous ape in "Planet of the Apes," Dr. Zaius is the chief bad guy of the story, thanks to his firm and dogmatic belief in the backwards ways of ape culture. As a result of his zealous distrust of science, Zaius refuses to believe the evidence at hand that Taylor, Charlton Heston's astronaut, is capable of intelligent thought.
In "Planet of the Apes," orangutans are the highest caste of ape society (so, just like the zoo, except with more long robes). And Dr. Maximus is the big cheese of orangutans, he accuses Dr. Zira of surgically altering Taylor to allow him to speak (this is not the case). His most famous scene is the infamous "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" sequence, in which three apes reenact the famous three wise monkeys.
Although off-screen for the original "Planet of the Apes" movie, The Lawgiver is the main religious and philosophical icon of ape society. He was later played by John Huston in a "Planet of the Apes" sequel, but his influence in the first movie is broad enough without that legendary voice behind him. He is the source of all the laws on the planet, so like Moses with slightly more back hair.