Excellent directed science fiction with epic atmosphere and Charlton Heston doing one of his most memorable roles delivering some of his most quoted lines. The ape makeup still holds okay up today even if we have come a long way since 68. A lot of memorable moments. The ending doesn't fool anyone anymore because everyone knows it, but the fact is it still kick a punch decades later even when I know how it ends.
3-4. It's clever, as far as evoking the debate over the ties and contrasts between organized religion and science, as well as religion's hold on the government and law. It's a bit like 'Inherit The Wind', albeit with apes. Granted, it doesn't have THE MOST visual dynamism (it could have stood to speed things up in places), but it looks decent enough, given the demands of creating an 'ape society'.
If anyone has ever known how to use sci-fi as an important, carefully constructed statement, it was surely co-screenwriter and Twilight Zone creator, Rod Serling. As a commentary on race relations during the Civil Rights age, it's deeper and more thought provoking than the same year's Night of the Living Dead, perhaps because unlike the Romero film, its politics were intentional, and thus perhaps, more overwhelming.
"Guardati dall'Uomo, poiché egli è l'artiglio del demonio. Egli è il solo fra i primati di Dio che uccida per passatempo, o lussuria, o avidità. Sì, egli uccide il suo fratello per possedere la terra del suo fratello. Non permettere che egli si moltiplichi, perché egli farà il deserto della sua casa e della tua. Sfuggilo, ricaccialo nella sua tana nella foresta, perché egli è il messaggero della morte"
It's obviously a great concept, but it's a bit dry; that courtroom scene goes on for too long and there's way too much political/religious overtones. Except for a few sequences (where they get captured, Charlton Heston running away from the apes) it's not very action based. It's more similar to something like To Kill a Mockingbird than anything.